Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Final score 0-2, Bavarians barely hold on

Alexander Hassenstein

A poor performance by Bayern Munich led to two Arsenal goals on Wednesday night, but the Bavarians advance in the Champions League on the away goals rule.

Bayern Munich are through to the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League, though in less than impressive fashion. Arsenal earned a 2-0 victory on night to tie the score at 3-3 on aggregate, but Bayern advance to the next round on away goals.

Arsenal got off to a brilliant start, inspiring hope in themselves and their supporters that a comeback was possible. With Bayern still getting into the game, they were caught out by a fast move down the right flank by the Gunners. Theo Walcott beat his man and whipped in a great ball across the face of goal that Olivier Giroud was well-placed to finish into the roof of the net.

That goal served as a wake-up call for Bayern, who were the better side from that point until the end of the first half. However, they failed to make the most of their chances. The Bavarians were regularly wasteful on set pieces, and had a great opportunity squandered by Arjen Robben in the 29th minute. Robben had plenty of chances to find a teammate on a dangerous counter before Carl Jenkinson stole the ball off his feet, preventing a chance for Bayern. Walcott almost found Giroud for a second goal five minutes after that, but the Frenchman was slow to get to the back post and couldn't reach Walcott's cross.

Neither side looked particularly impressive early on in the second half, as they both attacked cautiously, weary of their opposition's counter-attacking threat, and for good reason. Arsenal nearly created a great chance in the 56th minute on a through ball to Walcott, setting up what should have been a two-on-two attack, but the Arsenal winger was erroneously called offside.

Robben had another brilliant chance to pull his side level on the night in the 68th minute, but failed to make the most of it again. He was in clear behind the defense and looked sure to score, but hit his shot right at Lukasz Fabianski. On the ensuing set piece, Javi Martinez had a shot blocked, and Arsenal eventually cleared the danger.

Around the 75th minute, Bayern began to play a more conservative game and Arsenal generate a couple of half-chances. Giroud failed to touch a ball to a waiting Cazorla in the box around that time, but couldn't set up what would have led to a clear shot for the Spaniard. In the 78th minute, a beautiful team move ended up with substitute Gervinho having a brief look at goal, but he put a difficult and very well contested chance just wide of the far post from 10 yards.

Things got chippy late on, with Santi Cazorla and Javi Martinez both picking up yellow cards that would have led to suspensions for either side. Bayern's progression means that Martinez will not play in their quarterfinal match. Daniel van Buyten went down easily to win that yellow from Cazorla, which seemed to set a bit of a precedent for his team. Substitute Anatoliy Tymoshchuk simulated being hit in an attempt to draw a card twice, both times to no avail.

The visitors set up a thrilling conclusion by scoring in the 85th minute, off a corner kick. Laurent Koscielny was the man who got the credit, though it's not entirely clear of Koscielny or Martinez got the final touch, and it might end up being scored an own goal. Cazorla provided the delivery, creating the danger that led to the goal.

Arsenal's miracle was not to be, however, as Bayern comfortably held on for the away goals win. Their performance was hardly impressive, but they were good enough in the first leg that their lackadaisical effort on Wednesday night didn't matter much.

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