The effect of the 5-1 hammering received by Arsenal in the Allianz Arena three weeks ago is so great that the second leg at the Emirates tonight has crept up under the radar with only a fraction of the coverage that could be expected of a knockout match between two of Europe’s giants.
It looks a task completely beyond any team and even more so in Arsenal’s case with their current run of mediocre form and results. The Gunners have been here before though and nearly pulled it off. Almost five years ago to the day, Arsenal lined up at home to AC Milan looking to overturn a four goal first leg deficit – ironically it was the last time Arsenal had won their Group and they were again handed the nightmare draw of that year’s R16. By half time came around goals from Kolcielny, Rosicky and van Persie had the Emirates rocking, but it was all in vain as the Italians shut up shop in the second half and went through 4-3 on aggregate.
So what chance this time, in short, very little! The bookies have them out at 25/1 to progress with Bayern at just 1/100 to make it to the Quarter Finals yet again. To put that in context, tomorrow evening a 4-0 win at Camp Nou for Barca against PSG will only get them a chance in the penalty lottery, yet they are quoted at only 9/1 for ultimate victory whilst PSG are as ‘low’ as 1/16 to be in the hat for next week’s draw.