Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez helped Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Wednesday in the International Champions Cup at the Shanghai Stadium. That was after Alex Iwobi's 94th-minute header earned a 1-1 draw for the Gunners.
A strong Bayern side were ahead after just nine minutes when Robert Lewandowski fired home from the spot. Following that early goal, a string of saves from Petr Cech helped the Premier League side keep the score down.
Both teams made changes at the break and the tempo of the match slowed. Subsequently, big chances were at a premium in the second period. That was before Iwobi guided home a brilliant effort late on to see the Gunners level.
Iwobi's goal set up a penalty shootout, which was won 3-2 by the Gunners after Juan Bernat failed to convert his effort. Martinez, a late replacement for Cech, saved two of the Bayern kicks.
In the early stages of the match it was the German side who were on the front foot, with new signing James Rodriguez looking especially menacing around the penalty area with some neat interchanges.
Munich were ahead quickly as the raiding Bernat was felled in the penalty area by Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The match official pointed to the spot and Lewandowski converted with conviction.
After a dominant start for Carlo Ancelotti's team, John Cross of the Daily Mirror was worried for the Gunners, who lost 5-1 to the German side twice in last season's UEFA Champions League:
Although the German champions continued to threaten in the final third—Corentin Tolisso had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside—Arsenal responded well.
Mesut Ozil was at the hub of the team's best work, as he saw a volley stopped by veteran goalkeeper Tom Starke. Ozil then threaded a superb pass into the path of Alexandre Lacazette, although once again the Bayern stopper was up to the task, parrying the shot.
Still, Bayern were much the stronger side and in the minutes before the break should have extended their lead through Rodriguez and Thomas Muller, although they each saw shots stopped by Cech.
Even the Bayern Twitter account praised the efforts of the Arsenal goalkeeper before the interval:
Ozil and Lacazette were withdrawn at half-time for the Gunners, while Bayern injected some youth into the XI in the form of Kingsley Coman and Renato Sanches.
The same patterned continued, though, with Rodriguez again finding space to shoot at goal and Cech stopping the shot.
The early stages of the second half were frantic and even though this game was a friendly encounter, tensions were still running high, as noted by journalist Oli Price-Bates:
As the match wore on, the pace of the game slowed down, and Bayern's intent to net another goal lessened.
For the Gunners, the most likely source of inspiration for much of the second half appeared to be 17-year-old Reiss Nelson, who had plenty of energy and inventiveness on the flank. Football writer Ryan De Freitas was enjoying his performance:
Aside from the teenager, the Gunners offered little going forward, with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey struggling to make much of an impression as second-half substitutes.
One replacement left it late to make his mark on the match, though. That was Iwobi, as in the final minute of stoppage time he latched on to Ramsey's cross and headed a brilliant equaliser for the Gunners.
It was the last action of normal time and penalties followed. Martinez, on in the second half for Cech seized his chance, stopping David Alaba's effort and then, after Iwobi had put Arsenal 3-2 in front, foiling Bernat.