Sunday’s defeat by Aston Villa has added jeopardy, and Mikel Arteta knows ousting Bayern will take some doing

Arsenal landed in a gusty Munich aiming to show they have not been blown off course. A week is a long time in football and it was only last Tuesday, when Mikel Arteta’s players emerged for their first leg to a rapturous reception at the Emirates, that they were being favoured to dethrone a wobbly Bayern Munich. The picture has clouded since then and there is a sense of being caught between absolutes when the rematch kicks off on Wednesday night.

If Arsenal overcome their depleted hosts, they will have achieved an outcome for the ages and can savour a first Champions League semi-final since 2009. Should Bayern make home advantage and elite-level lineage count, those hovering to sound the death knell on their season will form an orderly queue. At this point of a campaign the lightest breeze can resemble a hurricane, as was amply shown by the reaction to Aston Villa’s victory in north London on Sunday.

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