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Bayern were good, but Arsenal's defense was far better: Match Awards and Ratings

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Bayern Munich were good. Arsenal's defense was better.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Tip Of The Cap: Manuel Neuer

One astounding save: several great saves: one almost-save just inches over the line: and one atrocious blunder. Manuel Neuer had a match of the highest highs and the lowest lows tonight, but he still performed well for the vast majority of the match.

Golf Clap: Douglas Costa

Up against a resolute and impressive Arsenal defense, Douglas Costa was Bayern Munich's best weapon. Cutting in from wide and playing both sides, the Brazilian was Bayern's main avenue for attacking the Arsenal box with Lewandowski and Müller both the focus of earnest double teams from the Arsenal defense.. On a day with some better runs, better reads, and a few more mistakes from Arsenal, Costa could have had a goal and a couple assists.

Standing Ovation: Thiago Alcantara

Again, Bayern Munich's main creative foci was Thiago Alcantara. Splaying balls all around the field, linking play between the lines and the wings, and with great poise on the ball under pressure, Thiago was Bayern's best player for the first 60+ minutes. But even Thiago struggled with Arsene Wenger's adjustments in the second half, as they denied him time and space to shut down the Bayern Munich attack.

Meister of the Match: Per Mertesacker

Per Mertesacker was a wall for Arsenal. Dominant in the air, dominant against Robert Lewandowski, and resolute in his ability to keep himself between Douglas Costa's incisive runs and Cech's near post, the German international single handedly ended most Bayern Munich attacks from the left. Nothing Mertesacker did was particularly flashy or highlight reel worthy, it was just hands down dominating defense.