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Pundit with BIG PRAISE for Arsenal star after bailing out teammate against Bayern Munich

BBC pundit Matthew Upson has analyzed how an Arsenal defender was rescued by his teammate against Bayern Munich

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Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League in the quarter-final after losing 3-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Following the 2-2 at the Emirates Stadium last week, the Gunners needed a win to progress to the semi finals.

Arsenal dominated the first half at Allianz Arena but conceded in the 63rd minute when Joshua Kimmich scored a brilliant header to win the tie for the Bavarians.

The Gunners have struggled defensively in recent matches, conceding five goals in three matches as compared to conceding just 5 in their previous 12 matches since the start of the year.

Shedding light during the game on Wednesday, BBC pundit Matthew Upson analysed Arsenal’s defensive struggles, with one player notably needing rescue from Gabriel Magalhaes within the opening 18 minutes.

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The match at the Allianz Arena was crucial for Arsenal, who sought redemption following a lacklustre week. Mikel Arteta’s lineup decisions, particularly reinstating Kai Havertz up front and opting for Takehiro Tomiyasu at left-back, seemed promising. However, the defensive woes soon unfolded.

Arsenal defendr Tomiyasu

Arsenal defendr Takehiro Tomiyasu (Image credit: Getty Images)

Tomiyasu faced the daunting task of containing Leroy Sane, whose prowess nearly created an early opportunity for Bayern. A swift pass from midfield bypassed Tomiyasu, allowing Sane to advance dangerously into the penalty area. Fortunately, Gabriel intercepted, sparing Arsenal from imminent danger.

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Upson, speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, highlighted Tomiyasu’s struggle to contain Sane, praising Gabriel’s timely intervention. Despite the setback, Tomiyasu’s inclusion in the lineup, especially with defensive options limited, was warranted.

“Super position from Gabriel in the middle. Cut the ball out,” he said. “Tomiyasu all over the place here. Nowhere near the ball and not aware of the run of Sane, who chests the ball into his path.

“And his first touch is beyond Tomiyasu and it’s a really good position. And it was sharp from Gabriel just to get across and put it out for a corner.”

While Tomiyasu’s lapse against Sane is understandable given the latter’s skill, it underscored Bayern’s strategy to exploit Arsenal’s defensive vulnerabilities. Despite Arsenal’s efforts, the incident serves as a reminder of the defensive improvements needed to compete at the highest level.

In the aftermath of the clash, Arsenal’s defensive frailties remain a focal point, emphasising the ongoing challenges faced by Arteta’s side as they strive for consistency and success in elite competition.

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