19 February 2013

Arsenal 0-2 Bayern: Halftime Report

Well, things got off to an ugly start with Bayern scoring on a beautiful volley in the 6th minute. Kroos hammered a cross from about 20 yards out, and it curled past Woj, who had little to do but flail at it. It was a quality strike, no doubt about it, and it put as on our heels. 

I did't like how much we were pressing up the field, even before the first goal. The defense in particular has been caught out. Someone has to take Vermaelen to the side, and to a lesser extent, Sagna, and ask them to stay home. Too often, we poured forward in too many numbers and got caught with only two or three defenders at midfield to joust for a 50-50 when Bayern cleared. What seemed to happen was that Walcott, to his credit, was running his head off, but in the process was outrunning his teammates. By the time they catch up, Walcott has lost the ball and it got cleared over our midfielders just as they'd catch up.

In the 20th minute, Bayern's second goal showed much less quality.  A corner went inside the six, which Woj parried only for Müller to beat his mark (Ramsey, from the looks of it strike that, it's Arteta) to volley home from about two yards off the line.

A number of players have been booked already--Vermaelen for a reckless change, and Arteta and Sagna for frustrated ones. Sagna is lucky to have not picked up a second yellow for a challenge in the 38th minute after clattering a Bayern defender because he (Sagna) didn't get a call when he went down in Bayern's 18.

The referee passed on what would have been a decent spot-kick just outside the 18, for what it's worth.

Not a whole lot else to say, here. Bayern look to be firmly in control. Not much positive can be said here, although I seriously disagree with the boos from the crowd that came at the whistle. We are playing the 2012 runners-up, after all, and they are currently playing some of the best football in Europe.

Let's hope the second half yields a rally similar to those we've mustered in the second halves of so many other games this year

COYG!