Laurent Koscielny had to be sent-off, Arsenal start with a point to prove and the end for Arsene Wenger is nigh

Five things we learned: The Gunners started well but ultimately came undone after Laurent Koscielny's second-half sending-off

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Arsenal were again humiliated as their 10 men crashed out of the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The Bundesliga champions were hot favourites to advance from the tie having won the first leg at the Allianz Arena 5-1 last month and they were too good for Arsene Wenger's side as they racked up the same scoreline.

The Gunners had their backs to the wall but started well and took a deserved lead through Theo Walcott before Bayern reacted after the interval. 

Laurent Koscielny was sent off for bringing down Robert Lewandowski, who scored the resulting penalty before Arjen Robben struck and then Douglas Costa and an Arturo Vidal double inside seven minutes added insult to injury on another tough night for Wenger.

Bayern show Arsenal how to protest

Around 400 Arsenal fans gathered outside the old Highbury stadium to protest against Wenger following the club’s 13 long seasons without a Premier League title. It was a half-hearted protest at best, with only a handful staying for the march to the Emirates where ‘Wenger Out’ banners were unveiled.

The Bayern supporters once again showed their English counterparts how to do it. The last time they were at the Emirates, they brought a banner that castigated English football and it’s ticket prices.

The banner returned, along with what appeared to be Munich’s entire stock of toilet roll. The match was held up for about two minutes as stewards and firefighters attempted to clear the pitch, along with the Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

If Arsenal fans really want to protest, maybe they should do so against those who charge fans £62 to see this weekend’s FA Cup clash against Lincoln City.

Walcott starts with a point to prove

Theo Walcott came firing out the blocks to give Arsenal's fans faint hope (Getty)

Restored to the starting line-up, Theo Walcott was by far the best player on the pitch in the first half. That the entire Arsenal side wilted after the break should not take away that, for 45 minutes, Walcott reminded everyone of what he can offer when at his best,

His tormented Mats Hummels and David Alaba early on, and his goal gave the home fans hope, however faint, that got them behind the side after a flat start. He should’ve scored a second, too, when in a similar position, he failed to fire the ball above manuel Neuer’s head as he did the first and could only find the side netting.

Why was Ozil on the bench?

Mesut Ozil had been ruled out of this match by Arsene Wenger in Monday’s press conference due to illness, and yet he was named on the substitutes’ bench come an hour before kick-off. Given that he also trained fully on Monday, this raised quite a few questions.

Was Ozil supposed to be in the side? If he was, then why wasn’t he starting? He can’t have been that ill, given he came on the pitch when the game has disappeared from Arsenal’s grasp. Given the rumblings of discontent between Wenger, Alexis Sanchez and the rest of the squad, you would not be surprised if there’s more to come out on Ozil.

Koscielny had to go


The only mistake that referee Tasos Sidiropoulos made in the penalty incident is that he showed Laurent Koscielny a yellow card. Arsenal protested their captain’s innocence given the rule change this season that giving away a penalty no longer results in a sending off, but that only applies when a genuine attempt at the ball has been made.

In Koscielny’s case, there wasn’t a genuine attempt as he tripped Robert Lewandowski from behind, and after coinsulting with his additional assistant behind the Arsenal goal, Sidiropoulos rescinded the yellow and produced the correct red card.

The end is nigh for Wenger

There’s simply no way back for Wenger, and he needs to accept that for his own good. Protests before the match, another collapse during it and a third 5-1 defeat in a row against Bayern after it. Wenger is clearly losing the players, given their complete lack of desire to fight after the equaliser on the night, and he is losing more and more fans by the week given the boos that rung out at full-time.

Even the most devout Wenger supporter must find it hard to back Wenger, and given all he has done for the club in his two decades at the helm, the onus must be on him to leave because he will not be sacked. A seventh consecutive European defeat in the last 16 and a 16-point gap to Premier League leaders Chelsea hardly suggests that he is taking this team forward any more.