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1) While it wasn't the fairytale ending that Arsenal fans dreamed of, can you take heart from the performance?

@BenLeeder - Certainly - no shame in that performance tonight. Lots of great performances across the board, but unfortunately we lacked a final ball and a cutting edge which cost us that magic ticket to the next round.

@Blackburngeorge - Absolutely. I dont think it was a disappointment.

@double_canister - Absolutely, a very attack minded formation by Wenger, and the Ox looks like he will make it hard to pick Jack ahead of him again. We would have beaten them with Theo and Ramsey. Rosicky looked lively.

@JohnAlexon - In many ways, for sure. As a starting point it seems to be an achievement just to make that lot sweat this season. So when the Bryan Eunuch players started cheating it was clear we were giving them a game. The defensive side was all sound, apart maybe from their goal. They pinned us back in the first half, but we coped well. I don't think Fabianski had to do anything until bust before half-time. It wasn't so much an early storm as an early smog, but plugging the gaps did take a lot out of us.

2) What would you say we were missing on the night to qualify?

@BenLeeder - Ruthlessness and out and out pace. Bayern took the sting out of the game and they showed us how top level football teams operate. Interesting to see the gap in quality (At certain points). They always had options deep and an out ball. Several times we had the ball and a panicked missed place pass bobbled into no mans land. Better distribution and dominance was unfortunately missing throughout both legs.

@Blackburngeorge - Theo and Aaron.

@double_canister - Theo and Ramsey.

@JohnAlexon - Just a bit of of sangfroid on the rare occasions when we might broken forward. I thought Cazorla, Podolski, Özil and Giroud might have have been a little cooler on the ball in the first half to alleviate the pressure. The chasing that we had to do early on caught up with us later. But it's churlish to ask too much. There were so few openings and the Bayern pressure was so intense that you're asking for perfection from every forward pass and piece of control, and that's a bit unrealistic. A 2-0 deficit against that team is about as tough as it gets.

3) Who were your stand out player(s) on the night and why?

@BenLeeder - The back five and The Ox instantly spring to mind.

Koscienly and Mertesacker covered so much ground. My favourite defensive moment was Per's back heel stop, I cheered that more than the goal. Vermaelen will be a sad loss come the summer. He proved how lucky we are to have a 3rd choice centre back of his quality. Sagna made a lot of forward runs but wasn't given the ball, which was very frustrating to watch. Fabianski made some great saves and a wonderful reaction swipe to clear the ball off the line after the penalty. His distribution was very ambitious and positive to see, he really tired to drive us forward. Bravo defence.

@Blackburngeorge - AOC because of his willingness and ability to run at and past people and Arteta was very good.

@double_canister - Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Fabianski and Vermaelen.

@JohnAlexon - The defence all-round, particularly Mertesacker for his headers and clearances. There was a moment in the second half when he was completely overloaded but closed off the passing angles perfectly. It summed his positional awareness up perfectly. Vermaelen was one Belgian who wan't going to cave under pressure from the German far right. And Oxlade-Chamberlain's first-half dribble was incredible. I haven't seen a run that mazy since the ending to the Shining. He was immense, but faded—quite understandably. Arteta's defensive work often gets overlooked, and I thought he was a big reason why Bayern couldn't create much. Fabianski couldn't have done more either. Some club is going to sign a very good goalie for free this summer.

4) What did you find disappointing from the display?

@BenLeeder - As I've mentioned, selecting the wrong passes at the wrong time. At times we had them on the back foot, unfortunately we didn't capitalise and Bayern turned defence into attack easier than flicking on a light switch. The top level is about fine margins and that showed over the two legs. If Tomas slides Chamberlain in, or we score one of those earlier chances I the first leg, who knows what happens next?

@Blackburngeorge - We seemed to not try to keep the ball and build, Seemed a bit hurried in possession.

@double_canister - We really struggled with scraps of ball possession in  the 1st half, putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure. More composure from Santi and Gnabry in their box might have gotten a 2nd goal.

@JohnAlexon - The first-half attacking link-ups. I'll call them 'transitions' like I know what I'm talking about. And then the last 20 minutes were frustrating, because Bayern were out on their feet. Around 65 minutes they looked knackered and we suddenly started passing with conviction and enterprise. I got my hopes up for the first time right then, but our level dropped soon after. Late on, Bayern started making all kinds of mistakes, but I think we were just too tired to make the right choices. Gnabry might have contributed something, but it was asking a lot.

5) Do you think the squad will now respond positively?

@BenLeeder - It was a very impressive result, the damage was done three weeks ago when our goalie was harshly sent off. I think a bit of perspective is needed, Bayern coming into this having won their previous 15 games at home and we halted that run. Of course they will be down, but they will realise what they achieved and be proud.

@Blackburngeorge - Yes

@double_canister - Absolutely. Tough fixtures coming up in the league, If we don't get anymore injuries we will do ok. The team will need to perform like tonight at the Bridge and Goodison.

@JohnAlexon - Definitely. You need only look at Bayern's record to realise both the size of the task tonight and the feat of simply giving them something to worry about. Apart from tiredness, I don't see why that game should affect us negatively. I just hope the niggles picked up tonight don't keep anyone out for too long—ah, who am I kidding?

6) Any other thoughts?

@BenLeeder - I excepted a valiant lose and it's exactly what we got. Some of the fringe players performed very well. It must be remembered we missed key players in; Walcott, Ramsey and Wilshere. To achieve that result with them missing is no mean feat. I'm feeling positive as I write this, but maybe it may feel like another missed opportunity in the morning.

@Blackburngeorge - I hope we get early injury news (good of course) and we are not left fretting

@double_canister - Podolski is still an infuriating conundrum. Hope to feck Ozil isn't seriously injured. Onwards to the double.

@JohnAlexon - Arjen Robben is Nosferatu's unwanted son. The Eunuch players are diving mugs, especially Nosferatu Jr., Martínez and Mandzukic. Despite being injured for five months, Oxlade-Chamberlain has developed like crazy this season

Follow the guys on Twitter

@BenLeeder - Check out the superb Suburban Gooners Podcast featuring Ben amongst others
@Blackburngeorge - Catch George on the excellent Positively Arsenal blog
@double_canister
@JohnAlexon

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more