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Four Things We Learned: Arsenal 1-5 Bayern Munich

The scoreline is the only thing that hasn’t changed in the two games against Bayern Munich, as Arsenal got once again smashed 5-1. 

Yet, you will find almost zero criticism in this article, as I feel that Arsenal didn’t deserve what they got, having been far superior until Koscielny’s hugely controversial red card, so let’s take a look at what we can take from the Gunner’s Champions League exit:

1) 4-3-3 is the way to go

As Coquelin was dropped, it was time for Arsenal to try a 4-3-3 with both Özil and Iwobi unable to start, Granit Xhaka started in a midfield three along with Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain, and it worked very well. Their positioning was spot on, as well as their movement and Ramsey’s runs were always covered, Arsenal should keep this shape for the coming week. This is the system that gives them more balance.

2) It was not all Arsenal nor Bayern

Everything was going well for Arsenal, then everything to turned to a shambles. Arsenal were denied a possible penalty and then to make matter worse, the referee gave a very controversial penalty to Bayern, booking Koscielny before sending him off. It was the real turning point of the game, after that, every decision went in favour of Bayern and Arsenal switched off, after what was a tough task became totally impossible.

3) Theo Walcott rises to the occasion

He disappeared with the rest of the team, but his first 50 minutes were key in Arsenal’s performance as he was by far their most dangerous asset. He scored a very good goal to launch the Gunners and tracked back to provide cover and totally shut Ribéry down. He proved that he’s one of Arsenal’s best big game players, and probably booked a place in the starting eleven for the coming games.

4) Oxlade-Chamberlain IS a midfielder

If there is one thing to keep about Arsenal in 2017, it clearly is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. This season was his last chance to prove his worth at Arsenal, and he’s now fully repaying the faith Arsène Wenger has put into him for so long. He was perhaps the only player to not completely disappear after the red card, he created, worked hard defensively, made the right choices and the right passes. Such a performance on the big stage should settle his transformation into a box-to-box midfielder.

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Victor Thompson
Victor Thompson
3 years ago

Good article and very accurate.

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