Nketiah, Iwobi, show Bayern the difference

July 19, 2017

In the 92nd minute Iwobi scored an uncharacteristic diving header to send the game to penalties, which Arsenal won 3-2

Arsene Wenger got the defensive test he was seeking against Bayern Munich – the only problem was Arsenal had very few genuine defenders on the pitch to benefit.

Per Mertesacker pulled out before kick-off feeling ill, Laurent Koscielny did not feature and Sead Kolasinac was forced off before half-time.

Olivier Giroud was also unwell and stayed in the hotel, all of which raised the usual questions about the sense in combining pre-season training schedules with the sweltering tropical heat of venues such as Shanghai.

Bayern looked to have the victory comfortably sewn up until the second minute of added time when Alex Iwobi scored

The match went to penalties, where three Bayern players, including Renato Sanches, missed their spot kicks

MATCH FACTS :

Arsenal (3-4-3): Cech 7.5 (Martinez 72); Bielik 6 (Bramall 46, 6), Elneny 7, Monreal 7; Maitland-Niles 5, Coquelin 6 (Iwobi 46, 6), Xhaka 6.5 (Ramsey 62), Kolasinac 7 (Nelson 43, 6); Ozil 6.5 (Willock 46, 6), Lacazette 5.5 (Walcott 46), Welbeck 6.5 (Nketiah 72)

Goal: Iwobi 90+2 

Bookings: Coquelin, Elneny

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Starke 7; Rafinha 6, Hummels 6, Alaba 6.5, Bernat 7; Tolisso 7, Martinez 6.5 (Sanches 46, 6); Muller 6.5 (Coman 46, 6), James 5.5 (Pantovic 65), Ribery 8; Lewandowski 7 (Wintzheimer 65)

Goal: Lewnadowski pen 9 

Bookings: Martinez,

Att: 39,208

Assistant manager Steve Bould was another conspicuous by his absence on the bench, which was a shame because he might have been useful at centre-half.

Arsenal finished the game with a back-five of Reiss Nelson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny, Nacho Monreal and Cohen Bramall and, all things considered, they responded very well.

They went behind to a Robert Lewandowski penalty, early in the game, but Alex Iwobi summoned an equaliser with the very last kick of the game, heading in from an Aaron Ramsey cross.

Arsenal went on to win 3-2 on penalties with back-up goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez saving two spot-kicks. It was a remarkable outcome considering what had gone before.

Bayern picked a strong side and started with purpose, looking closer to a team ready to start the season. They seemed to cope better with the stifling heat, helped by the fact they had the ball for most of the game but paid the price for squandering chances.

The only goal for Carlo Ancelotti’s side was Lewandowski’s penalty, confidently converted after a clumsy challenge by Maitland-Niles on Juan Bernat in the ninth minute.

It was a soft decision by the Chinese referee, Bernat went down with barely a trace of contact and the decision would have been heavily disputed were it not just part of a glorified training exercise.

Lewandowski sent Petr Cech the wrong way after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had fouled Juan Bernat in the penalty area

Lewandowski gave the Bundesliga champions the perfect start after just nine minutes in China during the pre-season game

The penalty was conceded when young Englishman Maitland-Niles tripped Bernat, making a run out from the Bayern defence

Victory in the shoot-out earns Arsenal a small modicum of redemption from their two Champions League hammerings

Franck Ribery terrorised poor Maitland-Niles, who started a right wing-back and must have been relieved to be spared further exposure by a half-time reshuffle.

When he was moved into the central three Nelson, who initially replaced left wing-back Kolasinac, switched to the right and Bramall came on to play on the left.

Ribery, devastated by injuries in recent years, looked as if he might be close to being back to his best. He tore down the flank to great effect and only Bayern’s wayward finishing and a series of decent saves by Petr Cech kept the score down in the first-half.

Saed Kolasinac competes with Rafinha, before the Arsenal wing back had to be subbed off with illness before half time

Bayern winger Franck Ribery plays a ball past Arsenal defender Krystian Bielik as the Germans dominated the first half

Ribery was sent spawling early the second half when Maitland-Niles caught him with a crunching but fair challenge

PENALTIES : Bayern Munich

Alaba saved

Hummels scored

Coman scored

Sanches missed

Bernat saved

Arsenal

Ramsey scored

Elneny saved

Monreal scored

Iwobi scored

Corentin Tolisso scored a goal which was created by a Thomas Muller header and ruled out for offside. Granit Xhaka denied James Rodriguez a simple tap-in when he chased back to clear a low cross from Ribery.

Despite their defensive instabilities, Arsenal broke well and created some good chances. Mesut Ozil volleyed one straight at the goalkeeper Tom Starke when he ought to have buried a fine cross from Danny Welbeck, who operated on the left in the first-half.

Then Ozil and Alex Lacazette offered a glimpse of what could be when the playmaker split the Bayern defence with a pass and the £52million striker burst clear.

Lacazette did not find a finish to match, however, and Starke made another strong save.

Arsenal improved after the break and came into the game as Bayern faded but their prospects of equalising were largely confined to the occasional breaks out of defence.

Just as the equaliser seemed to have eluded them, Iwobi burst forward and scored a fabulous diving header.The Chinese crowd were delighted to find out it would be decided by penalty shoot-out.

Bayern beat Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate in the Champions League last season and looked to continue their dominance here

The game proved popular with the locals, with a number of Chinese Arsenal fans coming out to see their heroes in action

There were plenty of Bayern fans from China in the crowd too, and they were treated to spot kicks after an even 90 minutes

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - wearing club branded red trainers - was joined on the bench by new coach Jens Lehmann

Muller started the game for Bayern, despite recent speculation he was to leave Munich following the arrival of James

Guners record signing Alexandre Lacazette struggled to make an impact and was subbed off at half time for Theo Walcott

Mesut Ozil was another to be taken off at the interval, to keep him fresh for Arsenal's next friendly against rivals Chelsea

SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk


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