Arsenal rescues draw with Bayern in Champions League

Leandro Trossard (right) celebrfates his equalizer agaisnt Bayern with teammate Kai Harverts.[Arsenal]

Leandro Trossard’s second-half equalizer gave Arsenal a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday after Harry Kane had scored against his old rival yet again.

Trossard rolled in a low shot in the 76th minute to make sure Bayern didn’t come away from the Emirates Stadium with another big win after Kane had put the German club ahead from the penalty spot in the first half.

The hosts had taken a 12th-minute lead through Bukayo Saka and dominated the early stages until former Arsenal player Serge Gnabry made it 1-1 in the 18th following a mistake by defender Gabriel.

Kane then put Bayern ahead from the penalty spot in the 25th, but two of Arsenal’s substitutes combined for the equalizer as Gabriel Jesus teed up Trossard in the area.

The last time these two teams played, Bayern routed Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate after two 5-1 wins in the round of 16 in 2017. There was, however, a sense that things would be very different this time as Arsenal is top of the Premier League while Bayern is having its worst Bundesliga season in more than a decade and has ceded the title race to Bayer Leverkusen.

But Kane, who scored a record 14 goals in north London derbies between Tottenham and Arsenal before joining the German powerhouse this season, made sure Bayern returns to Germany with at least a slight advantage for the second leg at home next Wednesday.

Kingsley Coman nearly scored a 90th-minute winner for Bayern, but his flick-on from close range hit the post, while Saka had a penalty appeal turned down in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The game went ahead as scheduled despite an alleged Islamic State terror threat against Champions League matches this week, and there were no incidents at the Emirates before or during the game.

In the other quarterfinal Tuesday, Real Madrid and Manchester City drew 3-3 in Spain.

Bayern got the draw despite playing without any away fans in the stadium because of a UEFA sanction against the club, which meant Arsenal was able to fill all 60,000 seats with home supporters.

And that crowd was raucous after a strong start for Arsenal.

The opening goal came when Ben White teed up Saka inside the area and the England winger rolled a low shot between two defenders and inside the far post, out of reach of the diving Manuel Neuer.

White had a great chance to double the lead in the 16th after Bayern failed to clear the ball and Kai Havertz set up the defender in the area, but his shot went straight at Neuer.

Soon after, a sloppy Arsenal mistake led to the equalizer.

Gabriel turned the ball over in midfield to give Bayern a quick counter, and Leon Goretzka slipped the ball through for Gnabry to slide in and slot the ball past goalkeeper David Raya.

Bayern was then awarded the penalty when William Saliba tripped Leroy Sane in the box, and Kane sent Raya the wrong way before rolling the ball into the right corner.

Arsenal struggled to create any clear chances for an equalizer until a well-worked move where Jesus dribbled into the area before laying the ball off for Trossard to slot home.

There was still some late drama as Saka had a chance to round Neuer deep into stoppage time but collided with the goalkeeper and went to the ground. However, referee Glenn Nyberg waved play on and replays suggested Saka stuck his leg out to initiate the contact.

By AFP 19 hrs ago
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