LONDON (AP) — Bayern Munich had little trouble winning at Arsenal for the second straight year and is on the verge of its third consecutive trip to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller scored second-half goals to give the defending champions a 2-0 victory Wednesday night in the first leg of their second-round matchup.
The game turned in the 37th minute when Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was given a red card for fouling Arjen Robben.
“It killed the game,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “The game until then was top quality. The second half was boring. It was one-way traffic.”
He claimed Szczesny went for the ball and suggested the decision by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli would have been different had it been a match in the Premier League, whose referees have a reputation for allowing more physical play.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola disagreed with Wenger, saying he thought the penalty kick and ejection were justified. Guardiola acknowledged Arsenal had been the better team in the first 15 minutes.
“The game changed completely,” the former Barcelona coach said. “They had nine players in the box, and we had to wait patiently.”
Kroos scored in the 54th minute when he curled the ball past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who replaced Szczesny. Mueller added a goal in the 88th with a powerful header from close range.
Both teams failed to convert penalty kicks in the first half. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer batted away Mesut Ozil’s kick straight at him in the eighth minute after Ozil was fouled by Jerome Boateng. Bayern’s David Alaba hit a post in the 40th after Szczesny’s foul.
The second legs of the total-goals series is March 11. Last year, Bayern won the first leg 3-1 in London, then advanced on away goals after a 2-0 loss at home evened the aggregate.
In the night’s other match, seven-time champion Atletico Madrid won 1-0 at AC Milan on Diego Costa’s headed goal off Gabi’s cross in the 83rd minute.
“We started better, but then Milan caused us problems,” Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. “We didn’t have many chances, but as you know in football what matters is scoring goals, and fortunately we scored a goal.”
Milan forward Mario Balotelli left in the 78th minute clutching a shoulder and will have tests on Thursday. Stephan El Shaarawy, Valter Birsa, Robinho, Bryan Cristante and Cristian Zapata missed the match because of injuries, and Sulley Muntari and Riccardo Montolivo were suspended.
“We have time to prepare the return leg and we’ll have more players back,” Milan coach Clarence Seedorf said.