FC Bayern lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the International Champions Cup on Wednesday night. Louis Poznanski handed Arsenal the lead when he unluckily put through his own goal after the restart. Robert Lewandowski levelled the scores midway through the second half, but Eddie Nketiah fired the Gunners to victory in the closing stages.
The German record champions started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Jonas Kehl, Jérôme Boateng, Javi Martínez and David Alaba in a back four. Thiago anchored a midfield featuring Daniels Ontuzans, Corentin Tolisso, Ryan Johansson and Jann-Fiete Arp, with Thomas Müller as lone striker.
The 26,704 capacity crowd at Dignity Health Sports Park saw an evenly-matched contest with many half-chances at either end. Arsenal were dominant at first, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Özil seeing efforts blocked before Henrikh Mkhitaryan miscued from 15 yards. Bayern slowly but surely got a grip on the match, Tolisso failing to get hold of a Johansson pass, Arsenal netminder Bernd Leno being able to collect after a mix-up in the box.
Özil failed to connect with Alexander Lacazette's centre before Müller drew a strong save from Leno at the other end. The keeper was called into action again when he denied a fine Ontuzans effort. Neuer proved equal to an Özil effort, and Tolisso's miscued shot from 18 yards meant the contest was goalless at half-time.
Boss Niko Kovac comprehensively shuffled his deck at half-time. Sven Ulreich took over between the sticks, with Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Benjamin Pavard and Louis Poznanski in defence. Angelo Stiller and Leon Goretzka featured in a twin holding role behind Serge Gnabry, Sarpreet Singh and Kingsley Coman, with Lewandowski up front.
The first chance after the restart fell to Bayern, Goretzka seeing his effort saved, but Arsenal took the lead when Louis Poznanski unluckily deflected an Aubameyang cross and put through his own goal. Bayern went looking for a reply, Gnabry miscuing before seeing another shot blocked. Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martínez proved equal to two Coman efforts, but a Gnabry cross invited Lewandowski to head home and level the scores. Gnabry and Coman tried to close out the meeting, letting fly from distance, but Nketiah fired Arsenal to victory when he mopped up from close range shortly before the final whistle.
The Bavarians will be back in action in just three days, when they take on Real Madrid.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
Leno (Martínez 46) – Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Mustafi (Chambers 81), Monreal (Kolasinac 46) – Willock (Burton 65), Xhaka – Mkhitaryan (Nelson 65), Özil (John-Jules 81), Aubameyang (Saka 81) – Lacazette (Nketiah 81)
Macey – Bellerin, Holding, Jenkinson, Mavropanos, Martinelli, Olayinka, Medley, Thompson
First half: Neuer – Kehl, Boateng, Martínez, Alaba – Thiago – Arp, Johansson, Tolisso, Ontuzans – Müller
Second half: Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Pavard, Poznanski – Stiller, Goretzka – Gnabry, Singh, Coman – Lewandowski
Hoffmann – Davies, Sanches, Zaiser, Mihaljevic
Kevin Stott (USA)
1-0 Poznanski (49, og), 1-1 Lewandowski (71), 2-1 Nketiah (87)
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