Arsenal bemoan lack of technology in loss to Bayern Munich
An angry Jonas Eidevall lambasted the Women's Champions League rulebook and bemoaned the fact that goal-line technology is not enforced across the entire knockout phase, after his Arsenal side's 1-0 first-leg defeat at Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals included two close-looking goal-line clearances.
Eidevall revealed that his own club had already decided to fund the use of goal-line technology for next Wednesday 29th March's second leg at the Emirates "because we think that’s the right thing to do to ensure a fair competition" but says they found out on Monday that it would not be used in the first leg and criticised tournament organisers for not making it compulsory.
Var officials were in operation for Tuesday's fixture at the Allianz Arena – and will be for the remainder of this competition – although Eidevall also slammed the their performance, as he felt his team were denied two "clear and obvious" penalties.
He added that Saki Kumagai and Lea Schuller's goal-line clearances in the second half, denying Stina Blackstenius and Leah Williamson respectively, should have received the hawk-eye treatment to deliver a definite verdict straight to the referee's watch.
"I think it’s a problem for the competition that not every game has the same level of technology in helping the officials to take the right decisions," Eidevall said. "It’s not Bayern’s fault. It’s within their rights to take that decision, but I think we can all agree it’s very weird that you play at a level in the competition and all of a sudden it comes down to the host club whether you’re going to fund technology that is going to be used by both teams.”
Bayern Munich head coach Alexander Straus said he had not been asked whether he wanted goal-line technology in the first leg, saying: "I don’t think it would have helped them [Arsenal]. I’ve not seen it again but I don’t think the ball was over the line. We got the question about it [using the technology] for the game at the Emirates, if we want it, and we said ‘yes’, but I’ve never had a question about the game here at the Allianz, it’s not been put forward to me."
There was no debate about Germany striker Schuller's goal, though, as the 25-year-old rose highest to find the net and give the team lying second in the Frauen Bundesliga a narrow lead ahead of the return leg.
Arsenal have a big task ahead of them to overturn the deficit, but they created more than enough chances to give themselves cause for real hope. Their primary task, however, is going to be taking their chances.
They had plenty of them in an impressive second-half display, but they continue to lack the potency in front of goal they were so used to prior to the season-ending injuries suffered by Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema shortly before Christmas. While the club's efforts to sign a striker in January did not come to fruition.
England veteran Jodie Taylor, 36, joined the club on a free transfer earlier in March but the Euro 2017 Golden Boot winner was not registered for this European tie and can only play in league games.
Australia's Caitlin Foord, who was a threat for Arsenal, hit the post, but as a team they spurned plenty of good opportunities and were thwarted by Bayern's impressive, last-ditch defending. Arsenal's central striker Stina Blackstenius had a glorious headed chance from a Foord cross in the first half but couldn't convert.
Showing them the way was Schuller, Bayern Munich’s top scorer in the Frauen Bundesliga so far this season with nine goals in 15 league appearances, who out-jumped Laura Wienroither for the opener, much to the joy of the 20,000-strong crowd.
Arsenal are the only British women’s club to have won a European title, with their sole continental trophy coming in 2007 when they won a quadruple of major honours. Their current squad, buoyed by lifting their first trophy in four years with victory in 5 March's Women's League Cup final, started slowly but showed their qualities in-possession after the break, with Kim Little and Foord both in good form.
The hosts, who are second in the German top-flight, just two points behind leaders Wolfsburg, were backed by a 20,000-strong home crowd. They were grateful to 2011 World Cup-winning Japan defender Saki Kumagai and Schuller for their crucial goal-line clearances in the second half, denying Stina Blackstenius and Leah Williamson respectively.
Bayern Munich (4-2-1-3): Grohs 6; Rall 6, Viggosdottir 7, Kumagai 8, Hansen 7; Zadrazil 7, Stanway 7 (Bragstad 5, 90+1); Magull 7 (Kett 6, 85); Buhl 6, Schüller8 (Damnjanovic, 79), Lohmann 7
Goals: Schuller 39
Subs not used: Benkarth (gk), Runarsdottir (gk), Vilhjalmsdottir, Laurent, Simon, Ernst, Ladenberger, Gloning, Rudelic
Arsenal (4-2–1-3): Zinsberger 6; Wienroither 6 (Pelova 6, 60), Williamson 7, Rafaelle 7, Maritz 6; Walti 6, Little 7; Maanum 7; McCabe 7, Blackstenius 6 (Kuhl 6, 81), Foord 8
Subs not used: D’Angelo (gk), Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Hurtig, Marckese (gk), Agyemang
Referee: Ivana Projkovska