Arsene Wenger saw his side humiliated again
By the time the 10th Munich goal went in over the two legs, Arsene Wenger finally looked like a man who has had enough.
For 50 minutes, Arsenal had gone toe-to-toe with Germany’s European giants and sparked the belief that this time it could be different.
But even a sense of injustice over the harsh, goalline assistant -inspired sending off of Laurent Koscielny was not enough to disguise the truth.
The ease with which Munich rubber-stamped their authority once they had the extra man once again sparked mumbles of discontent, albeit with majority shareholder Stan Kroenke the target rather than Wenger, as had been anticipated.
Questions need to be asked at all levels, though, as to why Arsenal continually fail to measure up to their elite European peers because this was all so depressingly predictable.
A pattern that started in 2012 had looked on the cards the moment Arsenal capitulated so pathetically in Germany three weeks earlier.
Poor first legs against AC Milan, Munich a year later and Monaco in 2015 had led to brave second-leg against-the-odds displays that ultimately led to the Gunners falling agonisingly short.
This time they did not even manage that.
Wenger had demanded some “lucid rage” and something approaching that finally reared its head after Bayern Munich dominated the opening exchanges.
Olivier Giroud, who unexpectedly found himself in the starting line-up after Danny Welbeck was taken ill, had the first scent of goal, deflecting a header against the outside of the foot of the post.
Arsenal fans voiced their discontent at Arsenal's lacklustre performance
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Bayern Munich rubber-stamped their authority after Koscielny got sent off
That seemed to lift the whole stadium and moments later Walcott broke through the German defence and arrowed a shot inside Manuel Neuer’s near post to get the Arsenal faithful believing again.
At this point, Bayern Munich were rattled. TV replays showed Xabi Alonso just got enough of the ball to deflect strong shouts for a penalty and the usually composed Robert Lewandowski completely fluffed his shot when put clear through on a rare Munich attack.
Arsenal’s big failure, though, was not to get a second before the break, giving the German champions a chance to regroup in the sanctity of the changing room and take a little bit of the sting out of the Premier League side’s upturned tails.
Meanwhile, in the home changing room just along the corridor, the fragility that has been highlighted in recent weeks was about to cause an implosion.
Within four minutes of the restart Lewandowksi put the ball in the back of the net – fortunately for Arsenal, the eagle-eyed assistant spotted he had just strayed offside.
Alexis Sanchez loses his cool during Arsenal's clash with Bayern Munich
Tue, March 7, 2017
Alexis Sanchez was not happy during Arsenal's match with Bayern Munich
Marc Atkins / Offside
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Alexis Sanchez rages during Arsenal’s clash with Bayern Munich
But it was only a temporary reprieve. Moments later Lewandowski was onside, ran past Laurent Koscielny and was unceremoniously dumped to the ground.
A yellow card was shown, the additional assistant persuaded referee Tasos Sidiropolous that it was a in fact a goalscoring opportunity and Koscielny was belatedly sent trudging towards the tunnel.
Crucially, Lewandowski was clinical from the spot and with four goals now needed to force extra time, the fight was sucked out of the Emirates with an almost audible plop.
But that does not excuse any of what happened next.
Arjen Robben stole the solace even of a draw by taking advantage of some poor defending to score a Munich second.
Alexis Sanchez was brought off by Arsene Wenger with 20 minutes to go
Then highly-paid Premier League stars began to play like lackadaisical schoolboys as the Germans set about highlighting just how Arsenal have become a shell of their former selves.
The famous red-and-white shirts now looked like the livery of traffic cones and Munich knocked the ball between Arsenal defenders at will.
Substitute Douglas Costa helped himself to a third, Arturo Vidal a fourth. And then, because he fancied it, a fifth.
All the time the Emirates emptied pitifully, the only thing keeping down the noise of the inevitable final whistle boos.
Nobody, though, will have taken this defeat harder than Wenger and humiliation in the very stadium his endeavours built is a very bitter pill for him to have to swallow.
Sir Alex Ferguson ended his Manchester United career as the Premier League champion and of course it is not right that for Wenger is should end like this.
But what is clear now – hopefully even to the Frenchman himself – is that really it must end.
ARSENAL (4-3-3-): Ospina; Monreal, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin; Ramsey (Coquelin 72), Xhaka, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott, Giroud (Perez 72), Sanchez (Ozil 72). Booked: Walcott, Xhaka. Sent off: Koscielny Goal: Walcott 21.
BAYERN MUNICH (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Hummels, Alaba; Vidal, Alonso; Robben, Thiago, Ribery; Lewandowski. Booked: Alaba, Javi Martinez. Goals: Lewandowski Robben 61, Costa 77, Vidal 80.
REFEREE: Tasos Sidiropoulos (Greece)