METERIt's something like that with love. Sometimes it stays, sometimes it goes and sometimes it comes back. FC Bayern added a new chapter to its very special relationship with London on Tuesday.

At first it seemed that the love had cooled, then they met again at the Emirates Stadium, in the British capital and at the Munich football club, to realize that things are no longer the same as before.

With the 2-2 draw against London Arsenal in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, Thomas Tuchel's team has at least put itself in a good starting position for the second leg in a week and can still aspire to the title this season. . After two consecutive defeats in the Bundesliga, the bad spirits in Munich have not yet been completely chased away, but the fighting spirit and commitment were again present against the Premier League leaders.

Bayern does not want to leave anything to chance

“This is a city that likes us, that likes Bayern Munich,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge once said. That was four years ago, when Rummenigge was still the general manager of the German record champion, and the Munich team had clearly defeated Chelsea FC that afternoon at Stamford Bridge, thus sending a signal in the Champions League round of 16 .

And previous years have also seen some impressive victories against London clubs, or at Wembley Stadium against German rivals Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 premier class final. This was the first meeting between the two since February 2020, on Tuesday in the English capital and Bavaria. Love was put to the test.

The people of Munich have spared no effort to ensure that the connection with London remains close. On the field they recovered from an initial deficit and even before that they did not want to leave anything to chance. As was the case during their Champions League triumph in 2013 and on most of their trips to London since, they stayed at the elegant “The Landmark”, which is almost always a good omen.

They reported that Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sané arrived on time for the Champions League trip to the island, returning to the starting eleven. Against his former club, Serge Gnabry was preferred over Thomas Müller and he was allowed to start for the second time in a row. And in central defense, coach Thomas Tuchel once again trusted Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier, whom he had rested in Heidenheim.

Yellow card with consequences

After the first few minutes, in which both teams played wait and see, Arsenal took the initiative with their first shot on goal in the seventh minute. Shortly afterwards, Alphonso Davies was shown the yellow card after a foul on Buyaka Saka, which had consequences. On the one hand, he is suspended for the second leg and, on the other, he acted cautiously for fear of a second warning and was too cautious in the twelfth minute.

At first it didn't bother Saka much, then his teammates couldn't control the ball. Ben White kept the overview and once again put Saka in the spotlight, who scored from the turn to make it 1-0 in the twelfth minute. The Arsenal fans became excited, the chants became louder and the team became more powerful.

But White missed the chance to make it 2-0 when he fired the ball into Neuer's arms. And then a small oversight was enough to give the game its first twist. After a misunderstanding on the part of the Arsenal defense, the Munich team quickly changed course. Leon Goretzka passed the ball to Gnabry and, as he fell, he pushed the ball past David Raya and into the goal (18th).

However, Arsenal were not impressed by the draw. The Londoners remained in offensive mode and repeatedly caused chaos in the Munich defense, but could not take advantage of it. Unlike FC Bayern in one of their occasional attacks. Sané only had to be stopped in the area during a solo run, and that with a foul by William Saliba. Harry Kane took the penalty as confidently as anyone so far this season (32nd). After half an hour, London once again sympathized with these Bavarians.

After the break, Arsenal pressed and dominated the match, but for a long time German international Kai Havertz's team did not know how to defeat the Munich team, which did not always appear confident and also remained dangerous on the counterattack. . Only two substitutions by Arsenal manager Arteta were successful. Leandro Trossard started the attack himself in the 76th minute and completed it after a pass from the other newcomer, Gabriel Jesus. Then Bayern hit the post and Arsenal waited in vain for a penalty seconds before the end. Both really deserved the 2-2 draw.


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