The Champions League Round of 16 first leg between Arsenal and Bayern Munich was a good one, with Bayern dominating most of the match. Bayern started the match well on top, and quickly got their reward for that in the seventh minute, when Franck Ribery gave the ball to Tomas Muller. Muller’s cross was not cleared by Arsenal, and it fell to Toni Kroos in miles of space at the edge of the box, and his half-volley bounced past Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and into the bottom right corner of the net. Bayern kept controlling the match, and again capitalized on a weak Arsenal defense in the twentieth minute off a corner. The near-post corner was headed by an unmarked Daniel van Buyten, but it was straight at Szczesny who parried it straight into the path of Tomas Muller, who poked it into the back of the net from one yard out. After the goal Arsenal started to lose their composure, and Bayern should have put the game to bed in the forty-fourth minute, when a Philip Lahm cross found Mario Mandzukic in yards of space, but his header, which he should have put away, went just wide of the near post. But Bayern could not get a third for the rest of the half, which ended 2-0.
Arsenal started the second half much better and actually started controlling the game, then ten minutes into the first half they scored off a corner. It happened when Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer came out to meet Thomas Vermaelen’s in-swinger, but decided not to catch it, and Lukas Podolski simply headed it into the open net. Arsenal kept applying pressure, and nearly leveled the scoring in the seventy-second minute when substitute Olivier Giroud volleyed a Theo Walcott cross, but it was straight at Neuer, parried it wide. Even though Arsenal kept pressuring them, Bayern got a third goal in the seventy-eighth minute when a Muller cross hit Mario Mandzukic, who didn’t know much about it, and it flew over a charging Szczesny, and into the back of the net. After that goal, Arsenal lost control of the game, and Bayern kept possession, and the match ended 3-1 to Bayern.
Man of the Match: Philip Lahm
Reason: For dominating the right flank and terrorizing the Arsenal defense