Laurence Griffiths

Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Goodnight, Gunners

For the third season in a row, Arsenal appear to be on their way out of the Champions League in the first knockout round. They were dropped 3-1 by Bayern Munich at home on Tuesday.

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Bayern wasn't great Wednesday, but a few stood out

There is no doubt that Bayern Munich was the better team at the Emirates Stadium in London on Wednesday evening, but the performance wasn't all there from the Bavarians. However, a few players really stood out.

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Bayern cruise past Gunners at Emirates

Arsenal's hopes of progressing to the Champions League quarterfinals were dealt a hefty blow by a rampant Bayern Munich at the Emirates as last year's runners-up romped to a 3-1 win.

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A slaughter is brewing

Update: Bayern down Arsenal, 3-1

A terrible start has put Arsenal into a massive hole, and they're going to need to put together a brilliant second half performance to salvage this Champions League tie. Bayern Munich never looked much like conceding after the opening minutes, struck early, then piled on the misery to carry a 2-0 lead into the halftime break.

Arsenal got off to the brighter start of the two teams, creating a couple of half-chances in the first five minutes. Jack Wilshere started both moves with great balls out wide, but a Santi Cazorla cross in the 3rd minute was claimed by Manuel Neuer, while a similar move through Walcott produced a corner that Arsenal were unable to make anything out of.

In the 7th minute, Toni Kroos struck from 20 yards out to give Bayern the lead. A low cross from Franck Ribery to the top of the penalty area wasn't picked up by anyone, as Mikel Arteta failed to track Kroos and Per Mertesacker failed to step up. With no one closing him down, Kroos took a rip and placed a brilliant shot into the back of the net to notch a big away goal.

Things got worse for Arsenal in the 21st minute. Set piece defending has been an issue for Arsenal all season, and they looked horrible in conceding their second. Daniel van Buyten was uncontested as he rose up to head on goal at the near post, and Wojciech Szczęsny made a save. No one was watching Thomas Müller, though, and the Bayern attacker poked in the rebound.

Both sides had solid spells of possession for the rest of the half, with Arsenal having more of the ball, but Bayern backed off following their second goal and looked content to play a more defensive game. Just before the end of the half, they hit on a counter and Mario Mandžukić missed a close-range header by inches, failing to capitalize on an opportunity that would have all but ended this tie. Arsenal are going to need something special to get back in this, and they're going to need to avoid conceding again as well.

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For more on the two teams, head over to Arsenal blog The Short Fuse and Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works.

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Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich: Lineups

Bayern Munich and Arsenal are dealing with some injury and suspension issues at the back, leading both teams to pick makeshift back lines for their Champions League clash. Without Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber available, Daniel van Buyten starts in central defense for the Bavarians. The Gunners are without both of their left backs, so Thomas Vermaelen is forced to move outside. Arsenal have gone with a fairly conservative lineup, preferring Aaron Ramsey to Olivier Giroud. For Bayern, Thomas Müller is preferred to Arjen Robben.

Arsenal starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Wojciech Szczęsny; Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna; Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta; Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey; Theo Walcott

Bayern Munich starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; David Alaba, Dante, Daniel van Buyten, Philipp Lahm; Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger; Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller; Mario Mandžukić

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For more on the two teams, head over to Arsenal blog The Short Fuse and Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works.

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Bayern players who would start for Arsenal

We're not saying that Arsenal don't have a chance to win on Tuesday, we're just saying that there's no actual reason to believe that they will.

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Build a new stadium, they said...

Arsenal and Bayern Munich's contrasting fortunes of recent years can both be attributed to their decisions to build new stadiums. One team has come out of it rather better than the other.

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Bayern Munich heavy favorites vs. Arsenal

Arsenal would be hard-pressed to beat a brilliant Bayern Munich team even if they were in the best of form, which they aren't.

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