Shanghai: Arsenal were outplayed for long periods by Bayern Munich before salvaging a last-gasp draw and then winning 3-2 on penalties in a Shanghai friendly on Wednesday.
Reserve goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was the unlikely hero for the Premier League side, saving Juan Bernat’s soft spot kick after Arsenal substitute Alex Iwobi made it 1-1 right at the end of normal time.
It may only have been a friendly and Arsenal emerged victorious, but it made for painful viewing at times for manager Arsene Wenger, whose side suffered a 10-2 aggregate drubbing to Bayern in last season’s Champions League.
Robert Lewandowski needed just nine minutes to fire Bayern ahead from the penalty spot as the German champions dominated before Iwobi headed in at the death.
There will be no Champions League for Arsenal this term and a gulf in class was evident.
At one point in the opening period at Shanghai Stadium, where temperatures hovered around 36 degrees Celsius (97F), Wenger had his arms outstretched in frustration.
And at the end of a first half in which Bayern could have scored another five times but for goalkeeper Petr Cech, Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil booted the ball high into the air in anger.
The future of the German international, and that of Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, is in major doubt with both stalling over new contracts.
Sanchez is enjoying extra time off and is not in China after his involvement in the Confederations Cup.
But he may not have made a difference against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who took the lead after Ainsley Maitland-Niles had brought down Bernat in the box and Lewandowski did the rest.
Iwobi’s injury time leveller sent the game straight to penalties.
Both sides fielded a mixture of first-team regulars and reserves, with new Bayern signing James Rodriguez and new Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette starting.
Arsenal face Chelsea in Beijing in their next warm-up game at the weekend, while Bayern play AC Milan in Shenzhen, southern China.
Meanwhile, Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer will replace Philipp Lahm as Bayern’s skipper for next season, the Bundesliga champions’ chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed.
“Our number one is the number one (choice) — Manuel Neuer,” Rummenigge told Munich daily newspaper TZ.
“He is an established professional, who will take the armband from Philipp Lahm.
“He has developed really well with the national team — not only on, but also off the pitch.”
World Cup-winner Neuer has been Germany’s goalkeeper since Bastian Schweinsteiger made his final international appearance last August.
The 31-year-old Neuer steps in to skipper Bayern after Lahm retired from all football in May after 22 years with the Bavarian giants.
Neuer has sat out Bayern’s tour of China and Singapore to recover from a foot surgery, but is expected to be back for the German giants when the new Bundesliga season kicks off on August 18.
Bayern will be hunting a sixth straight German league title in 2017/18.
Having signed for Bayern in 2011, Neuer will become the fourth goalkeeper to captain the side after Oliver Kahn, Raimond Aumann and Sepp Maier.
In Neuer’s absence, Thomas Mueller is captaining Bayern on their tour of China.