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Trossard strikes late to rescue Arsenal in Bayern draw

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Trossard strikes late to rescue Arsenal in Bayern draw

Arsenal rescued a 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich as Leandro Trossard’s late leveller stopped Harry Kane making a triumphant return to north London in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.

Trossard came off the bench to equalise in the closing stages at the Emirates Stadium after former Tottenham striker Kane put Bayern 2-1 ahead with a first-half penalty.

Arsenal had taken an early lead through Bukayo Saka before former Gunners winger Serge Gnabry put Bayern back on level terms.

Kane scored a north London derby record 14 goals against Arsenal during his time with Tottenham, making him an inevitable target for taunts for Gunners fans.

When Kane bagged his sixth career goal at the Emirates — and his 39th in all competitions in his first season with Bayern — it seemed the England captain would have the last laugh.

But Trossard’s dramatic intervention leaves the tie delicately poised ahead of the second leg in Munich on April 17.

Although Saka was furious not to be given a penalty in the final seconds when Neuer appeared to trip him, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta would only say: “The decision was made. We cannot change it.

“We started really well. We were dominant, created some momentum and scored the first goal. Then at a critical moment we didn’t get the second.

“We have given them two goals today. That is the biggest lesson. When they have this space they can punish you.”

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel claimed his side should have had a penalty of their own, saying: “The referee would not give a penalty because he said it was a kid’s mistake by their defender when he handled.

“This is a horrible explanation. We feel angry. It is a huge decision against us.”

Premier League leaders Arsenal have been in superb form this season, while Bayern are on the brink of surrendering the German title for the first time in 12 years after a brutal domestic campaign.

But, playing in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, Arsenal looked unusually hesitant at times and will be relieved to have emerged with their hopes of a first European Cup still intact.

Fans in the 60,000 sell-out crowd were able to focus on a pulsating clash after security was increased at Champions League games this week.

A media outlet supporting the Islamic State group published threats against stadiums hosting quarter-finals this week.

UEFA, European football’s governing body, confirmed it was aware of the threats but the ties at the Emirates and in Madrid — where Real drew with Manchester City — both went ahead as planned.

  • On a knife-edge –

Befitting their poor form, Bayern made a nervous start and Alphonso Davies was quickly booked for a challenge on Saka that triggered a second-leg suspension for the Canadian defender.

Arteta’s men took the lead in the 12th minute, showing the intensity and poise that had led Tuchel to label them “the best team in the Premier League”.

Saka started Arsenal’s high press, winning the ball deep in Bayern’s half before Ben White’s return pass picked out the England winger in the area.

Saka’s strike was unerring, flashing low past Manuel Neuer into the far corner for his 18th goal in all competitions this term.

But Tuchel’s side exposed a rare moment of naivety from Arsenal to draw level six minutes later.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes carelessly surrendered possession and Bayern pounced as perfectly weighted passes from Leroy Sane and Leon Goretzka picked out Gnabry, who deftly guided his shot past David Raya from 12 yards.

It was the first time Arsenal had conceded at home in the Champions League this season, and Raya had to pick the ball out of his net again in the 32nd minute.

Leroy Sane’s dazzling burst through the heart of the flat-footed Arsenal defence was only halted when William Saliba’s crude challenge conceded a penalty.

With boos ringing around the Emirates, Kane kept his composure to send Raya the wrong way from the spot before aiming a broad grin at the Arsenal keeper on his way back to the centre-circle.

In an inspired tactical change, Arteta sent on Trossard and Gabriel Jesus in the second half, lifting Arsenal out of their lethargy in time to snatch a 76th-minute equaliser.

Jesus was the catalyst with a superb surge into the Bayern area that ended with a pin-point pass to Trossard, who gleefully slotted a fine finish past Neuer.

smg/jc

AFP

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