Champions League, Football

Arsenal vs Bayern Munich: Kane and Saka on scoresheet as Gunners denied late penalty

A thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium saw Arsenal and Bayern Munich trade blows, leaving their Champions League quarterfinal in a precarious position ahead of next week’s second leg.

Mikel Arteta’s team took the lead early thanks to a beautiful curling strike from Bukayo Saka, but Bayern quickly equalised through former Gunner Serge Gnabry, taking advantage of some shoddy defending.

After Leroy Sane was brought down by William Saliba, former Tottenham striker Harry Kane—along with Eric Dier—scooted back to north London and calmly converted a penalty kick for his 15th goal in 20 games against Arsenal.

However, the hosts equalised in the second half when Leandro Trossard swept home a clinical finish.

Although Arsenal held the majority of the ball, the six-time winners Kingsley Coman struck the crossbar with a close-range effort for Bayern in the ninetieth minute, and Saka’s penalty shout was controversially denied in stoppage time when he made contact with keeper Manuel Neuer. Bayern remained a threat on the break.

The tie is still in the balance when Bayern, devoid of supporters at the Emirates Stadium because of a UEFA suspension, hosts Arsenal at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday of the following week for the second leg.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “We started the game very well. We were dominant and played in their half. We dominated the momentum, then it’s a critical moment when Ben White is in front of Manuel Neuer and we have to make it 2-0.

“That makes it a different moment. We cannot give anything to the opponent in Champions League, we did that twice and they are going to punish us.

“That’s the biggest lesson. The margins are very small in this competition, it’s difficult to penetrate quality opponents against this level of opposition.

“The team showed a lot of composure at 2-1. You can throw your toys away, leave a lot of spaces and lose the tie. The substitutes made a lot of impact, the initiative they showed to help the team made a big difference.

“In a certain way, we are alive and have done what we had to do when the game became very difficult for us, but also we know we have to step up certain aspects to be much better and have a chance to progress.”

On the decision not to award Saka a penalty, he added: “I haven’t seen it. The decision is made. We cannot change that. We could have done much better tonight.”

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel was left incensed by a separate penalty issue in the 67th minute, when David Raya played the ball across his six-yard box at a goal-kick before Gabriel Magalhaes, who had not realised the ball was in play, picked it up and re-spotted it before then taking a goal-kick himself.

The referee allowed play to continue and, according to Tuchel, told Bayern’s players he was not prepared to give the decision in a game of such magnitude – something which only infuriated the visiting manager further.

He said: “I think there was a huge mistake in not giving the handball penalty. It’s a crazy situation, but they put the ball down, he whistles, [Raya] gives the ball free and the defender takes it in his hand.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a kid’s mistake, and he will not give a penalty like this in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It is a horrible, horrible explanation. It means he is judging handballs. Whether it’s a kid’s mistake or an adult’s mistake, we feel angry because it’s a huge decision against us.

“But it’s 2-2, totally even, we have the second leg to play and we hope we can create the same atmosphere, play with the same intensity and passion like today to create the same atmosphere in our stadium and push things in our direction.”

On Sunday, Arsenal takes on Aston Villa live. On April 17, they depart for Germany to play the second leg of their quarterfinal match.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich host Cologne at home in the Bundesliga.

Other posts by