|Interesting: Arsenal know that they will have to be on the top of their game to win.|
Hello everyone, and welcome to my latest LIVE Commentary coming from this season's UEFA Champions League.
Today is the first leg of the crunch match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich at The Emirates.
Bayern are unbeaten in 2013, and have not conceded a goal in over 400 minutes of play.
Arsenal on the other hand were knocked out by Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon in the FA Cup and this competition is the last chance for The Gunners to win some silverware or else their trophy drought will continue.
20 minutes played at The Emirates, and Bayern Munich are leading by 1 goal to nil thanks to a wonder strike from 20 yards out thanks to German young midfielder Toni Kroos.
Midfielder Thomas Muller has doubled Bayern's lead now! He was failed to be marked at the corner and Szczesny's first parry away was converted into the net by Van Buyten.
35: Arsenal are struggling to break down this tough Bayern defence, just have to pass the ball around to stem the flow of the match, and stop the German domination.
36: Something for the home fans to shout about, with Thomas Muller being brandished a yellow card after a deliberate handball near the halfway line despite his protests that it was accidental.
Tense first-half for the hosts.
44: Bayern probing for the finishing goal with a lovely cross into the box by right-back Phillip Lahm to striker Mario Mandzukic... he heads the ball towards goal.... JUST WIDE!!
Arsenal are let off there, and the defenders are not sticking tight to the Croatian...
45: The fourth official signals for 2 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the first-half.
45+1: Bayern are comfortable in possession now, passing the ball around the pitch with ease.
45+1: Good interception by Mikel Arteta, when it was needed.
45+2: Wilshere does some rare defensive work to kill the threat of Ribery and Kroos before clearing the ball out. The referee blows his whistle, and the first-half is over.
20:38: Arsenal need to step up in the second half, and test Manuel Neuer. Their defence needs to be sharpened also after two poor goals that they conceded in the first-half.
If they are not careful, this could be a rout so Walcott, Cazorla and Wilshere ALL need to GET on the ball, play well and score soon or else they will have no chance for the return leg in Munich.
20:40: Bayern are comfortable at half-time, dominating the possession and passing without going past gear 3 at times.
They will need to keep the pressure on the hosts to make sure that they do not get back into the match and Lahm should continue delivering crosses into the box because one time or another they will score.
One thing is for sure - Arsenal are not down and out of this tie yet.
FC Porto 0 Malaga 0 - HT
20:42: Second half to come NEXT.
20:48: The Arsenal players are already out of the dressing room, and are ready for the second half.
The referee blows his whistle, and the second half from The Emirates has BEGUN.
45: Bayern starting the second half with purpose, as Manzukic has a run down the wing trying to deliver a ball into the box, but defender Laurent Koscielny covers him and makes a sliding tackle. The ball goes out for a corner.
46: The corner is cleared away, and Arsenal get the ball away to safety.
50: Podolski is applauded by the home fans after showing his physical side with a great sliding tackle to win possession for the hosts.
55: GOAL! Controversy leading up to the goal, but Arsenal will not mind one bit! Former Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski scores a scrappy header after Bayern fail to clear the corner, but the corner should not have even been given by the referee as Cazorla's shot deflected off Podolski before going behind the goal.
Either way, (like I said) Arsenal are suddenly back in the tie despite the controversy surrounding the goal.
57: GOAL UPDATE:
FC Porto 1 Malaga 0
Midfielder Joao Moutinho has broken the deadlock for the hosts after 57 minutes of play in Portugal. Porto lead the Spanish side 1-0.
62: Bayern Munich SUB:
Franck Ribery OFF
Arjen Robben ON
Fresh legs for the visitors, with former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben desperate to prove a point back in England again. He has not been starting regularly for Bayern over the past few weeks and a good 30 minute performance would impress his manager... Ribery has struggled to get into the match today, and is replaced as a result.
67: Bayern have a free-kick in a dangerous position now, thanks to Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey tangling with Thomas Muller near the 18-yard box.
He receives a yellow card, which is Arsenal's 5th of the night...
Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger steps up to take the free-kick.... it swerves over the wall.. OVER THE BAR!!
68: Cameras show Tomas Rosicky and Olivier Giroud both warming up to come on.
69: Arsenal pressing the Bayern defence now, with both Wilshere and Podolski trying to weave some magic.... still 2-1 though with just over 20 minutes plus stoppages to play.
70: Here are the subs:
Lukas Podolski OFF
Aaron Ramsey OFF
Tomas Rosicky ON
Olivier Giroud ON
Wise move by Arsene Wenger, because both Podolski and Ramsey have yellow cards.
73: CHANCE! Theo Walcott uses his sprint speed to get down the wing with pace and purpose before whipping a cross into the box for Giroud who hits the ball powerfully towards goal, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer parries it out.
74: Bayern Munich SUB:
Toni Kroos OFF
Luiz Gustavo ON
78: GOAL! Bayern have killed off this tie! Whether the goal is lucky or not, the visitors will take it nonetheless.
Robben plays a nice overlap play with Lahm, who crosses the ball low across the box. Croatian striker Mandzukic connects with the ball despite pressure from right-back Sagna, and deflects the looping ball over Szczesny's head into the back of the net.
It looked as though it was going over the bar, but creeped underneath at the last second... 3-1 to Bayern.
82: Bayern Munich SUB:
Mario Mandzukic OFF
Mario Gomez ON
Fresh legs for Bayern, less than 10 to go.
90: The fourth official has signalled for 3 minutes of stoppage time to be added on at the end of the second half at The Emirates. The hosts realise that they are not going to win this match now...
90+3: The referee has blown his whistle to end the match at The Emirates.
Bayern have a comfortable 3-1 lead over Arsenal, even though their goals were questionable and should not have gone in for a club like Arsenal.
Then again, Bayern showed their quality tonight without going into 4th gear and have a great chance of progressing into the Last 8.
Arsenal meanwhile played much better in the first half, and were unlucky to concede the 3rd goal.
Thank you for reading my blog tonight. I appreciate your support from daily views and my followers and I will be back tomorrow with another edition of "My Thoughts" which features Ronaldo and Messi.
(MORE TO FOLLOW - AS THE NIGHT CONTINUES)