Arsenal suffered another, predictable humbling at the hands of German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Arsene Wenger’s side initially looked in a strong position after Alexis Sanchez canceled out Arjen Robben’s opener, meaning the scores were all level by the half-time break.
But an inevitable collapse meant that Gunners fans were scratching their heads as Thiago (twice), Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski all netted without reply, resulting in a near-impossible scoreline for Arsenal to turn around in the second leg.
One man’s future who has been subject to speculation in recent months due to high wage demands and his side’s performances is the goalscorer himself. Sanchez looked visibly dejected on the pitch following the full-time whistle – as he often does when Arsenal suffer a bad result.
The Chilean could be described as Arsenal’s lone bright spark in the defeat. The attacker attempted to show as much initiative as possible but was let down by his fellow attackers as they chased the lead, with the wingers in particular being guilty of failing to provide adequate service for Sanchez – causing Wenger to substitute Iwobi early in the second half in search of new urgency.
Sanchez himself wasn’t able to create many attacking moves from his lone striker position. Out of his mere 20 successful passes, around a quarter were forward moving, with a majority being sideways and backward. Indeed, Sanchez made most of his passes to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who played the match as a CDM. The Munich midfield simply suffocated Arsenal to such an extent that they were unable to create any meaningful chances.
The goal itself showed Sanchez’s individual talent and composure. Despite missing the penalty and hitting the crossbar, he reacted quickly to volley in an arguably much more difficult chance from inside the box. Against four opposition players surrounding him, he came out on top, but alas that was one of few Sanchez highlights that match.
The 28-year-old completed half of his take-ons (2/4), failed to deliver any crosses into the box and created two chances. Despite being average figures among the rest of the side, Sanchez underperformed considering the enormity of the opposition. Of course, this was largely not his fault, but the fault of the team overall.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ronnie Macdonald.