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Wednesday 12 March 2014

Champions League: Arsenal exit after Bayern draw

Lukas Podolski's goal not enough for the Gunners as Bayern Munich win 3-1 on aggregate

  • Lukas Podolski fired home from an acute angle in the second half

  • Lukasz Fabianski saved Thomas Muller's penalty

Bayern Munich 1-1 Arsenal (Bayern Munich win 3-1 on aggregate)

Arsenal exited the UEFA Champions League at the last-16 stage for the fourth season running as they were unable to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg against Bayern Munich.

After a goalless first half the home side went ahead through Bastian Schweinsteiger before Lukas Podolski equalised for Arsenal but Arsene Wenger's side could not narrow the deficit further and only prevented a defeat thanks to Lukasz Fabianski's penalty save late on.

Wenger was left to rue an inability to create more chances, a situation that was not helped by the half-time exit of Mesut Ozil through injury.

  Arsenal's next five Barclays Premier League matches
16 March v Spurs (A)
22 Mar v Chelsea (A)
25 Mar v Swansea City (H)
29 March v Man City (H)
6 April v Everton (A)

"We had to defend a lot in the first-half but we knew that being in the game at half-time [at 0-0], gave us a good chance to win the game," Wenger said. "In the second half the opportunities were there for us.

"The frustration I had is that in the last 20 minutes Bayern were very vulnerable defensively but we didn't take advantage. We always missed the first pass and we never got them really under pressure. At 1-1, you could see they suddenly became nervous but because we could not get to 2-1, you could not see how they would have responded."

Arsenal will now focus on the challenge for the Barclays Premier League title with a north London derby away to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Ozil will be absent from this match and possibly for several weeks, according to Wenger. A scan today will determine how bad his hamstring injury is but Ozil could miss also matches against title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City.

On Wednesday night,  Manchester City will be looking to do what Arsenal could not by overturning a two-goal deficit away to Barcelona. City captin Vincent Kompany says the team will evoke spirit of the 2012 Barclays Premier League triumph when the side came from behind to win with two goals in stoppage time against Queens Park Rangers to lift the trophy.

"Nothing is better than chasing a lost cause," Kompany said. "We will try to make the best out of it, but the motivation and the belief is there.

"Football is made of nights like this. Emotionally, it is a tough ask, but you won't beat how we defeated QPR and if anything gives you belief on chasing lost causes it should be that. Our team is stronger now than it was then and we are here to try to have one of those great nights."

UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg results

Tuesday 11 March
Atletico Madrid 4-1 AC Milan (Atletico win 5-1 on aggregate)
Bayern Munich 1-1 Arsenal (Bayern Munich win 3-1 on aggregate)

UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg fixtures

Wednesday 12 March
Barcelona v Manchester City (Barcelona lead 2-0 on aggregate)
Paris St Germain v Bayer Leverkusen (PSG lead 4-0 on aggregate)

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Key Points

  • Arsenal exit UEFA Champions League after drawing 1-1 at Bayern Munich, losing 3-1 on aggregate
  • Lukas Podolski scores for the Gunners while Lukasz Fabianski saves a penalty
  • Manchester City will look to overturn a 2-0 deficit in Barcelona on Wednesday night