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Three observations from Bayern Munich Frauen’s woeful Champions League exit to Arsenal

Oliver Kahn “nooooo” gif here. Where does Alexander Straus go from here?

Arsenal v FC Bayern München: Quarter-Final 2nd Leg - UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Bayern Munich lose 2-0 in the second leg away at Arsenal FC to bow out of the UEFA Women’s Champions League at the quarter-finals stage. Across two legs, it’s 1-2 on aggregate in favor of the Gunners and the FC Bayern Frauen will have to carry on in their remaining competitions.

Bayern are run ragged

There were signs already from the first leg, when the Bavarians struggled to contain Arsenal in their own house, papered over by a perhaps lucky lack of an Arsenal equalizer. But this Bayern team came out looking spent. For a few minutes, maybe, Bayern held the upper hand at the very start of the match — but it quickly gave way to barrage after barrage of Gunners attacks.

Is this down to Alexander Straus and his lack of rotation? A hectic fixture list that included Wolfsburg between the two Champions League games? In any case, it was Arsenal that needed to bring more energy to chase the tie and only Arsenal that had any to speak of.

Serious defensive issues

After Caitlin Foord ran roughshod down Arsenal’s left flank in the first leg, surely Bayern had come up with a solution of some kind? Nope, as it turns out, that side of defense was open for anyone and everyone to slalom through. Like Katie McCabe did for the crucial goal from Stina Blackstenius:

The other flank wasn’t much better, and Bayern’s efforts to compensate mostly just left the center open. Bayern had no control of the midfield, either, which probably contributed to the shaky look at the back.

Whether it was open play or set pieces, Bayern left themselves to be cut open. It’s really a wonder Arsenal didn’t manage to pour it on, and some of that was surely down to luck.

Nobody to blame but themselves

If the referee was in any team’s pocket — a charge that almost always stems from sheer bitterness — it was Bayern’s. The home side earned an unjust yellow card early in the first half after Lina Magull clipped her foot between those of Lotte Wubben-Moy, and more than that, every free kick decision was going Bayern’s way.

No, if anything, the ref’s curious decisions gave Bayern a helping hand they didn’t take. A lifeless performance and even seven minutes of extra time wasn’t enough to find an equalizer.

What did you think about the match? Let us know in the comments below!

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