HOW WE SAW IT
We maintained our unbeaten pre-season record on Wednesday with a penalty shoot-out victory against Bayern Munich on a hot and humid night in Shanghai.
In testing conditions, the Germans settled first and went close through James Rodriguez before they were awarded a penalty when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was adjudged to have fouled Juan Bernat in the area.
Robert Lewandowski made no mistake from the spot, but we responded brightly and came close to equalising when Mesut Ozil saw his shot saved after a raking move up the length of the pitch.
It may have been nearly eight o’clock at night, but with the temperature still touching 30 degrees, the players understandably took every chance to take on more fluids.
After one such interval, we restarted brightly and Alexandre Lacazette had a golden opportunity to equalise when played clean through – only to see his shot saved.
Bayern were always going to be a big step up in terms of pre-season opponents, and so they proved, twice going close through Rodriguez and again through Thomas Muller before the interval.
Petr Cech was the busier of the goalkeepers in the first half, and he was called into action once again at the start of the second period to deny James and then David Alaba.
Substitute Theo Walcott would go close in the closing stages with a curling effort that was well held, and it looked as though we were heading for our first defeat of pre-season… before a late twist.
Our injury-time equaliser came as the ball was slipped to Ramsey on the left, and he clipped the ball into the area to the onrushing Alex Iwobi who placed his header in to spark wild celebrations among our Chinese fanbase.
That was the last act of normal time, so the match went to penalties – with Emi Martinez the hero as he saved from David Alaba and Juan Bernat to secure us the victory.
CECH IN TOP FORM
Petr Cech was in fine form in Shanghai, making a number of important saves to deny Bayern Munich. Here are his best moments:
37 mins - Cech reacts sharply to keep out Muller’s deflected shot
42 mins - Rodriguez finds space in the area, but Cech denies him with a confident stop
48 mins - Bayern break clear up the right and look certain to score as the ball is played across goal to Rodriguez, but Cech reacts quickly to hold on to his first-time shot
59 mins - David Alaba takes aim with a free kick from 25 yards, but Cech gets down well to hold on to it
64 mins - Bayern try to release Robery with a long ball over the top of the Arsenal defence, but Cech races off his line to clear the ball before the Frenchman
71 mins - Cech comes off to a standing ovation and is replaced by Emi Martinez
AS IT HAPPENED
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