Well, as much as we don’t want it to be, the second leg of Arsenal/Bayern Munich is tomorrow. Coming off a dispiriting loss against Liverpool, and set against the background of reports of disharmony among the players and maybe even between Alexis and Arsene Wenger, it’s not the best time to attempt to make history and overcome a four goal deficit. Which, let’s face it, probably wouldn’t be in the cards even if Saturday hadn’t happened.
Anyway, we chat once again today with Ryan Cowper of Bavarian Football Works, and I try not to sound too depressed the whole way through. My answers to his questions over there can be found right here.
TSF: It's way too early to say the league is won, but as of now Bayern are seven points clear at the top. Is it reasonable to assume they'll throw everything they have at this game, even with a four goal lead, given that they seem to be in good shape in the league?
BFW: Opinions may differ among Bayern fans, but in my opinion the Bundesliga is a far cry from being over. A 97th minute goal against Hertha BSC rescued a single point last week, their weekend match against Köln was an exercise in clinical finishing, not dominance, and they still have the hard parts of their fixture list is coming.
They still have league matches against Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach, RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen still to come. Add in the fact of the matter being most of those fixtures are doing the incredibly congested months of the season and it's very easy to see where Bayern are going to drop points. The same is not true of RB Leipzig.
TSF: Somewhat related: if Bayern get out to a 1-0 win, will they just lock the doors and defend the rest of the game, or would you expect them to be attacking no matter what?
BFW: If Pep Guardiola was in charge of Bayern, we'd have seen that same mentality in the first leg of the tie and Arsenal would still be a significant threat. Instead Carlo Ancelotti allowed Bayern to exercise some of their more ruthless tendencies against Arsenal and there's not much incentive to think he'll shut up shop early on Tuesday if they start banging in the goals early.
Besides, if Bayern score the first at the Emirates, Arsenal have to score an additional five goals in a single match against Bayern just to force extra time. The last time someone put a 5-spot up on Bayern was nearly five years ago during the revolutionary heyday of Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund.
TSF: Is there anything that Arsenal could do to convince Bayern to just...not show up Tuesday? We've got some stuff going on and we need a minute.
BFW: Maybe they can trade this match for signing a petition to support the European Super League?
Thanks to Ryan and to Bavarian Football Works for taking the time to chat.