All Goon wrong in Munich
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal never got going in Munich as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat to Bayern.Arsenal's chances of progression in the UEFA Champions League look as slim as their chance of retaining the Premiership title after a 3-1 defeat at Bayern Munich.
The brittle nature of Arsene Wenger's squad was exposed as an Arsenal defence shorn of Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole crumbled under Bayern pressure in the second half.
An aberration from Kolo Toure in the opening period allowed Claudio Pizarro to hand Munich the lead and after the interval, the same man struck again before Hasan Salihamidzic was left unmarked to compound Wenger's misery.
With just minutes left on the clock and Arsenal's chances of European glory looking redundant, Toure partially redeemed a dreadful night with a consolation.
From the onset, the temperature in the Bavarian capital was two below zero but the reception for Jens Lehmann was still considerably cooler.
Within four minutes and the pretender for Oliver Kahn's position in the German national side was left cursing the ineptitude of those in front of him.
A bout of flu had rendered Cole fit only for a place on the bench prior to kick-off and, already minus the considerable services of Campbell, Arsenal looked nervous from the onset.
Kahn's long punt looked aerial fodder for Toure but his miscued header allowed Pizarro a free shot and from 12 yards, the Peruvian dispatched with relish.
Wenger surprisingly elected to employ Jose Antonio Reyes on the left flank and Freddie Ljungberg off Thierry Henry but this only seemed to leave Arsenal light in midfield.
Chances were at a premium as Patrick Vieira and Edu struggled to boss possession - with a Henry ball lashed across goal the sum total of Arsenal's attacking forays in the first period.
Munich's own forward play also lacked much in terms of cohesion or invention but such was the vulnerability of Arsenal's back four - there were occasional moments of consternation.
On the half hour mark a reoccurrence of a long-term injury ended Edu's evening and Wenger was forced to reshuffle again by introducing Mathieu Flamini from the bench.
With Henry struggling to spark, Arsenal's sole chance came from a defender as Gael Clichy's strike threatened to beat Kahn courtesy of a deflection off Robert Kovac.
Arsenal started the second period with a rejuvenated sense of urgency and had Reyes showed greater composure when free down the left, a leveller could have been in the offing.
On 50 minutes, Ljungberg managed Arsenal's first effort on target with a tepid strike on the turn but it was Lehmann who was still the busiest keeper.
A concise break allowed Ze Roberto space to cross deep from the left and when the previously peripheral Roy Makaay connected on the volley, Lehmann needed strong hands to palm over.
From the resulting corner, Salihamidzic was left free but could only head in to the side netting. Arsenal would not heed the warning.
Bayern's next attacking free kick was delivered with pace from Mehmet Scholl and with Pizzaro left unmarked, his header glanced in off Toure, to the delight of the majority in the Olympia Stadium.
With Arsenal struggling for both possession and resolve, Pizarro's clever pass found Torsten Frings down the left and when Lehmann failed to deal with his delivery, Salihamidzic was left unattended to rifle home.
Lauren was fortunate to stay on the field after a ludicrous two-footed lunge on Bixente Lizarazu, before Toure struck to ease what would have been a wholly miserable flight home.
After Vieira was left unattended from a left wing free kick, his effort struck the frame of the goal and after some weak defending from Willy Sagnol, Toure stabbed home from close range.
Wenger will look at his own performance after implementing a system his players never looked at ease with, but for all those in red and white it was a miserable night best forgotten.
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