Bayern Munich ruthlessly destroyed visiting Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie, with three of the devastating goals scored in a spell of 11 minutes early in the second half.
It was a repeat victory. Bayern had beaten Arsenal, by the same margin last season. The London club now face a seventh successive round of 16 exit.
The visitors conceded five goals in front of 70,000 spectators at Allianz Arena, with Arsenal only able to respond once. Four of Bayern’s goals were scored in the second half.
The Gunners had raised the hope of their fans when Alexis Sanchez erased Arjen Robben’s 18th minute goal, 12 minutes after. And play had ended 1-1 in the first half.
Bayern appeared to have decoded Arsenal’s DNA in the second half when they went on a goal rampage, dismantling Arsenal’s first half resistance.
Robert Lewandowski, the Polish who had been Arsenal’s nightmare, even while playing for Dortmund, scored for Bayern in the 53rd minute, to shoot them ahead 2-1 and opened a floodgate of three more goals.
Thiago Alcantara scored three minutes after. And in the 63rd minute, seven minutes after his first goal, he found Arsenal net again, increasing the scoreline to 4-1. Thomas Mueller increased Arsenal misery in the 88th minute after he scored the Germans’ fifth goal of the night.
In the stats, Bayern were clearly superior to Arsenal, having 12 shots on target to Arsenal’s five and dominating possession 70-30 per cent and mounting persistent pressures that made Arsenal concede nine corner kicks, while Arsenal only got two.
In Spain, Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Italian club SSC Napoli 3-1.
Napoli’s eight minute goal by Lorenzo Insigne shocked the 80,000 spectators at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. But Madrid overcame the scare 11 minutes after with a goal by Karim Benzema.
In the second half, Toni Kroos and Casemiro scored for Madrid again and made the first leg end in the club’s favour.