Arsenal 2-0 Bayern: Gunners take crucial victory

Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud, front, celebrates his opening goal with Alexis Sanchez. Picture: AP
Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud, front, celebrates his opening goal with Alexis Sanchez. Picture: AP
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  • Arsenal scorers: Giroud 77, Özil 90
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OLIVIER Giroud came off the bench to help give Arsenal a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich and keep alive their Champions League hopes.

The Germans had arrived at the Emirates Stadium in imperious form following a new Bundesliga record of nine consecutive victories and leaders of Group F with maximum points from two European ties.

However, Arsenal – who had lost their first two matches to sit bottom of the table – produced a resolute display and took the lead on 77 minutes when Giroud headed in after a mistake by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had earlier produced a brilliant save to deny Theo Walcott.

Mesut Özil scored a second in stoppage time to seal the win, his close-range effort given by the fifth official after Neuer had clawed the ball back from over the goalline.

The Gunners, though, still have it all to do to qualify for the knockout stages, and next travel to Munich in November.

Bayern supporters held a protest at ticket prices for the opening five minutes – the slogans declaring “without fans football is not worth a penny” – and were applauded from the home ends when they took their seats.

Arsenal made a bright start as Özil shot from the edge of the Bayern area but Neuer got down at full stretch to save. The hosts were then carved open on 11 minutes but Thiago’s snap-shot was beaten away by Petr Cech.

Arsenal had a great chance to take the lead on 33 minutes. Nacho Monreal whipped a ball in which Walcott sent goalwards with a bullet header from six yards. Neuer threw out a strong hand to somehow claw it off the line.

After Cech saved superbly from Robert Lewandowski, Arsenal snatched the lead with 13 minutes left.

A deep free-kick by Santi Cazorla caused panic in the Bayern box, where Neuer was caught in no-man’s land, flapping at the loose ball and Giroud was perfectly placed to bundle a stooped header into the net.

Arsenal made it 2-0 deep into stoppage time. Hector Bellerin’s low cross was side-footed goalwards by Özil. Although Neuer pushed the ball out and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scuffed the rebound over, the additional assistant correctly ruled Özil’s shot had crossed the line.

ARSENAL: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey (Oxlade-Chamberlain 57), Özil, Sanchez (Gibbs 82), Walcott (Giroud 74). Subs Not Used: Macey, Debuchy, Arteta, Chambers.

BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer, Lahm, Alaba, Boateng, Bernat, Vidal (Rafinha 71), Alonso (Kimmich 71), Müller, Thiago, Douglas Costa,Lewandowski. Subs Not Used: Ulreich, Javi Martinez, Kirchhoff, Gaudino, Coman.