Arsenal's season effectively ended last night when they were completely outclassed by a vastly superior side. For all the hope occasionally inspired by Jack Wilshere, the one home player to take the fight to Bayern, Arsenal need a miracle in Munich on Wednesday, March 13.
So good were the Germans, and particularly their captain Philipp Lahm, that some Arsenal fans stayed on to applaud them off. Arsene Wenger's frustration was clear and he went straight down the tunnel without shaking the hand of Jupp Heynckes. Petulant.
Wenger's decision to rest players for the FA Cup against Blackburn Rovers looks even more misguided now. His failure to drill the defence better was clear again. His failure to buy a top-class replacement for Robin van Persie looks even more expensive now. He started Theo Walcott as centre-forward, which did not say much for Olivier Giroud, who began on the bench, or Gervinho, who was nowhere to be seen.
Arsenal's defence was poor. Bayern seemed to be targeting Thomas Vermaelen at left-back. Per Mertesacker looked anything but a German international centre-back. Wojciech Szczesny never inspired confidence. Once again, Arsenal lacked leadership.
Only Wilshere enhanced his reputation here, attempting to drag Arsenal back into the game after a first half in which Bayern had played like kings.
Toni Kroos was excellent, scoring the first. Thomas Muller was his usual font of energy up and down the right and he plundered the second, following more abject defending by Arsenal. Even when Lukas Podolski scored it took on a consolation feel when Mario Mandzukic scored a third away goal. For 55 minutes, Arsenal were utterly outclassed. They had little shape, little fight, little defensive organisation. Bayern were irresistible.
The game had started with the smoke from the German fans' flares still in the air, and Arsenal appeared to have silenced some of the distress signals emanating from Wenger. For seven minutes anyway. For seven minutes, they counter-attacked.
Bayern then took control. Total control. Their pressing high up the pitch shredded Arsenal's already shaky nerves. The slickness of their passing steered the ball past hesitant hosts. The first goal arrived via a quick break down the right, following a poor clearance from Laurent Koscielny which Bayern picked off.
Bastian Schweinsteiger accelerated the attack, laying the ball off to Franck Ribery, who played it wide to Muller. Arsenal still had sufficient numbers back and Muller's cross was not the greatest. It should have been intercepted but Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta failed to react.
Mertesacker waddled out towards Kroos but was too slow. Kroos finished with a well-struck half-volley.
Arsenal fans were livid, their mood worsening when Kroos' goal revealed a few Bayern supporters celebrating in their midst. Yet there was little sense of mutiny. A few individuals stood up and screamed abuse at Wenger but the rest stayed loyal to the team.
Wenger's players tried to force a way back but Bayern's imperious form in the Bundesliga shows how good their defence is. Even with Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber absent, Bayern were not troubled.
Sagna and Wilshere worked the ball in to Cazorla but Javi Martinez, the anchor dropping deep, read the danger.
Bayern were so dominant that it was little surprise when they added a second after 21 minutes. Kroos swung over a corner from the right, and the unmarked Daniel Van Buyten headed powerfully goalwards. Szczesny patted the ball out and there was Muller poaching the second. Again unmarked.
Arsenal's defensive organisation ranged from non-existent to naive.
They were second best all over the pitch. Ribery outjumped Sagna, showing greater determination. Bayern could easily have had a third before the break when Mandzukic put it wide from Lahm's cross.
Bayern were toying with Arsenal. Kroos nutmegged Ramsey, who responded by clattering Martinez. The only positive for Arsenal in a distressing first half was the booking for dissent that rules Schweinsteiger out of the second leg.
Arsenal fans remained restrained at the break, the boos directed at the referee, Svein Moen. The Norwegian unintentionally helped them 10 minutes into the second half, awarding Arsenal a corner when the ball had actually come off Podolski.
Wilshere curled in the corner and Manuel Neuer, surprisingly for such a good 'keeper, emerged from his line but missed the ball. Podolski headed the ball back in, giving his new team a glimmer of hope against his old side. It was the first goal Bayern had conceded in 664 minutes.
Heynckes responded by withdrawing Ribery and sending on Arjen Robben. Bayern stayed disciplined, withstanding the pressure and some fouls.
Wenger sent on Giroud, pushing Walcott wide. The pair soon combined brilliantly. Walcott's cross was met superbly by Giroud but his shot hit Neuer.
Normal service was resumed with the Germans regaining control, adding a third.
Again Arsenal's defence was dreadful, Vermaelen caught out. Robben rolled the ball down the inside-right channel and the outstanding Lahm crossed low, allowing Mandzukic to scramble a goal his constant industry deserved.
Wilshere tried to drive Arsenal on but Bayern were too experienced, too resolute. The visitors even countered, particularly through Robben, whose control and pace troubled Arsenal late on but the Germans had inflicted enough damage on Arsenal – and even more on Wenger's reputation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)