Arsenal beat Bayern Munich 2-0 in front of a record crowd of 21,307 at the Emirates on Wednesday to reach to the semifinals of the Women’s Champions League.
First-half goals from Frida Maanum and Stina Blackstenius were all Jonas Eidevall’s side needed to overturn their 1-0 deficit from the opening leg of the quarterfinals to advance 2-1 on aggregate after the second leg.
An early injury to captain Kim Little could have dampened Arsenal’s evening, but rather than panicking the hosts stuck to their jobs, relentlessly pressing Bayern’s midfield and defence.
Despite the success of their press, Arsenal struggled to create clear-cut chances before taking the lead in spectacular fashion when the ball worked its way out to Maanum outside the box and the Norway midfielder struck it first time with her pinpoint shot nestling into the top left hand side of the goal.
With the wind in their sails and back level on aggregate, the Gunners continued to attack with abandon and after drawing a strong sliding clearance from Maria Luisa Grohs, the hosts had their second when Blackstenius headed Katie McCabe’s cross home in a crowded box.
Grohs was kept on her toes all night and was called into action later in the first half to deny the hosts with a sterling double save to keep both Blackstenius and Maanum from netting first-half braces.
The 21-year-old saved the Bavarians again just before half-time when she parried a Blackstenius header away before Lotte Wubben-Moy brushed the bar with a hopeful effort from range.
Bayern found more joy going forward in the second half and saw their best flurry around the hour when they earned a succession of corners following a block from Wubben-Moy, with Lina Magull claiming the best chance for the visitors with a flicked header that Rafaelle helped keep out.
Arsenal were still looking for a third on the night to put the tie away and had a pair of gilt-edged chances to so when Grohs first tipped McCabe’s low effort wide then ahead of Caitlin Foord sending a shot over the bar when left alone in the area.
Even with seven minutes of stoppage time at their disposal and hopeful corner that saw Grohs run up to join the melee in the box, Bayern couldn’t find a tie-saving goal in North London and exit at the last eight.
Arsenal will now await the result of Thursday’s second leg between PSG and Wolfsburg to determine who they will face in the semifinals, which begin on April 22.