3 keys to an Arsenal victory at the Allianz Arena vs Bayern Munich

  • Arsenal played out a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in first leg of Champions League quarter-final
  • Gunners have only ever won once at the Allianz Arena
  • Dynamic of second leg expected to be different
Leandro Trossard restored parity in the tie after coming off the bench
Leandro Trossard restored parity in the tie after coming off the bench / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Arsenal's first victory at the Allianz Arena counted for very little. A second on Wednesday night would lead to a Champions League semi-final.

Trips to Bavaria are always daunting, but Arsenal cannot fear Thomas Tuchel's side with their quarter-final tie hanging in the balance. The Gunners enter this clash amid a rather precarious moment following Sunday's defeat to Aston Villa, with Mikel Arteta telling his players to "throw" that game away ahead their second tussle with Bayern.

Arteta also called on his players to "stand up and be counted" in the wake of their first Premier League defeat of the calendar year, and there's no doubt that we'll get to learn plenty about the Spaniard's outfit over the next few days. Will they sink or swim?

Arsenal don't need to win to progress on Wednesday night, but they need a result after last week's 2-2 draw in north London. Here are three keys to a Gunners result at the Allianz.

1. Contain & counter

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta could deploy a similar plan to the one used at the Etihad / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Arsenal turned up to the Etihad on 31 March with the aim of nullifying their supreme opponents, and nullify them they did.

The Gunners produced a stellar defensive display to walk away with a stalemate. Arteta's ploy that day wasn't merely a low block and counter, Arsenal sought to win possession high up the pitch, too.

I think a similar plan has to be adopted on Wednesday given Bayern's vulnerabilities to the transition. Arsenal are more than capable of catching the hosts out with sporadic bursts of pressing, and the aim will be to score the first goal. Arsenal can then sit on their advantage, attempting to keep out a Bayern side that, for all their talent, can look lost against deep-lying defences, and they've struggled against far inferior blocks than Arsenal's.

Arteta will rely on his side's coherent structure and their litany of stellar box defenders to mitigate Bayern's threat. Crucially, they must carry more of a threat on the counter-attack than they did at the Etihad. Gabriel Martinelli's inclusion is a necessity as a result.

2. Make the most of moments

Manuel Neuer
Arsenal will have to breach Manuel Neuer's defences / Stefan Matzke - sampics/GettyImages

Bayern were content with sitting off last week, and the signs were ominous when Bukayo Saka put the Gunners in front. However, in the blink of an eye, the visitors had a 2-1 lead.

The Germans seized upon Arsenal mistakes and made the most of their moments. There was no sustained pressure, but they looked a threat every time they streaked away on the counter.

Arsenal are expected to cede more control than usual on Wednesday with the aim of exploiting Bayern's vulnerable transition defence, but they most take advantage of the moments they will get. A profligate evening simply won't do.

The absence of Alphonso Davies further limits the hosts' chances of stopping the visitors in transition, but they will have to bypass the stern wall of Manuel Neuer.

The all-time great may no longer be at the very peak of his powers, but he remains one of the world's premier shot-stoppers and his sweeping abilities could have a big role to play.

3. Get around Jamal Musiala

Jamal Musiala
Musiala has a big role to play for Bayern in the second leg / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Bayern's attacking talent is majestic and it was Leroy Sane who hurt Arsenal time and time again last week. Harry Kane got the better of the Gunners' centre-backs, while Serge Gnabry got on the scoresheet.

Injuries mean Thomas Tuchel will have to change tack, but Jamal Musiala is a certainty to start again. The German sensation was quiet in the first leg, but he could come to the fore on Wednesday. If Arsenal are to surrender territory and pack their box, Musiala's remarkable ability in tight spaces will be crucial in picking the lock.

Sane should have limited space to manoeuvre, while Kane could drop deep in a bid to merely get on the ball. I envisage Musiala being the one Arsenal need to slow down.

He'll float across the pitch attempting to wreak havoc, combining with his teammates and facing up against the Gunners' backline himself. Leave him one-on-one at your peril, he must be sworn around upon ball reception in and around the Arsenal box.

Musiala ranks in the 99th percentile among attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe's top five leagues for successful take-ons (4.3 per 90), and he's also outperformed his expected goals by 2.1 in the Bundesliga this season. The kid's a sharpshooter, too.