3 positives & negatives as Arsenal come from behind to rescue Bayern Munich draw

• Saka sublime

• Refereeing disaster-class

• Ability to dominate Bayern Munich

Arsenal FC v FC Bayern M¸nchen: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Arsenal FC v FC Bayern M¸nchen: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages
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Arsenal were made to come from behind, despite taking an early lead, as they rescued a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Mikel Arteta's side started the game at a million miles per hour as they looked to leave their mark early in the game, and an excellent finish from Bukayo Saka, capitalising on a mistake from Alphonso Davies in the build-up, gave the Gunners the lead after 12 minutes.

Despite making such a positive start to the game, things quickly unravelled for the Gunners as a rare defensive error allowed a chance for former Arsenal player Serge Gnabry to level to scoring, where he made no mistake.

And just a short while later, Harry Kane converted from the penalty spot after Leroy Sane was brought down in the box by William Saliba.

The second half saw Arsenal dominate but it took until the 76th minute for Arteta's side to draw level after a fantastic first-time finish from Leandro Trossard following some sublime footwork inside the area from Gabriel Jesus.

There were two moments of drama late on as Bayern Munich hit the post in the 90th minute before, in the closing seconds, Saka was brought down in the area by Manuel Neuer, but the referee saw nothing doing in it, and soon blew for full-time with the score level at 2-2.

The result means that the tie is all to play for in Munich next week, but there were plenty of positives and negatives to assess nonetheless.

Positive #1: Bukayo Saka sublime

Bukayo Saka
Arsenal FC v FC Bayern Munchen: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Saka put in a performance that can only be described as sensational, reminding his critics (including Rio Ferdinand, who was in attendance) that he is truly world-class.

Not only did the 22-year-old score with an excellent curling effort, but the Englishman caused constant headaches for the Bayern Munich defence, including getting Davies booked, who will subsequently be suspended for the second leg.

He had a great chance late in the game to win it for the Gunners but, despite being taken out by Neuer, the referee opted not to award a penalty, to the bemusement and frustration of many.

Negative #1: Referring disasterclass


As my university lecturer would say, it is everything around the football that makes the football important and, in this game, such a phrase could not ring truer.

At just 35 years old, Glenn Nyberg is one of UEFA's youngest referees and this game represented his first Champions League knockout tie, and that was a very telling fact.

Though he seemed to get a lot of calls correct, and helped the game to flow well, the Swede missed two possibly game-defining incidents which have marred the subsequent headlines.

As Bayern Munich led 2-1, in the 67th minute, the referee blew for a goal-kick to be taken, which was played short to Gabriel Magalhaes who remarkably picked up the ball before placing it back down.

Despite it being a blatant handball, the referee failed to intervene, as was also the case in the last seconds when Saka was taken out by Neuer to deny a certain goal.

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