Bayern Munich narrowly topped Arsenal on Wednesday in Germany by a score of 1-0 to advance in the UEFA Champions League. Joshua Kimmich scored the only goal of the game on the night to lift the Germans over their English counterparts.

The two sides previously played out to a 2-2 draw last week in north London. Arsenal grabbed an early advantage in the initial fixture before Bayern quickly fought back before the halftime break. Leandro Trossard’s second-half strike for the Gunners set up a mouthwatering matchup for the return game of the tie in Munich.

Arsenal had the best chance to score in opening half of the game

Wednesday’s decisive game began a bit slowly as both teams were cautious in their approach. The visitors held on to 70% possession in the opening 15 minutes but were not able to create much of a threat going forward. Bayern, on the other hand, seemed content with trying to hit the Gunners on the counterattack. Harry Kane had two fairly decent opportunities during this timeframe, yet sent both shots wide of the target.

Both clubs then each had two more scoring chances within the next 20 minutes. Ben White had to make a sprawling block to deny a Noussair Mazraoui cross in the 23rd minute. Jamal Musiala then saw a shot from distance saved by David Raya just a minute later. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was forced to make two saves soon afterward as well. Gabriel Martinelli’s dangerous strike in the 32nd minute was undoubtedly the best opportunity by either side at the time. The Brazilian’s effort, however, went straight into Neuer’s arms.

The match eventually entered halftime as it started with a goalless scoreline. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta may have been the happier of the two coaches at the break though. The visitors recorded more possession and shots, including the most dangerous chance, compared to their German opponents in the opening period. Nevertheless, it was a fairly even first half in the matchup.

Hosts take command with solid second-half performance

Bayern, however, came out of the break a much better side. The Germans nearly went ahead in the tie after hitting the woodwork twice just two minutes into the second half. Leon Goretzka first struck the bar with a dangerous shot and then Raphael Guerreiro’s rebound was deflected onto the post by Raya in goal.

After turning up the pressure, Kimmich eventually gave the hosts the lead with a goal in the 63rd minute. Guerreiro was once again at the heart of Bayern’s attack with a perfectly placed lofted cross into Arsenal’s box. As the defenders were essentially at a standstill, Kimmich rushed into the area to get a clean header onto the pass. The shot emphatically struck the back of Raya’s net, as the keeper could not do much to keep it out.

While Arteta made multiple offensive substitutions following the Kimmich strike, Arsenal could not find an equalizing goal. Interestingly enough, the club’s biggest chance to score came just 20 seconds into the latter period. Martin Odegaard, however, fired his effort over the bar. Substitute Gabriel Jesus also had an opportunity as well, but was initially considered to be offside.

Neuer also collected his 58th Champions League clean sheet of his career on the night, which is a new record for the competition. The slim victory means that Bayern advances on in the competition to face either Real Madrid or Manchester City. The teams will face off in early May for a chance to make the final on June 1st.

Photos: Imago