All of the belief that Arsenal would be able to beat Bayern Munich in Germany after beating them at Emirates Stadium last month evaporated the moment Robert Lewandowski stepped between Gabriel and Petr Cech.
It took one header from the Bundesliga scoring machine to reveal how overmatched the Arsenal defense was against the likes of Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Douglas Costa.
The eventual 5-1 loss at the Allianz Arena did more than cost Arsenal another three points in the Champions League, it put them on the brink of elimination in the group stage. Due to Olympiacos’ win over Dinamo Zagreb, Arsenal must win – not draw – each of its next two matches against the two clubs that have already beaten them in order to have a chance at advancing to the knockout round.
Should Olympiacos and Bayern Munich merely tie either of their next two CL fixtures, both will advance, knocking out Arsenal in the process.
Here are the Arsenal Player Ratings v Bayern Munich from their 5-1 loss in the Champions League:
GK Petr Cech – 6/10
Not even on his best day ever could Cech have defended against the Bayern Munich attack with the way the defense was playing. His eight saves were overshadowed by the five goals.
DF Mathieu Debuchy – 3/10
Provided no assistance to Cech and could barely get the ball away from the box.
DF Per Mertesacker – 4/10
Not as awful as his defensive teammates, but Mertesacker deserves no credit for his play today.
DF Gabriel – 3/10
Gabriel committed the cardinal sin of football: Let Lewandowski get behind him. And it cost the team dearly within minutes of the match starting.
DF Nacho Monreal – 5/10
Could not keep up with the high-octane Bayern Munich attack.