For the second year running the visitors won at Arsenal thanks to goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller after each team had missed a penalty.
FC Bayern München took control of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Arsenal FC with a commanding performance in London, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller scoring after each side had missed a first-half penalty and home goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny had been dismissed.
Szczęsny was sent off on 37 minutes for bringing down Arjen Robben, and though David Alaba missed the resulting spot kick, Kroos’s 54th-minute strike followed by Müller’s 88th-minute header gave Bayern victory. Alaba’s failure was not the only penalty miss of the night, Mesut Özil’s eighth-minute effort having been turned away by Manuel Neuer for Bayern.
The match started at a frenetic pace, Kroos finding his range with a stinging third-minute shot that Szczęsny tipped away at full stretch. Bayern had beaten Arsenal here at the same stage last season en route to lifting the trophy at Wembley, but did not have everything their own way here. Arsène Wenger’s surprise selection of Yaya Sanogo in place of Olivier Giroud almost paid off immediately as the 21-year-old drew a low save from Neuer.
A minute later Arsenal had an even better chance. Özil cut inside down the left and was clipped by Jérôme Boateng. The playmaker got up to take the penalty but shot centrally and his Germany team-mate Neuer reached up and tipped the ball away as he dived to his left.
The game began to find a more settled rhythm with Bayern enjoying more of the ball, though Arsenal were dangerous on the break. Sanogo, making just his second Arsenal start, sent Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain racing clear but Neuer was alert to the danger and cleared.
On 38 minutes the momentum shifted back to Bayern when Szczęsny tripped Robben after he had latched onto Kroos’s chipped pass and was red-carded. On came Łukasz Fabiański to face the spot kick, but like Özil, Alaba could not make the most of his opportunity and fired against the foot of the post.
Bayern were not to be denied for long. Fabiański held one low attempt from Robben but had no chance on 54 minutes when Kroos curled a first-time right-foot effort into the top-left corner after being teed up by Philipp Lahm on the edge of the area.
Bayern were pressing Arsenal deeper and deeper. On 64 minutes Fabiański palmed away Robben’s strike then Mario Götze headed wide. With two minutes left the pressure finally told as Müller nodded in Lahm’s cross. There was still time for Kroos to hit the upright but the damage had already been done ahead of the second leg on 11 March.