Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich: 6 Things We Learned from Champions League Clash

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Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich: 6 Things We Learned from Champions League Clash
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Wojciech Szczesny was sent off and both teams missed penalties as Bayern Munich outplayed, out-thought and completely out-fought the 10 men of Arsenal in a 2-0 Champions League win at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

The Gunners had started well before Bayern took control of the game. Szczesny's rightful sending off swung the pendulum in Bayern's favor, and they never looked back. The defending Champions League champions utterly dismantled Arsenal in a torrid second half where the home side can count themselves lucky to have kept the score down to just 2-0.

Toni Kroos opened the scoring with a fabulous curled effort from fully 25 yards before Thomas Muller broke the Gunners' slim resistance with a well taken second.

The result makes Bayern firm favorites to progress to the quarterfinals.

Arsenal tore out of the blocks like their very lives depended upon the match, but it was Bayern who created the first real chance of the game.

Last season, Kroos opened the scoring in Munich's 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium, he would have achieved the same feat this time around if it were not for an amazing save by Wojciech Szczesny. Mere moments later, Arsenal went as close through Yaya Sanogo whose opportune shot was saved brilliantly by Manuel Neuer.

The Gunners continued to put the visitors under huge pressure and when Mesut Ozil turned inside Jerome Boateng, who left out a lazy trailing leg to bring his fellow countryman down, the referee had no choice but to award a penalty.

Ozil stepped up to take the all-important spot-kick and produced as lazy an effort as Boateng's tackle moments earlier. It was easily saved by Neuer to keep the scores level. There was no conviction the penalty whatsoever and it casts further doubts upon Ozil's character and dwindling form.

Pep Guardiola is normally a cool, calm and collected figure on the sidelines. However, with Arsenal inflicting their game upon the much vaunted visitors, the Spaniard paced the technical area roaring instructions to his team.

As the half wore on, Arsenal's impetus lessened and Munich ground their way into the game. The pace of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, was a constant threat. If it were not for the outstanding Neuer, rushing out from his goal to clear the ball, the versatile 20-year-old would have undoubtedly scored.

Bayern continued to wear Arsenal down and when Kieran Gibbs went off with a hamstring injury, it only seemed a matter of time before they created a clear cut chance.

That came in the 37th minute when Kroos' delightful chip put Arjen Robben clear through on goal. Szczesny rushed out and promptly took the Dutch star down to give away a penalty. There was little doubt about the referee's decision to award the penalty, he also issued a red card to the Arsenal shot-stopper into the bargain.

The decision was harsh, but the referee made the correct one as per the rules of the game.

Amazingly, David Alaba missed his penalty too. The Austrian's body-shape was completely wrong as he kicked the ball and it resulted in the poorly taken spot-kick.

Arsenal's fans breathed a huge sigh of relief in between the chorus of boos for the referee. A few minutes later the extraordinary first half came to a close. 

Munich made a number of tactical changes at halftime and they paid huge dividends. 

From being on top at the end of the first period, Bayern dominated the game in the second half to a huge extent. According to Opta, they bossed the game and had a whopping 88 percent possession during the second 45.

It was only a matter of time before they scored and when they did it was sublime.

Kroos curled in from the edge of the box after Jack Wilshere had failed to close him down quick enough after a neat pass from Philipp Lahm. The floodgates did not open, but Bayern kept coming and coming and coming.

There was to be no respite for the bedraggled Gunners in the second half and when Thomas Muller headed home after Per Mertesacker was pulled out of position, the game and most probably the tie was as good as over.

Arsenal played out the game and will be more than happy to have kept the scoreline down to just two. They were outplayed, out-thought and out-fought and Wenger will be very concerned with how Bayern dismantled his team.

Here, Bleacher Report offers six things we learned from Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich...

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