Ben White's first half chance a 'Critical Moment' for Arsenal

Arsenal defender Ben White had a glorious chance to double his sides lead early in the first half but hit his shot straight at Manuel Neuer.
Arsenal FC v FC Bayern München: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Arsenal FC v FC Bayern München: Quarter-final First Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Arsenal secured a 2-2 draw at the Emirates against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but the scoreline could have been different had Ben White scored early in the first half.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and Arsenal's Ben White will be thinking long and hard about his first half shot that was directed straight at Munich keeper Manuel Neuer.

After Bukayo Saka had given Arsenal a deserved lead in the 12th minute with a delicious curling effort into the far bottom corner, the Gunners were again on the attack minutes later.

Kai Havertz played in White who was one-on-one with Neuer and had a chance to double Arsenal's lead and take full control of the tie. But he hit his shot straight at the German and the visitors survived.

For Mikel Arteta, White's chance was a crucial moment in the game.

"We generated some momentum, scored the first goal, and then it’s a critical moment of the match," Arteta said via "Ben White is in front of Neuer to make it two-nil and we have to put the ball in the back of the net."

Arteta is right. Had White converted, Arsenal would have been 2-0 up and smelled blood in the water against a Munich side that was down on confidence.

What perhaps makes the miss even more "crucial" is that just minutes later, David Raya comes storming up towards the middle of the field as Gabriel seemingly had things under control. But the Spaniard's presence surprised the Brazilian who then made a rash clearence, which fell to a Bayern player and second later, Serge Gnabry equalized.

A crucial moment indeed.

While White's miss might have had disasterious repercussions for Bayern, they, like Arsenal are still alive in the tie, with it poised delicately at 2-2.

But how different the tie could have been if White took his chance.