REPORT: Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich - Work To Do Following Uncharacteristic Frailties

Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash. 

Bukayo Saka had put The Gunners into the lead before Serge Gnabry and Harry Kane turned things round before half time. Leandro Trossard came off the bench to equalise and ensure that the tie remains balanced heading into next week's second leg. 

Lightning Start

The game started with the kind of atmosphere that you might expect for the occasion, despite the lack of Bayern Munich supporters. It clearly had an impact on the players, as they flew out of the traps and in the 12th minute, Saka made the early breakthrough that they had been seeking. 

As Arsenal probed, Ben White collected the ball and played a lovely pass across Saka's body, allowing the winger to place a first-time shot into the far corner. 

Just four minutes later and it should have been two. As the ball ricocheted around the edge of the box, Kai Havertz pounced to slot White in on goal, but his right-fojustoted effort was straight at Manuel Neuer. 

Quick Turnaround

That would prove a turning point, and minutes later Gnabry had tied up the score. Gabriel's misplaced pass was pounced on, and as the ball was worked to the onrushing Leon Goretzka, he was aware enough to slip in Gnabry, who made no mistake with his finish. 

Just after the half hour mark and the game was turned on its head. Leroy Sane pinned Jakub Kiwior, before turning and accelerating through the Arsenal half, evading tackles from Jorginho and Gabriel before eventually being fouled in the box by William Saliba. Up stepped Kane, who sent David Raya the wrong way to put the German's in front. 

Another counter attack almost resulted in a third goal, as Sane was released on the halfway line, but White recovered superbly to make the tackle and half the German's progress. Arsenal needed the interval before things got worse.

Second Half Alteration 

Mikel Arteta, clearly frustrated with his sides lack of control, made a change at the break to introduce Oleksandr Zinchenko in place of Kiwior. Arsenal immediately looked more comfortable, but Bayern still maintained exceptional speed on the break to cause them problems. 

But despite The Gunners increased control, they were finding opportunities hard to come by. Arteta reacted by rolling the dice and introducing both Gabriel Jesus and Trossard. 

It was the duo that got Arsenal level in the 76th minute. Jesus danced his way past two defenders in the penalty area before rolling the ball to Trossard to sweep home. 2-2 and all to play for. 

Late Drama

If either side were hoping to coast the remaining minutes, they had another thing coming. As the game approached the 90th minute, Jamal Musiala found space on the left following a mistake by Thomas Partey, and crossed low for Kingsley Coman to strike the post. A huge let off for Arsenal.

But as the game grew into the final seconds, Saka was released by Partey and got to the ball just before Neuer and appeared to be clipped by the German goalkeeper. The referee waved play on and soon blew the final whistle to leave Arsenal frustrated at the end of a pulsating evening of football.

Up Next

Both sides will feel they could have won it, but the draw leaves everything in the balance heading into next week's second leg. 

Arsenal meanwhile face Aston Villa at The Emirates on Sunday, looking to maintain their position at the top of the table.