Arsenal 2 – 2 Bay Munich

Arsenal and Bayern Munich traded blows in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium to leave their Champions League quarter-final finely poised ahead of next week’s second leg.

Bukayo Saka gave Mikel Arteta’s side an early lead with a superb, curling finish but Bayern capitalised on poor defending to equalise through former Gunner Serge Gnabry soon afterwards.

Former Tottenham striker Harry Kane, booed on his return to north London along with Eric Dier, then coolly dispatched a penalty for his 15th goal in 20 games against Arsenal after Leroy Sane was felled by William Saliba, but the hosts found a leveller when Leandro Trossard swept home a clinical finish in the second half.

Arsenal had most of the possession but six-time winners Bayern were a constant threat on the break, with Kingsley Coman slamming a close-range shot against the post in the 90th minute before Saka had a penalty appeal, following contact with Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, controversially turned down in stoppage time.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka goes down under the challenge from Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 9, 2024.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was denied a penalty after going to ground following contact with Manuel Neuer

Bayern, without any fans at the Emirates Stadium due to a UEFA ban, will welcome Arsenal to the Allianz Arena for the second leg on Wednesday next week with the tie in the balance.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Raya (6), White (7), Saliba (6), Gabriel (6), Kiwior (5), Jorginho (6), Rice (6), Saka (7), Odegaard (7), Martinelli (6), Havertz (7).

Subs: Zinchenko (6), Trossard (7), Jesus (7), Partey (6).

Bayern Munich: Neuer (6), Kimmich (6), De Ligt (6), Dier (7), Davies (6), Laimer (7), Goretzka (7), Sane (8), Musiala (7), Gnabry (7), Kane (8).

Subs: Coman (6), Guerreiro (6).

Player of the match: Harry Kane.

How Trossard hit back in thrilling draw

With Bayern fans banned from attending by UEFA after throwing fireworks on the pitch in their last-16 tie against Lazio, Arsenal sought to capitalise on the intensely partisan atmosphere early on.

Bukaya Saka gave Arsenal an early lead at the Emirates
Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal an early lead at the Emirates Stadium

Gabriel Martinelli, starting in place of Jesus, had their first chance, sending a diagonal shot wide of Neuer’s left-hand post, but the breakthrough came from the opposite flank.

White was the provider, feeding Saka inside the box with a diagonal pass, and the 22-year-old did the rest, curling a wonderful finish into the far corner, out of reach of the full-stretch Neuer.

Team news

  • Gabriel Martinelli and Jakub Kiwior came into the Arsenal team in place of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
  • Harry Kane led the line for Bayern Munich with Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sane fit to start following injuries.

At that point, having also had Alphonso booked for an early foul on Saka, ruling him out of the second leg through suspension, it seemed it may be a long night for the visitors.

Arsenal had a golden chance to double their lead when Ben White shot straight at Neuer having been put through on goal by Kai Havertz on the right, but Bayern were level within two minutes of that miss.

Serge Gnabry equalised against his former club
Serge Gnabry equalised against his former club

It came from an innocuous long pass. David Raya came running out of his goal to claim it near the halfway line but instead the ball was collected by Gabriel Magalhaes who, seeing his goalkeeper out of position, turned and tried to find left-back Jakub Kiwior ahead of him instead.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, his pass was inaccurate, with Kiwior unable to collect it and Sane pouncing. The winger fed the onrushing Leon Goretzka, whose through-ball was clinically dispatched by former Gunner Gnabry, silencing the 60,000 Arsenal fans in attendance.

Arsenal tried to conjure up an instant response, almost forcing the ball over the line following a corner, but more defensive sloppiness allowed Bayern to win their penalty.

Sane was again heavily involved, pinning Kiwior and spinning away from him too easily before embarking on an electrifying run into the Arsenal box, skipping away from Jorginho and Gabriel before drawing the foul from Saliba.

Harry Kane put Bayern ahead on his return to north London
Harry Kane put Bayern ahead on his return to north London

Kane took his time over the spot-kick, delaying his run-up and seeing Raya dive to his right before stroking the ball in to his left, the goal continuing his outstanding scoring record against Arsenal.

Bayern continued to threaten on the counter and might have had a third goal, through Sane, if not for a heroic recovery run and tackle by White after the winger had sprinted through on goal.

Arsenal, so impressive defensively in recent months, looked sloppy and uncertain in the face of Bayern’s pace and power in transition and struggled to create openings either side of half-time.

It took two substitutes to change things, with Jesus showing quick feet inside the box to tee up Trossard for a sweeping, first-time finish to lift the roof off the Emirates Stadium.

Bukayo Saka was denied a last-minute penalty when he went to ground under contact from Manuel Neuer
Saka was denied a last-minute penalty

The game continued to ebb and flow after that, with Arsenal relieved to see Coman’s close-range effort from Jamal Musiala’s centre come back off the post.

There was still time for more drama in stoppage time, however, with Arsenal incensed not to be awarded a penalty when Saka appeared to be felled by Neuer, with referee Glenn Nyberg deeming the winger to have initiated the contact, ensuring the game ended in a draw, the tie finely poised.

Arteta: We were punished, it’s a lesson

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “We started the game very well. We were dominant and played in their half. We dominated the momentum, then it’s a critical moment when Ben White is in front of Manuel Neuer and we have to make it 2-0.

“That makes it a different moment. We cannot give anything to the opponent in Champions League, we did that twice and they are going to punish us.

