Bayern brutally batter Arsenal – Champions League
Last 16 First Leg
Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal
Bayern Munich crushed Arsenal 5-1 in their Champions League round of 16 first leg on Wednesday, scoring three goals in a dazzling 10-minute spell in the second half to extend their record to 16 consecutive home wins in the competition.
Thiago Alcantara struck twice and Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and substitute Thomas Muller were also on target as the Bavarians, struggling for form recently, inflicted Arsenal’s first defeat of the season in Europe’s premier club competition.
Alexis Sanchez had equalised for the visitors, scoring on the rebound after Manuel Neuer saved his 30th-minute penalty.
The sides meet for the second leg in London on 7 March.
Bayern, who knocked out Arsenal at this stage of the competition in 2005, 2013 and 2014, got off to a perfect start.
Robben was left with far too much space and the Dutchman did not hesitate, advancing with his trademark move down the right before curling an unstoppable left-foot shot into the top corner of David Ospina’s goal.
Arsenal were briefly rattled by the early goal but almost levelled when Neuer spilled Mesut Ozil’s free kick.
They did better three minutes later when they were awarded a penalty for a handball by Lewandowski.
Neuer saved Sanchez’ spot-kick but the Chilean sneaked in among three Bayern players to lash the ball home from close range.
The game looked to have lost its pace early in the second half before Bayern suddenly stepped on the gas to fire three goals past the English side.
Philipp Lahm floated a perfect cross into the box and Lewandowski rose high above defender Shkodran Mustafi to drill in a header in the 53rd minute.
The English team have lost in the last 16 in each of last six seasons and Bayern missed several chances before Muller struck two minutes from time as the German champions took a huge step towards a sixth successive quarter-final appearance.
Elsewhere tonight Real Madrid came from behind to defeat Napoli 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Lorenzo Insigne had given the visitors the lead with a sublime effort after just eight minutes. The winger spotted Keylor Navas off his line and curled the ball into the bottom corner. Real Madrid replied ten minutes later. Dani Carvajal whipped a cross into the square and Karim Benzema headed Madrid level.
Toni Kross curled home Madrid’s second from outside the area in the 49th minute but the goal of the night came in the 54th minute when the ball popped up fortuitously for Casemiro who rocketed it into the back of the net.
Napoli take an away goal back to the Stadio San Paolo but they have a mountain to climb and will rue some of their second half misses.