While a win away at Fortress Allianz always seemed unlikely, Arsene Wenger’s side will now face two must-win games if they want to salvage a place in the next stage of the Champions League. Due to a late Olympiacos winner, Arsenal now sit third in Group F and six points off Bayern and Olympiakos. While a win at home against Dinamo Zagreb looks reasonable enough, Arsenal have two away fixtures either side of the game against West Bromwich Albion and Norwich. Their European fate will no doubt be decided in a tough away fixture in Athens in their final group game. Couple this with the grudge match against Tottenham, and an ever-growing injury list, it’s safe to say that it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks pan out for the Gunners.
It’s hard to imagine that Arsenal will be entirely downcast when their focus returns to the derby game against Tottenham on Sunday. Despite the heavy scoreline and an emphatic display from their opposition, Arsenal showed glimpses of promise in their rare moments of attack at The Allianz. The side that faced Bayern will undoubtedly be the one that will face Spurs and, despite the long injury list, it is not one devoid of quality. Although the Gunners have already beaten their rivals this season in the Capital One Cup, they will face a Spurs side unbeaten in 10 Premier League games. Mauricio Pochettino’s men face Anderlecht on Thursday night, meaning they will have a day less to prepare for Sunday’s crunch match, so it remains to be seen whether that will work in Arsenal’s favour.
After struggling to find first-team minutes under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, the gifted Spanish midfielder has made himself right at home in Bavaria with his former manager. Before tonight’s game, the 24-year-old had assisted in four of the last six goals scored by Bayern at the Allianz, and he was able to add to his tally against Arsenal. When Arsenal stood off him outside of the box, Thiago Alcantara was allowed to look up and loft a perfect through ball onto Robert Lewandowski’s head for the opener. Aside from his assist, Bayern’s No6 showcased his impressive passing range – Thiago boasted a pass completion rate of 88% – as well as his forward-thinking mentality, with nearly every single one of his passes being propelled forward into Arsenal’s half. With performances like the one he put in tonight, one can imagine he isn’t worrying too much about game-time anymore.
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