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reports from Highbury
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banner Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 22:12 GMT
Arsenal rocked by Bayern comeback
Nwankwo Kanu
Kanu's second for Arsenal was soon erased
Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich

Arsenal let slip a two-goal lead against German champions Bayern Munich at Highbury in their second group stage Champions League fixture.

Manager Arsene Wenger's home side provided most of the attacking threat and took the lead through Thierry Henry in the first-half.

Nwankwo Kanu increased Arsenal's advantage early in the second-half but a lack of concentration allowed Bayern a vital and immdiate equaliser through Michael Tarnat.

German international Mehmet Scholl completed his side's comeback with a 25-yard free-kick to leave Arsenal bottom of their group before a break in the Champions League schedule.

A security alert at Highbury had earlier seen the kick-off delayed by 25 minutes.


When the game did start, it was Arsenal who found quicky found their stride and scored with their first attack in the third minute.

In an imaginative and incisive move, midfielder Patrick Vieira played the ball to fellow Frenchman Robert Pires on the left flank.

Pires then slid the ball to another of Arsenal's French contingent in striker Henry, who dummied the ball for Kanu to gather in a central position on the edge of the Bayern area.

Kanu then immediately found Henry to his left as the visiting defence were sliced open.

Henry finished off his penetrative run with a first time finish as he slotted past Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

Arsenal had won all three of their Champions League games at home this season.


The London side needed a win after a defeat away to Spartak Moscow in the opening game of the second group stage and they continually attacked in the first-half.

Ashley Cole, Fredrik Ljungberg and Kanu all had efforts on goal before Arsenal had a penalty appeal for hand-ball against Ciriaco Sforza truned down.

Bayern then launched their first noteworthy assault on the Arsenal goal with a sweeping counter-attack.

It ended with Vieira being harshly penalised for a foul on Scholl on the edge of the area after 16 minutes.

German international Scholl's free-kick was blocked but Vieira's back-pass nine minutes later was not properly cleared by goalkeeper Alex Manninger.

Bayern failed to capitalise before Ljungberg produced a jinking and powerful run only to be fouled on the edge of the Bayern box.


Henry's free-kick found the opposition wall but soon after the Frenchman twisted and turned and found Pires in the Bayern area.

The pass was too hard for Pires who laid it onto Oleg Luzhny. He might have done better to shoot first time rather than take an extra touch which saw him quickly closed down.

The woodwork then came to Bayern's rescue after 36 minutes when a Tony Adams header was deflected onto the bar by Thomas Linke.

After 40 minutes, Bayern midfielder Stefan Effenberg found Brazilian Elber and he held the ball up before laying it on for Scholl.

But Scholl was left holding his head in his hands after shooting wide from 18 yards.

It seemed a costly mistake after the interval. Following Ljungberg and Vieira spurning good openings, Kanu extended Arsenal's lead.

In a reversal of the first goal, Henry pulled a ball back from the by-line for his Nigerian striker partner.


Kanu completed the move with a powerful and precise left-foot finish from 18-yards which went in off the post after 54 minutes.

Bayern have visited English opposition on nine occasions, including one win and five draws.

They responded immediately to Arsenal's second through Tarnat's well-struck shot.

It proved a crucial part of the game as Arsenal provided Bayern a glimmer of hope which the Germans seized.

After Arsenal had conceded a free-kick 25-yards out in a central position, Scholl took it and gave home goalkeeper Manninger littlle chance as he scored with a curling shot.

Arsenal: Manninger, Vieira, Keown, Adams, Pires, Ljungberg, Henry, Grimandi, Luzhny, Kanu, Cole. Subs: Lukic, Dixon, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lauren, Upson, Vivas.

Bayern Munich: Kahn, Sagnol, Kuffour, Scholl, Elber, Sforza, Effenberg, Jeremies, Tarnat, Salihamidzic, Linke. Subs: Dreher, Andersson, Weisinger, Sergio, Fink, Zickler, Santa Cruz.

Referee: Stefano Braschi (Prato)

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