FOR the first 20 minutes Arsenal looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights. Not knowing which way to turn.
We are used to seeing the Gunners dominate possession. But this was different and, for a time, Arsenal didn’t know how to cope with being out-passed. Out-played.
It was no surprise when Bayern took the lead – and what a goal it was.
Arjen Robben is such a slippery player who escapes and baffles opponents in an instant. His finish was as good as it gets.
Chelsea fans saw it at first hand for a time, and Robben’s left foot strike – after cutting in from the right – would have beaten any keeper in the world.
Certainly no blame attached to David Ospina, again preferred to Petr Cech on the European stage, and Bayern were worthy leaders at that stage.
Arsenal had hardly had a kick and didn’t create a chance of note until they were awarded a penalty which turned this tie on its head.
No doubt at all that Laurent Koscielny was fouled by Mats Hummels. No doubt who would take the penalty. Step up to the plate Alexis Sanchez.
But when you are facing the best keeper on the planet in Manuel Neuer nothing is guaranteed. Apart from him saving the spot kick.
What happened afterwards was unbelievable. Sanchez followed the rebound and despite being surrounded by three Bayern defenders still managed to find the net.
His first touch sublime; his second exquisite. Even the great Neuer could do nothing about it. Half time and Arsenal were level; they would have settled for that.
Especially with the bonus of an away goal, which could be big in the overall outcome.