Report: Arsenal 1-1 Bayern Munich (inc. dive & goal & pens)


Arsenal’s pre-season continued today with penalty shoot out win over Bayern Munich in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Shanghai, after the 90 minutes finished 1-1.

The Gunners fielded a pretty strong starting XI of: Cech, Bielik, Elneny, Monreal, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ozil, Welbeck, Lacazette.

Per Mertesacker was originally in the starting line-up but dropped out before kick-off because of illness. Perhaps it had something to do with the conditions.

Bayern took the lead from the penalty spot in the 9th minute after Juan Bernat dived over a Maitland-Niles challenge in the area. Robert Lewandowski powered home the spot kick to make it 1-0.

Mesut Ozil nearly equalised straight away but after a fine pass from Welbeck his volley hit the keeper, and Bayern thought they’d doubled the lead but had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside.

Alexandre Lacazette was denied an equaliser just after the half hour mark, forcing a good save from not Manuel Neuer after being sent through on goal by Ozil.

Petr Cech made a good save after a Thomas Mueller shot was deflected on the way towards goal, and had to be alert from another deflected effort after Ribery tied Maitland-Niles in knots.

The Czech keeper kept the scoreline respectable with another great save before half-time, before a half-time change was made with Kolasinac going off because of illness to be replaced by Reiss Nelson.

Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott, Joe Willock and Cohen Bramall came on at half-time for Ozil, Coquelin, Bielik and Lacazette, but again it was the Germans who looked most like scoring, once more Cech was there to deny Rodriguez at his near post.

The heat meant it was a game played at a fairly low pace, and Bayern were on top for the most part. Maitland-Niles provided a fine moment when he absolutely creamed Ribery out of it, and the local referee showed he was au fait with the workings of his European colleagues by booking Elneny after the Egyptian was fouled by Tolisso.

Aaron Ramsey came on to replace Granit Xhaka, while Iwobi showed some nice touches as the Gunners sought an equaliser. Emi Martinez replaced Cech with about 20 minutes to go, and Eddie Nketiah was given a run out in place of Danny Welbeck.

Not much else happened, until right at the death Arsenal got forward well through Iwobi, and Aaron Ramsey crossed for the Nigerian who planted a firm header on the run into the bottom corner. 1-1.

That meant a penalty shoot-out with Arsenal running out winners thanks to strikes from Ramsey, Monreal and Iwobi, and two saves from Martinez – one from Bernat particularly pleasing after his first half dive.

In the end though, there’s little to be read into a pre-season friendly, and hopefully the players won’t have been too drained by the conditions in Shanghai today.

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