Giroud on decisive CL moment: Not Ozil pen or Szczesny red card

Giroud And Jedinak

Olivier Giroud says the decisive moment in Arsenal's Champions League elimination came before the game with Bayern Munich.

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud got his chance to start against Bayern Munich in the Champions League second leg, but could not find the target as his side were eliminated.

The Frenchman was left out for Yaya Sanogo in the first game, leaving him to watch from the sidelines and digest a fascinating encounter.

He was not on the pitch for either Mesut Ozil's missed penalty, nor Wojciech Szczesny's red card - both game-changing decisions.

Arsene Wenger looked back on them with wonder during his post-game press conference this week, but Giroud argues while both were significant, the damage was done ahead of the tie.

In an interview with French radio station RMC, he explained: "In these games, it is played with details. It is sure that if Ozil scored his penalty in the first leg, it would change the complexion of the game.

"What is unfortunate is that we failed to finish first in our group. We made ​​a good start but we had to put all the chances away.

"We ended second. So, we drew Bayern, we knew what to expect."

Giroud's final comment reveals an intimidation at the thought of facing Bayern, an attitude which can't have helped, yet such is the aura about the European Champions, it's hard not to have it.

His comments certainly carry some weight, because by finishing second in the group, the Gunners ensured they landed a tough draw whoever came out of the pot.

They were in pole position in the group heading into the final game, but were defeated by Napoli to surrender the initiative to Borussia Dortmund, who won the group and landed Zenit St Petersburg, one of the weakest sides remaining in the competition, who just this week sacked their manager.

Whether a popular view or not, if Ozil had scored that early penalty, the pedigree of Bayern still would have seen them favourites to come back into the tie and win it - but had Arsenal finished first in their group, that's an advantage they would take over a 1-0 lead over Pep Guardiola's side any day.

Did Arsenal seal their fate by finishing second in the group?

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