Bayern Compound Arsenal Woes To Enter Champions League Semis

Bayern Munich defeated Arsenal 1-0 on Wednesday, advancing to the Champions League semi-finals thanks to a Joshua Kimmich header in the 63rd minute.

Bayern’s 3-2 aggregate quarter-final victory brings them back to the last four for the first time since winning the title in 2020.

Bayern will compete against either Manchester City or Real Madrid for a place in the final.

Arsenal’s German midfielder #29 Kai Havertz and Bayern Munich’s German midfielder #08 Leon Goretzka both jump to head the ball during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Bayern Munich and Arsenal FC in Munich, southern Germany on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

The outcome caps a bad week for Arsenal, who lost first place in the Premier League rankings on Sunday, their first league loss of 2024.

Unlike last week’s four-goal thriller in London, Wednesday’s match was cagey, with few clear chances for either side in a tense first half.

Midway through the second half, with extra time approaching, Kimmich surged through the Arsenal defence and headed in a brilliant Raphael Guerreiro chip.

Bayern Munich’s German goalkeeper #01 Manuel Neuer (2L), Bayern Munich’s German forward #25 Thomas Mueller (4L), Bayern Munich’s Cameroonian forward #13 Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and team mates celebrate with fans at the end of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Bayern Munich and Arsenal FC in Munich, southern Germany on April 17, 2024. – Bayern Munich won the match 1-0. (Photo by Michaela STACHE / AFP)


Guerreiro, who was moved from wing-back to forward due to Bayern’s injury difficulties, shined as a creative force when liberated from his customary defensive responsibilities.

Six-time Champions League champions Bayern joins fellow Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, who will face Paris Saint-Germain in the final four.

Due to injuries to many first-team attackers, notably former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry — who scored alongside Harry Kane in the first leg — and Kingsley Coman, Tuchel moved Guerreiro to the forwards.

The move was successful early on, with the Portuguese finding space down the left wing and integrating nicely with Musiala in the centre.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta chose Takehiro Tomiyasu’s defensive steadiness over Jakub Kiwior at left-back to nullify Leroy Sane, but the Japanese, making his first start since December, lacked rhythm.

Tomiyasu missed a Musiala pass early on, allowing Sane to stroll through the Arsenal box and force a corner.

Gabriel Martinelli was the visiting team’s most dangerous player in the first half. After seven minutes, he scuffed a curling ball just wide of the post before shooting squarely at Neuer with the goal in sight at the half-hour mark.

Bayern were the superior team after the interval and went near early, with Leon Goretzka heading a superb Kimmich cross into the woodwork.

The pressure told, as Bayern broke through after 63 minutes when Kimmich, one of the shortest players on the pitch, was allowed to slip through a packed Arsenal box and head in a Guerrero chip.

The hosts almost extended their lead moments later when Kane found an open Sane in the box, but the Germany winger blazed his attempt into the sky.

Arsenal tried for an equaliser and came near in stoppage time when Kai Havertz and Bukayo Saka swung at a bouncing ball in the area but were unable to break through, destroying the visitors’ chances of reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009.

Leave a Reply