Bayern Munich ran riot with a second successive 5-1 hammering of Arsenal to reach the Champions League quarterfinals 10-2 on aggregate at a stunned Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
Trailing 5-1 from the first leg and striving to become the first team in Champions League history to overturn such a deficit, Arsenal led at halftime through Theo Walcott’s goal.
But once Robert Lewandowski equalised from the penalty spot and Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny was sent off, the Bundesliga leaders ran amok against their dispirited hosts.
Robben capitalised on a defensive mistake in the 68th minute before substitute Douglas Costa curled in a third to send Arsenal’s fans streaming towards the exits.
Bayern were not finished though and Arturo Vidal struck twice as Arsenal slumped to their worst home defeat since 1998 and a seventh successive elimination at the competition’s last-16 stage in humiliating fashion.
Arsenal fans had mounted a small-scale demonstration calling for an end to manager Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign at the club before kickoff — yet there was plenty to admire from his team in the first half as they attempted mission impossible.
In his programme notes Wenger called for a salvaging of pride after Arsenal’s second-half capitulation in Germany.
Alexis Sanchez was restored to the starting lineup after being dropped by Wenger against Liverpool and when Walcott smashed in a 20th-minute opener, it seemed Arsenal would at least exit with heads held high.
Olivier Giroud, pressed into action immediately before kickoff when Danny Welbeck injured himself in the warmup, wasted a great chance to make it 2-0 straight after the interval.
Then it all went horribly wrong for Arsenal and turned into a personal nightmare for Wenger whose position will again come under intense scrutiny once the dust has settled.
Bayern levelled on the night when Lewandowski was pushed over while running into the box by Koscielny in the 55th minute.
Referee Tasos Sidiropoulos reached for his red card, ending Koscielny’s evening, and Arsenal swiftly collapsed, just as they did when the French defender went off injured in the first leg.
Lewandowski sent David Ospina the wrong way from the spot to knock the stuffing out of Arsenal. Robben then capitalised on some poor defending to put Bayern ahead before substitute Douglas Costa curled in a third in the 78th minute.
If it had been a boxing match the towel would have been thrown in but there was no hiding place for Arsenal and Vidal struck two late goals, both from close-range as the home defence went AWOL, to the obvious glee of Bayern’s sizeable support.
Bayern fell just short of matching their 11-goal victory margin over two legs against Sporting Lisbon in 2009 when they won 12-1 on aggregate.