Under-fire Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has received some unexpected support from German World Cup winner Matts Hummels.
The defender was a part of the Bayern Munich team that inflicted a second 5-1 defeat in three weeks on the Gunners in the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday. This gave the Bundesliga club a 10-2 aggregate victory.
Hummels said after the game that he had never played in a match that ended in such a convincing victory for one side, while the other had more of the game.
Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead in the 20th minute, allowing their fans to dream of a miraculous come-back, but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski equalised shortly after the break from the spot following a Laurent Koscielny foul.
The referee also showed the Arsenal captain a straight red card.
“That was the turning point of the match. Until that time, they were leading 1-0 and there was always the danger that things could swing in their favour. But when we scored and they were down to 10 men, we knew that there was no coming back for them as they had to score four goals to take the match to extra time.”
Bayern then ran rampant against a 10-man Arsenal side and more goals by Arjen Robben, Diego Costa and an Arturo Vidal brace ensured a one-sided scoreline.
Hummels, who joined the five-time European champions from Borussia Dortmund at the start of the season, said that Arsenal had given them some problems in the first half.
“They played a fast game and their second pass often found a player. That was not an easy situation for us to handle. I would not say we were careless, but we were not at our best.”
The 28-year-old dismissed speculation that his side had taken the match too easy because they had won the first leg so convincingly.
“I think anybody who saw our training would have seen the intensity with which we trained. We certainly were very focused.”
He said he did not think the emphatic aggregate victory had propelled the team to become favourites in the competition.
“We are in the quarter-finals with seven other teams. That means we are one of eight favourites to win the competition.
“But if you look at what happened in the first leg between PSG and Barcelona (which the French side won 4-0), you can see what difference a bad day can make.”