Bayern Munich eased 5-1 past Arsenal London after a dominating second-half performance with four goals in the fist leg of UEFA Champions League’s last 16 on Wednesday.
Arsenal were only able to hold the pace in the first half as Bayern turned up after the restart to extend their Champions League winning record to 16 consecutive victories on home soil.
The German giants had a bright start in front of 70,000 spectators as Arjen Robben broke the deadlock with just 11 minutes into the encounter. The Dutchman had all time and space to unleash a shot from central position into the far post corner.
Bayern controlled the proceedings but were unable to double the lead whereas Arsenal restored parity out of the blue when Alexis Sanchez tapped home the rebound following a parried penalty in the 29th minute.
The visitors had even the opportunity to grab the lead just before the break but Mesut Ozil failed to overcome Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from promising position.
After the restart, Carlo Ancelotti’s men increased the pressure and pressed Arsenal into the defence. The hosts’ efforts paid off in the 53rd minute as Robert Lewandowski headed home Philipp Lahm’s pinpoint cross across custodian David Ospina.
Bayern gained momentum and established a two-goal lead after Lewandowski’s back-heel through ball found Thiago Alcantara, who tapped home into the bottom left corner three minutes later.
The hosts were not done with the scoring as Thiago wrapped up his brace after scoring the 4-1 with a deflected shot from the edge of the box before Thomas Mueller rounded off the 5-1 victory two minutes after his fielding in the 88th minute.
“We staged a compact performance and did not give them opportunities to score. The result is the most important thing but we showed our offensive qualities,” Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti said.
Bayern travel to London for the second leg of the Champions League last 16 on March 7.