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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 26 January 2021


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Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich (FT)

Porto 1-0 Malaga (FT)

Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

We’ll have the starting line-ups for you in a moment.

The Arsenal starting XI can be seen below. Interestingly, there’s no place for Olivier Giroud in the first XI, while it looks as if Thomas Vermaelen will play at left-back. The Bayern team and the substitutes will be posted shortly.

Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott.

Bayern Munich are most people’s favourites to progress in this tie. However, Arsenal fans can take heart from the fact that they were also tipped by most pundits in the instance below.

YouTube credit: Auraafy2

Here are the full line-ups for tonight’s game:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski, Walcott. Subs: Mannone, Diaby, Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Jenkinson.

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba, Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Kroos, Ribery, Mandzukic. Subs: Starke, Robben, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Gustavo, Gomez, Tymoschuk.

If you want to get up to speed on recent developments and all the pre-match details in relation to this tie, you can read our preview of the game here.

So what do you reckon the outcome of tonight’s game will be?

Poll Results:

Narrow Bayern win (108)
Easy Bayern win (94)
Draw (20)
Narrow Arsenal win (17)
Easy Arsenal win (7)

No Roy Keane on the ITV panel tonight sadly.

However, one current Irish midfielder is on the TV3 panel – Keith Andrews.

We’re underway…

It’s a lively start from Arsenal.

A clever pass from Wilshere puts Cazorla through down the wing, but his cross is intercepted, and falls safely into the arms of the goalkeeper.

Another good flowing attack from Arsenal leads to Walcott playing a dangerous ball into the box.

Tellingly though, there’s only one Gunners player waiting in the box – an indication of the cautious manner in which they’re approaching this game more than anything.


Arsenal 0-1 Bayern Munich: A cross somewhat fortuitously deflects into the path of Toni Kroos, however there’s nothing fortuitous about his finish (7 mins).

He produces a superb strike from the edge of the area, which flies into the corner of the net to give Bayern the early advantage.

Given the current situation Arsenal find themselves in and the goalscorer’s similar surname to the below movie’s star, this feels appropriate right now (h/t @Trodonaspike).

YouTube credit: WALES2468


Arsenal 0-2 Bayern: An unmarked Van Buyten’s header is well saved by Szczesny, but Muller is on hand to knock in the rebound (21 mins).

It’s another poor goal for Arsenal to concede, and they appear to already be imploding in what is the biggest game of their season.

Meanwhile, the Bayern fans are singing ‘Football’s Coming Home’.

Arsenal have actually looked decent in attack at times.

But as has been the case in most games this season, they have shot themselves in the foot defensively all too often.

It’s incredible for a team at this level to leave a player unmarked directly from a corner.

Bayern haven’t conceded a goal since December, and that record appears safe for now.

Arsenal have just exchanged a series of passes, yet there is no real conviction to their play, and the move ends with a whimper eventually.

The hosts simply look incapable of breaching the Germans’ rearguard at the moment.

Walcott is presented with a rare opening after good work from Sagna.

However, the striker hesitates, and Bayern ultimately avert the danger quite comfortably.

This game has turned into the match that both neutrals and Arsenal fans feared it would become.

It’s dead at the moment, and with Bayern currently coasting, there is an audible sense of resignation around the stadium.

Mandzukic comes with an inch of putting Bayern three-up.

His header narrowly goes the wrong side of the post, following a good break from the German side.


Half-time, and it’s been a disappointing performance from an Arsenal fan’s perspective.

They’ve played with a distinct lack of confidence, and their poor defending has been punished by this ruthless Bayern performance.

Bayern, on the other hand, have looked extremely impressive, particularly in defence.

Arsenal have been barely given any time to get their customary passing game going, and look a broken team as a result.

The second half has begun…

Bayern continually look the far more threatening side in attack.

They have simply outclassed their opponents tonight.


Arsenal 1-2 Bayern: Some uncharacteristically hesitant defending from Bayern allows Podolski to head home from a corner (54 mins).

The goalkeeper and the defenders seemed to almost leave it for one another, and consequently, Arsenal appear back in this tie.

Porto have gone one-up against Malaga.

Moutinho, the player who almost signed for Tottenham in the summer transfer window, has scored it.

Some dodgy goalkeeping from Szczesny almost allows Bayern to score a third.

He comes for a corner but subsequently gets nowhere near it, but fortunately for him, Martinez’s header goes just over.

Jack Wilshere gets a very good tackle in deep in Bayern territory, but then unfortunately dribbles the ball too far and loses possession.

The tempo of Arsenal’s play has increased considerably in recent minutes.

Giroud and Rosicky replace Ramsey and Podolski, and have an impact immediately.

The Czech midfielder spreads a beautiful pass out wide to Walcott, whose cross finds Giroud, but the Frenchman’s powerful strike is straight at the goalkeeper.


Arsenal 1-3 Bayern: Out of nothing, Bayern catch Arsenal on the break and surely put this tie beyond all doubt (77 mins).

The Gunners are caught two on one down the right wing, and Lahm’s cross finds the onrushing Mandzukic, who the ball ricochets off and bounces into the net.

It’s a fluky goal, but one that Bayern probably deserve, on the basis of their clear superiority for most of this game.

Pete Tong has been spotted by the cameraman at the Emirates this evening.

This rather obvious reference springs to mind.

YouTube credit: thecultbox

Sagna blasts a shot well over, after a free-kick is easily cleared.

We’re into stoppage time now.


Full-time and the result is a fair reflection of the manner in which Bayern dominated much of this game and won with relative ease.

Arsenal rallied briefly in the second half, thanks to a rare moment of uncertainty in the Germans’ defence.

However, ultimately, their ineptitude at the back proved costly, while they lacked the quality to truly trouble Bayern in attack.

The visitors took their goals with aplomb and never really had to perform exceptionally to triumph in this encounter.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

We’ll have more reaction, including player ratings, up on the site shortly.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy