1) A Glorious night at Ashburton Grove on Tuesday, how were you feeling before the kick off? Did you give us much hope? (be honest now)
@gillianbaci - to be honest, I wasn't thinking much about the game prior to kick off. The few times I thought about it, I wanted us to lose because I wanted us out of the UCL so we could focus on the BPL, but after that win, I want us to go all the way.
@goonersanti - I expected the Arsenal to field their strongest team, which they did. Given that Bayern in their current form were the best team in Europe, I was terrified. I honestly just wanted to see a good match and for our boys to give it their all and get a draw.
@mecas94 - I had been asked this question quite a lot by my mates before the match and every time I answered: "Realistically, Lewandowski in his form, will score one or two, and we’re not going to find a way past their defence. 2-0 loss”. But I always added at the end: “With Arsenal in Europe, you never know”.
@TalkingArse - with Arsenal, it's the hope that kills you, so I guess my lack of nerves betrayed pretty low expectations (sure enough, once we went a goal up, the Wenger-esque stomach-churning kicked in). But I did also see it as a bit of a free hit: I couldn't see them hammering us, a defeat wasn't going to change much, and we had produced enough similar performances previously to know we had a chance.
2) Who was your man of the match against Bayern Munich and why?
@gillianbaci - Everyone put in a good shift, but Koscielny did a really good job.
@goonersanti - There were many contenders for MotM including Monreal, Koscielny, Cazorla and Ozil but mine would have to be Petr Cech. He brought assurance to the back four against a movement heavy Bayern attack with his organization and commanding influence in the box. His distribution was good and he made a few vital saves to keep us in the game.
@mecas94 - MotM has to go to Petr Cech. Before 10 minutes had gone, he had already made a superb save on Thiago after a great one-two with Thomas Muller. We go 1-0 down on 9 minutes and it’s game over. Another decent save on Vidal later in the half to go into half time at 0-0; always a chance in the second half. Notice how Cech always parries his saves out of the penalty area, towards the corner, not straight back into danger. This was crucial today. A third brilliant save on Lewandowski at 75 minutes proved to be vital as we went the other way to score 2 minutes later.
@TalkingArse - it's Petr Cech, but he's received a boatload of deserved praise already, so let's hear it for Nacho Monreal, who neutralised Thomas Muller and looked every inch the best left back in the country. Calmness and intelligence personified and one of the best ever examples of Wenger's ability to improve players.
3) Who was not at their best and why?
@gillianbaci - Before his goal, I would have said Ozil. Walcott too was a bit wasteful, but great credit needs to be given to him for his ability to get those chances in the first place.
@goonersanti - I felt that Ramsey and Alexis did not have their best games. Both looked subdued and their passing was off. Though Alexis showed a lot of endeavour, he turned over possession a couple of times in dangerous areas which could have really hurt us.
@mecas94 - I think it’s unfair to pinpoint a bad performance from an Arsenal player tonight but for arguments sake, I’ll go with Per Mertesacker. He was left flat-footed by Lewandowski in the first minute and if it weren’t for Bellerin’s pace to get back, things could’ve gone badly straight from kickoff. One could say that he was out of position for Lewa’s chance in the 75th minute but again, it’s hard to find a flaw in an exceptional team performance against Bayern.
@TalkingArse - it was a great team performance, but Alexis Sanchez regularly lost/gave away the ball in entirely the wrong areas. He's a high-risk, high-reward player anyway, but he's also shattered.
4) Is the counter attacking approach something you'd like to see more often from Arsenal or do you find it a risky strategy?
@gillianbaci - it's worked quite well so far, so yes.
@goonersanti - I think it is a strategy which is suited in some games. Although everyone is of the opinion that Arsenal are a possession hungry team, we do counter a lot and many of our goals do come from counter attacks. There is a fine line between parking the bus and playing good counter attacking football and I think Arsenal got that right against Bayern.
@mecas94 - Definitely not. Arsenal should and will stick to passing around teams, controlling possession and walking the ball into the net. It is only against teams that are admittedly better than us that this counter-attacking tactic works wonderfully. (ex. Man City away last season etc…)
@TalkingArse - I think we've shown we're an excellent counter-attacking side and we absolutely should look to use it, especially away and against better opponents. That said, against all but the most dangerous passing teams, where over-committing can be suicide, I'd rather see us press higher up than on Tuesday night.
5) What do you see happening in the return match at Bayern?
@gillianbaci - with Arsenal, you can never be too sure. I see a win for us.
@goonersanti - Bayern will be fired up for the return fixture and it will be a very tough game. I'd be happy if we manage to hold them to a draw.
@mecas94 - Honestly it could go both ways. Although we won at the Allianz a few years ago in a very similar performance to Tuesday night, it would be bold to predict another Arsenal victory away from home at one of European football’s powerhouse teams. Again, with Arsenal, you never know.
@TalkingArse - Bayern will want revenge, and with home advantage you'd expect them to win. But we certainly have a chance at repeating the performance and result. We should have fond memories of beating the odds in Germany.
6) What are our chances of qualification to the knock outs? Are you confident we can do it or is it unrealistic?
@gillianbaci - Easier to tell after the next Bayern game.
@goonersanti - The win against Bayern means the door is still open. There are still many permutations by which we can go through, but it would mean being focused and getting maximum points against Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos. It is an uphill task, but the chance is there.
@mecas94 - I’ve done a little bit of predicting that Olympiakos will earn 3 points from their next two matches (Bayern, D.Zagreb). Similarly, Arsenal are likely to take 3 points as well from our next two games (Bayern and D.Zagreb). This means that Arsenal will need 3 points at Olympiakos on the last matchday of the group stage to only pull level on points with them. It will come down to goal differential in my opinion. What a match that will be!
@TalkingArse - Olympiacos are no mugs at home so that win in Zagreb was a bit of a sickener. I'd give us a 50:50 chance. If we didn't manage it, I'd love to see us give the Europa League a serious go: it's a pain in the arse, but it's still a European trophy and a step up from the FA Cup.
7) Alexis might be super human but even he is looking a little jaded. Question is, do you rest him against Everton on the weekend? or give him one more game before the likely all change in the Capital One Cup?
@gillianbaci - he is Alexis Sanchez, he'll be upset if I don't play him.
@goonersanti - I would not risk Alexis against Everton especially considering that he played through injury for Chile and then played against both Watford and Bayern. I would keep him on the bench if needed. We really can't afford any more injuries to this squad.
@mecas94 - Alexis Sanchez is one of the toughest and fittest players I’ve seen play for Arsenal in a long time - that’s not saying much. With this in mind, I think he will be fine to play 60 or 70 minutes against Everton. Arsenal need to keep that pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table if we want a title challenge and Arsene Wenger knows that. A good rest in the cup game will be more than enough for Alexis.
@TalkingArse - we're "in a good moment" right now, and I don't see Wenger risking that by resting his most dangerous player against a very good opponent. I think that's fair enough. And with some luck (and the right intensity) we might have built a sufficient cushion to afford him a rest with 20-odd minutes to go.
8) Do you think Arsenal can win the league? Why can they? Or why do you think they won't?
@gillianbaci - yes we can. Our team is very capable of pulling it off.
@goonersanti - I am not confident that we can win the league, though I think we can challenge closely. It will come down to the health of the squad and Man City have a better squad than ours. I think they are favorites.
@mecas94 - Arsenal can absolutely win the league this season. A few people will think “injuries isn’t an excuse” but the fact is, we’ve been destroyed by injuries in the past few seasons right when we need the players the most. If we can keep key players injury-free this season and maintain form, I don’t see why it would be a brave statement to say Arsenal can win the league.
@TalkingArse - Yes we can, and results like Tuesday's show that it's foolish to write us off. Cech and the back four (and Gabriel) are a match for any defensive unit in the country at the moment, and the defence has to be right to have any chance. I have huge confidence in Cazorla and Coquelin, and Ozil and Sanchez are world-class. There's more than enough there to get your hopes up, but like I said, it's the hope that kills you.
9) Any other thoughts?
@gillianbaci - Chamberlain up until this moment has seemed like a fraud to me, it's almost as if he has bad luck. Always involved in goals against our team. Maybe I'm being totally Irrational, but well, opinions.
@goonersanti - I would like to give a special mention to Bellerin, a favorite of mine (along with Toral) since 2013. The 1v1s vs Douglas Costa and the movement of Bayern's attack are arguably the toughest challenges he could face. Yes, he was bested by Costa a couple of times, but he went toe to toe with him and came out on top in the end. And that sprint in the 94th min.. ooff!
@mecas94 - Huge credit to the mentality of our players recently. They respond to criticism in the best way: by playing better on the field. Take Ramsey for example, proving all doubters wrong about his ability. Ozil has gained a reputation for not showing up in big games but he has responded brilliantly providing assists and goals in big games already this season. A dip in form saw Giroud drop to the bench in the past few weeks but goals for France and off the bench for Arsenal means he’s working extra hard in training to make the club better overall. What a group of players Arsene has put together.
@TalkingArse - Sad to see Ramsey inured after breaking his duck at Watford. But I'm excited to see if the Ox can take the chance this seems to offer him.
Thanks to the guys above for the responses, you can follow them on Twitter by adding their username (without the @ symbol) at the end of http://www.twitter.com/ so get following and catch their thoughts on a regular basis.
I am still buzzing about the game I must say, almost enjoying the post match happiness from Gooners just as much, it's a great feeling. For more post match Arsenal Vision goodness you can read my Match Thoughts and do not forget to listen to the latest Post Match Podcast with @YankeeGunner, @PoznanInMyPants & @GoonerFanatic49