Champions League: Bayern Munich thrashes Arsenal with five-star showing

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  • Bayern Munich thumps Arsenal 5-1

(CNN)Remember when Arsenal beat Bayern Munich and everyone thought the German team wasn't as scary as first thought?

Yeah, about that -- looks like that thought process might have been premature, at least going on this latest performance anyway.
Bayern, beaten 2-0 in London a fortnight ago, produced a masterclass to hit Arsenal for five and leave the Premier League club on the verge of elimination from the Champions League.
    The home side, which cruised to a 5-1 win, has now scored five goals on five different occasions this season -- and is still unbeaten both at home and in Europe.
    "We did what we set out to do," Thomas Muller, who scored twice, told reporters.
    "It was a key game because had we not won we would have to do more work in the next games. Now we are on nine points.
    "We went ahead 3-0 and we were focused. In the second half, we lost a bit of possession, but that can happen if you are ahead 3-0 or 4-0."
    Going into this contest, Bayern had won its past four home games, scoring 19 goals in the process.
    Only Augsburg had managed to stop it in the German Bundesliga where Pepe Guardiola's team has won 10 out of 11 -- the only failure was the goalless draw last weekend.
    Well, perhaps it was just saving up the goals for Arsenal because by the interval, Bayern was already three up and cruising.
    Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker who just can't stop scoring, headed in the first after 10 minutes to make it seven goals in his past seven Champions League games.
    Thomas Muller added a second before David Alaba unleashed an astonishing effort from 25-yards which flew into the top corner.
    It should be pointed out that Arsenal entered this contest decimated by injuries -- Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Laurent Koscielny, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck were all unavailable as were a few others.
    But its wretched first half performance shouldn't escape criticism -- it was woeful.
    It got worse after the break with Arjen Robben, who had only been on the field for 37 seconds as a substitute, adding a fourth with his first touch.
    Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back with a volley but Muller ensured Bayern signed off in style by adding a fifth late on -- his 16th of the season.
    Arsenal, which has qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League in each of the past 15 seasons, is now hanging on by a thread.
    It must defeat both Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos to have any hope of progressing and it will also need Bayern to defeat the Greek side.
    In addition, Arsenal, which was beaten 3-2 by Olympiakos, earlier in the competition, will need to defeat the Greek team by two goals to qualify with a better head-to-head record.
    That's because Olympiakos scored a dramatic late winner to beat Dinamo 2-1 in Greece with Felipe Pardo scoring both goals to move it to nine points -- six clear of Arsenal.
    "We have to win both games and get two goals on Olympiakos, but it's not over and that's how we have to approach it," Per Mertesacker, the Arsenal defender, told BT Sport.
    "We need to bounce back and put away the negative energy."