That has got to be the worst and most embarrassing two-legged tie I have seen in a very, very long time in the Champions League.
Arsenal went into tonight’s game needing a miracle to qualify to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League, instead the Gunners were dealt another mauling by German giants Bayern Munich. 2-10 it finished in aggregate with both games ending 5-1 in Bayern’s favour and seeing Arsene Wenger’s side yet again dumped out in the Last 16 round of Europe’s finest competitions.
It will be hard to take for some Arsenal fans who believed the team could produce the miracle tonight, while others, like myself, knew it was a forgone conclusion three weeks ago.
In every game you watch you learn something. So here are five things I learnt from tonight-5-1 hammering to Bayern at the Emirates.
1. Arsenal are nowhere near the elite clubs in Europe
Every year we qualify for the Champions League and every year we more or less get knocked out in the Last 16 Round. In the past few years it has been to Bayern Munich and Barcelona and every time we go up against the best in Europe, we get our arse handed to us. Ivan Gazidis famously said two years ago that Arsenal will be competing with the likes of Bayern, obviously he was either telling porkies, or is really, really deluded. We are not a European force and simply can’t hang with the big boys in the Champions League.
2. Poor officiating all round
The referee and his team were almost embarrassing tonight by making some baffling decisions throughout the game. Awarding a penalty to Bayern at 1-0 and a red card to Laurent Koscielny in particular was mind-boggling.
3. Another shambolic defensive display
Despite the poor officiating and down to 10-men our defensive duties went out of the window. Yes, we were chasing the game but this doesn’t mean that you should forget how to defend. It was shocking to see and reinforced once again how bad Arsenal are at the back. Schoolboy stuff tonight.
4. Arsenal play when they want
I saw a lot of praise for Arsenal’s start to the game and in fairness, they came out the blocks hungry for the ball which was pleasing to see. However, they decided to up their game in a match that was out of their reach from the get go. If they played like they did in the first-half throughout the season then they would be seriously challenging for honours every season, but it looks like they play when they want at the moment.
5. Chamberlain shines once again
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain shined once again in the centre of the park. The England midfielder has arguably been Arsenal’s best performer over the past month and despite losing 5-1 tonight, he is one player that can hold his head up high.