“That’s the biggest lesson. The margins are very small in this competition, it’s difficult to penetrate quality opponents against this level of opposition.

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta accepts his team ‘gave two goals away’ to opponents Bayern Munich in their thrilling to 2-2 draw at the Emirates.

“The team showed a lot of composure at 2-1. You can throw your toys away, leave a lot of spaces and lose the tie. The substitutes made a lot of impact, the initiative they showed to help the team made a big difference.

“In a certain way, we are alive and have done what we had to do when the game became very difficult for us, but also we know we have to step up certain aspects to be much better and have a chance to progress.”

On the decision not to award Saka a penalty, he added: “I haven’t seen it. The decision is made. We cannot change that. We could have done much better tonight.”

Tuchel rages as Bayern denied second penalty

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel was left incensed by a separate penalty issue in the 67th minute, when David Raya played the ball across his six-yard box at a goal-kick before Gabriel Magalhaes, who had not realised the ball was in play, picked it up and re-spotted it before then taking a goal-kick himself.

The referee allowed play to continue and, according to Tuchel, told Bayern’s players he was not prepared to give the decision in a game of such magnitude – something which only infuriated the visiting manager further.

He said: “I think there was a huge mistake in not giving the handball penalty. It’s a crazy situation, but they put the ball down, he whistles, [Raya] gives the ball free and the defender takes it in his hand.

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Thomas Tuchel says the referee made a ‘huge mistake’ by denying Bayern a penalty for a possible handball in their clash with Arsenal.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a kid’s mistake, and he will not give a penalty like this in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It is a horrible, horrible explanation. It means he is judging handballs. Whether it’s a kid’s mistake or an adult’s mistake, we feel angry because it’s a huge decision against us.

“But it’s 2-2, totally even, we have the second leg to play and we hope we can create the same atmosphere, play with the same intensity and passion like today to create the same atmosphere in our stadium and push things in our direction.”

‘Wasn’t just Bayern fans watching’ – Kane pleases Spurs faithful

Harry Kane knew it was not just Bayern Munich fans who wanted him to score on his return to north London.

Tottenham’s all-time record scorer was back at the Emirates Stadium for the first time since leaving Spurs in the summer and scored his customary goal when he converted a first-half penalty to put the German side 2-1 up before half-time.

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Steve Sidwell watched on in awe as Harry Kane rolled his penalty kick past David Raya to put Bayern Munich 2-1 up against Arsenal

No opposition player has scored more goals at the Emirates than Kane, who scored plenty of penalties for Spurs over the years and he knew his old fans would have been watching.

“I think they have a soft respect for me,” he said of Arsenal fans who were goading him during his interview on TNT Sports.

“I know there wasn’t just Bayern Munich fans watching this game tonight, so maybe there was a little bit more pressure. It is always a tough game.

“I have done a bit of research of the penalties against Porto, he (David Raya) was reading it into the corners early so I had to change my style a little bit.

“It was nice to see him go early and make it easy for me.”

Analysis: Arsenal learning as they go

Arsenal came into this tie having only conceded five goals in 13 games since the turn of the year. Their ascent to the top of the Premier League has been built on sturdy foundations.

It was unusual, then, to see the lapses that led to Bayern Munich’s equaliser play out in real time. Raya came when he didn’t need to, Gabriel played a careless pass, and, from there, the visitors were ruthlessly efficient. Sane to Goretzka. Goretzka to Gnabry. Goal.

Arsenal had been in complete control before then. Gnabry’s effort was Bayern’s first shot on target. They scored from their second one too, Kane converting from the spot after Sane had turned Kiwior and drawn a clumsy foul from Saliba in the box.

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Steve Sidwell reacts as Arsenal are denied a penalty late in their Champions League quarter-final against Bayern

“In the Champions League, you can’t give anything to the opponent,” said Arteta afterwards. “We have given them two goals today. When you have these situations, they are going to punish you and that is the biggest lesson. The margins are very small in this competition.”

Six-time winners Bayern knew precisely how to exploit those margins and Arteta felt their ruthlessness was a bigger factor than his side’s errors. “These errors happen,” he said. “Maybe they happen before and you don’t get punished. But this is the level.”

It is a level Arsenal are having to get used to. This is the club’s first campaign in the Champions League since 2017. It is their first Champions League quarter-final appearance since 2010. They are learning as they go. Whether they learn fast enough to progress from next week’s second leg remains to be seen.

Super-sub Trossard – Opta stats

  • Arsenal’s Leandro Trossard has scored six goals as a substitute in all competitions this season; no player has more from the bench for clubs in Europe’s big-five leagues in 2023/24.
  • Bukayo Saka has been directly involved in eight goals in the Champions League this season (four goals, four assists); only Thierry Henry (10 in 2002/03 and 11 in 2003/04) has had a hand in more in a single campaign for Arsenal in the competition.
  • Eight of Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane’s 15 goals against Arsenal in all competitions have been penalties. This is the most penalties any player has scored against a single Premier League club since the start of 2014/15.

What’s next?

Arsenal host Aston Villa live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4pm on Sunday, kick-off 4.30pm. They then travel to Germany for the second leg of their quarter-final on April 17, kick-off 8pm.

Sunday 14th April 4:00pm

Kick off 4:30pm

Bayern Munich are at home to Cologne in the Bundesliga on Saturday live on the Sky Sports app, kick-off 2.30pm.

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