DEMOLITION JOB: Bayern Munich's Thiago celebrates after scoring a goal during his side's 5-1 UEFA Champions League rout of Arsenal.
DEMOLITION JOB: Bayern Munich's Thiago celebrates after scoring a goal during his side's 5-1 UEFA Champions League rout of Arsenal. LENNART PREISS

Bayern Munich demolish hapless Arsenal

BAYERN Munich answered its critics with a comprehensive 5-1 rout of Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League clash to put one foot in the quarter-finals.

Thiago Alcantara struck twice in a superb performance, while Arjen Robben, Robert Lewandowski and substitute Thomas Mueller scored the other goals.

Arsenal now faces what seems a near-impossible task in the second leg of the Round of 16 on March 7, despite a first-half equaliser from Alexis Sanchez.

"It's a very, very good position," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said with a smile.

"It should do."

The English Premier League side, which lost captain Laurent Koscielny to injury early in the second half, looks set to exit at the same stage for the seventh season in a row.

In the other match, Real Madrid defeated Napoli 3-1 at home in their first leg clash.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger admitted his side had "collapsed mentally".

The under-pressure Frenchman said there were no excuses as the Gunners faced a seventh successive last-16 exit after the latest mauling.

"We conceded the second goal and then the most important thing was that we lost Laurent Koscielny (to injury).

"We collapsed mentally," said Wenger who will face fresh calls for his resignation.

"I am not looking for excuses. Overall I must say they were a better team than us, they played very well in the second half and we dropped our level."

News Corp Australia


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