3 things we learned from Bayern Munich’s 5-1 demolition of Arsenal
1. There’s no doubting how good this Bayern team is
When Bayern are smashing comfortably weak teams in the Bundesliga, it’s easy to forget quite how good they are. It’s only in this kind of match, against teams that are in theory around their level, that their remarkable skill is evident. Arsenal are genuine contenders for the Premier League this season, and were totally blown away in the first half. Bayern will reasonably be expecting to go all the way this year.
2. Thiago Alcântara is exceptional
When the world’s best midfielders are discussed, it’s rare that Thiago Alcântara is among the names mentioned. It’s certainly time that changed. He was utterly magnificent in this match, dominating the midfield with his brilliant positioning and nigh-on flawless passing. It’s easy to see why Pep was so eager to bring him to Munich when he arrived a couple of seasons ago: Thiago is the heartbeat of this team.
3. Arsenal’s old problems are still there
Arsenal didn’t attack particularly badly in this game, and they could’ve scored at least a couple more goals. Their major problem was, however, their lack of midfield spine. Sure, they’ve not been helped by a string of injuries, but it was painfully obvious that Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla were never going to be able to keep Bayern at bay. They still need at least a defensive midfielder or two to be competitive at this level.