Published January 08, 2015
London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Bayern Munich took one step closer to the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday after earning a 2-0 victory over 10-man Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Three days after vanquishing Liverpool in the FA Cup, Arsenal faced a tough task against the defending European champions, but held their own quite well over the first 10 minutes.
The Gunners' first quality chance came seven minutes in as Yaya Sanogo got a solid strike on goal, but Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer got a strong hand to it to parry it away.
Arsenal's early purple patch continued as Mesut Ozil was caught in the penalty area by Jerome Boateng, resulting in a penalty kick. But Ozil's strike from that spot was easily knocked away by Neuer, keeping the game scoreless.
Bayern Munich had an outstanding opportunity to take the lead late in the first half as Arjen Robben was put through on goal and was taken down by an on-rushing Wojciech Szczesny, resulting in a penalty kick and a straight red card for the Arsenal goalkeeper in the 37th minute.
Bayern defender David Alaba stepped up to the spot but sliced his strike wide of the left post and the teams went into the locker room scoreless.
The Bavarians finally made their breakthrough in the 54th minute after a spell of passing around the Arsenal penalty area and Philipp Lahm laid it off to Toni Kroos, who curled his strike into the top-right corner of the net.
After the opening tally, Bayern spent almost the entire remainder of the match in the Arsenal half of the field before finally finding a second goal two minutes from time.
It was again Lahm who set the scoring play in motion as he spotted Thomas Muller making a run down the center of the park. Lahm lofted the ball in between the Arsenal center backs, allowing Muller to easily nod it home and give the champions a comfortable margin heading back to Germany for the second leg.
Also in Champions League play on Wednesday, Atletico Madrid left it late as Diego Costa scored in the 83rd minute to hand his club a 1-0 win over AC Milan at the San Siro.