• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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BusinessDay

Champions League: Bayern beat Arsenal to reach semi-finals

Bayern-players

Bayern Munich secured their spot in the Uefa Champions League semi-finals with a 1-0 victory over Arsenal, thanks to Joshua Kimmich’s 63rd-minute header.

The 3-2 aggregate win see Bayern advance to the last four for the first time since their 2020 triumph in the competition. They will now await the winner between Manchester City and Real Madrid for a shot at the final.

In a tense encounter, unlike the high-scoring affair in London last week, clear-cut opportunities were scarce in the opening half. However, Kimmich broke the deadlock midway through the second half with a precise header from Raphael Guerreiro’s well-delivered cross.

Guerreiro, deployed in a more advanced role due to Bayern’s injury concerns, impressed with his creative influence after being relieved of his defensive responsibilities.

Six-time Champions League winners Bayern join fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, who face Paris Saint-Germain, in the final four, setting up a potential all-German clash for a spot in the final.

Despite missing key attacking players like Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman due to injuries, Bayern’s tactical adjustments paid off, with Guerreiro’s positional switch proving effective in unlocking Arsenal’s defense.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta opted for the defensive stability of Takehiro Tomiyasu in place of Jakub Kiwior at left-back to neutralise Leroy Sane but the Japanese, who was making his first start since December, notably lacked rhythm.

Tomiyasu completely misjudged a Musiala pass early, allowing Sane to stroll through the Arsenal box and force a corner.

While Arsenal showed resilience, particularly through Gabriel Martinelli’s threatening runs, they failed to find the equaliser, ending their hopes of reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2009.