MATCH: Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (|L) celebrate scoring the 4-1
CAN ARSENAL's Champions League fragility have been exposed in more destructive manner. Poor, lacking leadership and ideas against a ruthless Bayern Munich who picked off the Gunners at will, even after allowing them brief parity before raving away for a thrashing of extreme proportions. For all their efficient play, their strong challenges, their team ethic, Bayern were polished as Arsenal were drab. Arsene Wenger must fear hearing the Champions League anthem, it could almost be worded to " Its not Arsenal, " and barring a Bayern collapse in three weeks at the Emirates, it won't be as the Gunners will limp out at the last 16 stage for a seventh consecutive time.
Arsenal suffered a humiliating 5-1 loss against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the last 16 and now see their Champions League ambitions lie in tatters. Beaten by the same opponent and the same scoreline last season and at the same stage, it is hard to see how the Gunners have progressed with their players - Mesut Özil in particular now needing to justify what he does in the team and especially when the team needs a response.
Arsene Wenger has always backed his players, and they have always let him down. It is a shameful scenario and one which surely cannot be tolerated any further. The return leg at the Emirates stadium seems a foregone conclusion for Bayern as Arsenal despite their one away goal are highly unlikely to win but a four goal margin and without conceding a goal to the Bundesliga side.
Bayern were defeated in eleven games and sitting seven points clear in the Bundesliga, and Arsenal's quest to progress at this stage for the first time in their last six attempts looks a tough ask for a side who despite winning their group in qualification, nevertheless felt they didn't get the luck of the draw.
Arturo Vidal tested David Ospina with a low shot from a move on the right and that would prove to be Bayern's avenue of success after 11 minutes. Kieran Gibbs and Alex Iwobi may yet prove to be an effective unite but they were horrible exposed as Arjen Robben cut in from the right to curl in a left footed stunner from 25 yards out.
Francis Coquelin could do nothing but admire the shot, he was that far off Robben. The former Chelsea man had another sighter which Ospina held and from a corner, Alexis's cross despite being mi-controlled by Laurent Koscileny, saw Lewandowski fell the Arsenal captain and a penalty was awarded to the visitors.
Up stepped Alexis to see his spot kick saved by Manuel Neuer, but back into the path of the Chile striker. Now in a crowded area, Alexis took another swipe, before cheating down to shoot low to beat Neuer and see Arsenal draw level at 1-1.
It was the Gunners who should have gone ahead before the break when Ozil won possession and fed Alexis. He found Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to cross for the incoming Granit Xhaka to strike cleanly, but Neuer was always behind the shot. Lewandowski headed over from David Alaba's cross and at the, other end, Özil couldn't find a way past Neuer from Alexis's cross as the Gunners found some rare firepower before the break.
Having missed an earlier header Lewandowski made no mistake from Philippe Lahm's cross as Bayern re-took the lead, and that seemed to sap the energy of Wenger's men who had just seen Koscielny go off injured. Shkodran Mustafi was now alongside Gabriel and Bayern sensed easy pickings.
Lewandowski's flick on from Xabi Alono's pass allowed Alcantara to strike past Ospina. It was too easy for Bayern who now struck twice in a matter of three minutes. No surprises that Ospina was the busier of the keepers, as he came out to dive at the feet of Lewandoski and then denied Javi Martinez's towering header.
Bayern's fourth came when Alcantara rifled in from the resultant corner and Arsenal were now looking for the the final whistle, but half an hour still remained and Bayern had netted three times in the last ten minutes. The home side didn't need any help, so when Oxlade-Chamberlain lost possession, Bayern pounced with the ball falling at the feet of Thomas Müller to strike home his side's fifth goal to complete another miserable Champions League night for Arsenal.