Thus ended Arsenal’s Champions League challenger after a 1-1 draw against holders Bayern Munich that saw the German giants win the round of 16 tie 3-1 on aggregate. Arsenal exited the Champions League at the first knockout stage for the fourth year in a row. A dominant Bayern, leading 2-0 from the first leg, had a Javi Martinez volley ruled out for offside before the break. Bastian Schweinsteiger gave Bayern the lead from close range before Lukas Podolski shot high into the net to level the score on the night. Thomas Muller had a late penalty saved as Bayern won 3-1 on aggregate.
Arsenal’s European exit leaves them just two more chances to end a nine-year trophy drought this season. Arsene Wenger’s men are in the FA Cup semi-final and seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea. The damage was done in the first leg at Emirates Stadium, where Arsenal will rue an early missed penalty by Mesut Ozil and the dismissal of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal did go into the match with reasons for hope, having been the last team to prevent the German side from scoring when they beat them 2-0 at the Allianz Arena at the same stage last season, although the Gunners went out that night on away goals. Bayern’s defeat by Arsenal last season was the only game the Bavarians had failed to score in in their last 100 matches and a composed start by the hosts made the prospect of another shut-out an unlikely one. The difficult task became almost impossible soon after the restart as Franck Ribery cut inside on the left and squared for Schweinsteiger, who calmly converted from close range.
Arsenal hit back immediately though as Podolski nudged Philipp Lahm off the ball, before shooting high into the net from an angle, leaving them needing two goals again to progress. Now to make matters worse Arsenal will be without midfielder Ozil for a few weeks as he injured his hamstring during the match in Munich and was taken off at halftime. So – no Ozil, no Aaron Ramsey, no Jack Wilshire and no Theo Walcott.