Mario Gotze’s former club Bayern Munich have one foot in the quarter-final of the Champions League after they hammered Arsenal 5-1 on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Arena in the first leg of their last 16 tie with the Premier League club. Barring a miracle, the German champions should be in the draw for the next stage of the competition.
Arjen Robben gave the German side the lead after 11 minutes when he cut inside on his left foot before striking past David Ospina in the visitors’ goal. Despite dominating the opening third of the tie, Arsenal levelled through Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean missed his initial penalty but was quick to react to convert the rebound.
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In the second half, Bayern hit top gear as they went through Arsenal like a hot knife through butter. Robert Lewandowski headed home to make it 2-1. Thiago made it 4-1 with a brace in the space of just seven minutes, while the scoring was completed by Thomas Muller who came off the bench later in the game.
It looks like it is going to be another successful season for Bayern Munich as they are seven points clear at the top of the German league and as a result are as short as 1/100 in the Bundesliga betting, while they remain in the DFB Portal where they have a quarter-final tie with Schalke 04 to look forward to.
Dortmund, on the other hand, have work to do at home in their return fixture against Benfica if they are to remain in the Champions League this season as they trail the Portuguese club 1-0. Gotze missed the opening game through a muscular injury but is expected to be back for the fixture at the Westfalenstadion.
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Kostas Mitroglou scored Benfica’s only goal three minutes after the interval on Tuesday evening. He was able to guide home Luisao’s header from close range to beat Roman Burki. Dortmund had the opportunity to level the scores from the penalty spot but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit his spot-kick straight at Ederson in the hosts’ goal.
Dortmund finished qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League as the top scorers this season as they ended their campaign in Group F with 21 goals from their six games where they finished above Real Madrid in the standings.
Thomas Tuchel will be concerned with the form of his side as they have now won just two of their last seven fixtures in all competitions. The German will be hoping Gotze can return for their Bundesliga tie against Wolfsburg, while Dortmund have away trips to Freiburg and Sportfreunde Lotte later this month, the latter being in the DFB Cup after they beat Hertha on penalties in the last 16.
Tuchel has recently been linked with replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in the summer, if the Frenchman decides to walk away from the Emirates Stadium. All that will be on the German’s mind for now though, will be progressing past Benfica in the Champions League and improving their domestic form over the next few weeks.