UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich 0 Arsenal 2 (agg. 3-3)
By Football News
Arsenal exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the third consecutive year despite beating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the second leg.
Olivier Giroud stunned the 68,000 sell-out Allianz Arena with a third-minute goal to give the visitors hope of pulling off a Munich miracle.
Despite Bayern dominating for most of the match, Arsenal held firm at the back and Laurent Koscielny's 84th-minute header equalled scores on aggregate.
This set up a pulsating finale but Arsenal were unable to score the goal required to overturn the 3-1 first-leg deficit and exited by account of the away goals rule.
The two-legged defeat means that Bayern become the third European powerhouse in three years to knock Arsenal out at the last-16 juncture, following Barcelona in 2011 and AC Milan in 2012.
It took just three minutes for Arsenal to give their 3,000 travelling fans hope with a brilliantly constructed opening goal.
A series of passes from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky, sent Theo Walcott bursting clear from the right, before the Englishman's cross-shot into the six-yard box was bundled into the net by Olivier Giroud.
Bayern gradually began to dominate possession, with Javi Martinez, Thomas Mueller and Luiz Gustavo all going close to scoring a first-half equaliser.
And Arsenal's struggles to get a foothold in the game continued after the break. Cazorla and Walcott continued to be the trump cards but some of the visitors' midfield passing was wayward and Giroud lacked the touch to hold the ball up and bring others into play.
Bayern continued to exert most of the pressure, with Arjen Robben's weaving runs from the right flank causing particular consternation in the defensive ranks.
Arsenal made a double substitution after 72 minutes, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho replacing Aaron Ramsey and Walcott, and Arsene Wenger's team immediately began to commit more men forward.
Gervinho and Giroud both had half-chances but could not force Manuel Neuer into a save, while at the other end Lukasz Fabianski made a string of acrobatic saves.
Koscielny's late header from a Cazorla corner set up a thrilling finale, but Arsenal were exhausted and unable to create any late chances to score what would have been a tie-winning third.