by Dan Gaichas
Some were waiting for a performance like this. Bayern Munich scored four times in the second half to take commanding 5-1 lead over Arsenal in their Round of 16 tie in the UEFA Champions League. The return leg at the Emirates Stadium is in three weeks’ time.
Arjen Robben scored his trademark screamer from outside the area after 11 minutes to put Bayern ahead. No chance for David Ospina on that one. However, Arsenal would get an away goal on the half hour. Robert Lewandoski was adjudged to have fouled Laurent Koscielny in the area and Alexis Sanchez would actually have his spot kick saved, but would score on a rebound to level matters.
Then came the second half. Eight minutes in, Philipp Lahm send a cross into the area and Lewandowski headed past a flat-footed Ospina to give Bayern the lead. Three minutes later, Lewandowski turned provider with a back-heel to give Thiago a point-blank shot and goal to make it 3-1. Thiago added a second in the 63rd minute after Arsenal failed to clear a corner and Thiago’s shot deflecting off Granit Xhaka and into the net.
Thomas Müller as a sub provided the exclamation point on the evening after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain carelessly gave away possession 20 yards from his own net to Joshua Kimmich.
“It was a deserved victory,” said Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti. “The balance was perfect, we were compact and quick. We also let them have very few chances, made use of the space and demonstrated our qualities up front. All in all I’m very pleased. But it was only the first part, the second awaits us in London. We’ll have to turn in a display like today’s.”
It’s back to the league on Saturday and a trip to the capital to face Hertha Berlin. Kickoff is at 8:30am CT on FS2.