Arsenal might not be in the Champions League next season, but that didn’t stop them pulling off a remarkable victory against their old European rivals, Bayern Munich, in a penalty shoot out in Shanghai on Wednesday.
Great work, @emimartinezz1! 👏
Bernat denied by Emi's low save to his left - and we win 3-2 on pens
🔴 - ❌✅✅❌❌July 19, 2017
Despite being somewhat on a bogey team for the Gunners, whose last two matches against the Germans ended in disastrous 5-1 defeats and sent them crashing out of the top European competition in March, Arsene Wenger’s side managed to win the International Champions Cup.
Goalkeeper, Emi Martinez, won plaudits for stopping two Bayern penalties, following a stoppage-time equaliser from Alex Iwobi that drew the north London club level at 1-1.
But when it dawned on spectators that an English club had actually defeated a German team at penalties, a few fans had a hard time getting their heads round the feat:
We beat Bayern wtf pic.twitter.com/dQdVH7vWDj— Tom Reynolds (@TomReynolds_11) July 19, 2017
We beat Bayern Munich, on penalties...? Wow... This is our season...!! #kneejerk— Dev Day (@worldofarsenal) July 19, 2017
Martinez told Arsenal.com: “I guess to be honest, since I was a kid, I’ve never lost on a penalty shoot-out. I keep building my luck in penalties.
“That’s what we train so hard for, extra-time. Goalkeepers always start early and finish late. The boss said that I had 20 or 25 minutes to play in this game, and I tried to do my best. It worked.
I can't believe that , shanghai is RED 🔴⚪️ , we beat Bayern😭😭😭😭 #COYG— M O N T Y (@AlmontserJamal) July 19, 2017
“I saved two penalties at the end and that was pretty incredible, but I think everyone played a part in this game,” he added.
“Pete [Petr Cech] made some good saves and the defence was outstanding with Nacho and Mo playing 90 minutes in these conditions. We’re really glad because we’ve had three wins, or one draw and two wins, so hopefully we keep building our game.”
I can't believe we got a trophy for beating Bayern. 😂 keep forgetting we are playing a preseason tournament. 😂 @Arsenal— Caleb Ensley (@CalebEnsley24) July 19, 2017
Can't believe that.
A. Not lost to Bayern Munich
B. Beat the Germans on penalties— Mark Graham (@Mikmark) July 19, 2017
More remarkably still, significant members in the Arsenal squad, including Per Mertesacker and Olivier Giroud were forced onto the bench, suffering from a suspected bout of food poisoning.
We've won it against Bayern Can't believe this 👏👏— Laca (@TheArsenalFa) July 19, 2017
Wenger has since admitted it remains to be seen if the illnesses will affect his side’s start to the Premier League campaign.
But for now, they can bask in the glow of this rare and welcome victory against a formidable opponent.
Best not get used to it.