Posted by Nelson Dafe, with Agency reports | 5 November 2015 | 2,856 times
An under-strength Arsenal side was last night torn to shreds at the Allianz Arena in Germany by group leaders Bayern Munich to leave the Gunners’ hope of qualifying for the second round of the 2015 European Champions League hanging by a thread.
Bayern Munich were determined to get back to winning ways in the competition after a 0-2 loss to Arsenal in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago. And they did so in ruthless fashion against their visitors who were missing about four players who would most likely have started this game had they not been injured.
Aron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Laurent Koscielny, Hector Belerin were all down and out.
Bayern pressed for the opener early in the game and they got it through their free scoring striker Robert Lewandoski who beat a naive Gabriel Paulister’s attempt to keep him off as he received a cross from the left flank. The Polish striker glanced a header beyond the reach of Arsenal’s keeper Petr Cech.
Arsenal thought they had equalised moments later when Ozil looked to have scored. But the match officials spotted his hand directing the ball to the net and he was subsequently booked.
Bayern asserted superior control for the remainder of the half. Müller scored the second when he controlled a mis-hit shot from Kingsley Coman to lash inside Cech’s near post and David Alaba added the third with a vicious left-footed drive from outside the area. Cech was extremely busy and the pick of his first-half saves was the tip-over from Müller’s close-range poke on 43 minutes.
Bayern introduced Arjen Robben in the second half and 37 seconds later he finished off a sweet Bayern move that looked brutally simple.
Arsenal scored a beautiful scissors kick goal by Olivier Giroud but Bayern added a fourth through Muller who raced past Arsenal’s defence to place a shot beyond Cech.
Back in England, Willian eased the pressure on troubled Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho as the Brazilian’s sublime free-kick clinched a crucial 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in the same competition.
Chelsea took the lead in fortuitous circumstances in the 34th minute. Blues goalkeeper Asmir Begovic got away with a scuffed clearance towards Baba Rahman, who played a long pass from the left out to Willian on the right and he tricked his way past his marker before drilling a cross into the six-yard box.
Mourinho’s tenuous hold on his job appeared to be loosening even further when Dynamo’s Aleksandar Dragovic cancelled out his first half own goal with a late equaliser for the Ukrainian champions.
But with just seven minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge, winger Willian whipped a sensational 30-yard free-kick into the top corner to give Chelsea just their second win in their last nine games in all competitions.
Failure to beat Dynamo would have left the struggling English champions in severe danger of failing to make the last 16, but Willian’s heroics lifted them to second place in Group G and put qualification back in their own hands with fixtures against Maccabi Tel Aviv and Porto remaining.
•Photo shows Chelsea’s match winner Willian in action against Dynamo . . . last night at Stamford Bridge.
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