Arsenal lost 2-0 to Bayern Munich in their first leg tie in the round of 16 of the Champions League. The majority of people would have assumed that Arsenal would have lost by that scoreline or worse, but things could have been different for Arsenal had Mesut Ozil converted from the penalty spot in the eighth minute. The miss stands out as the main reason why Arsenal failed to get a positive result.
In a game like this, early scoring chances come at a premium, and taking an early lead would have not only given Arsenal more confidence on the field for the rest of the game, but it would have made the home crowd even more noticeable. Yet as Ozil went to take the penalty shot, he telegraphed his approach and his attempt was easily saved by Manuel Neuer.
While a number of things happened after Ozil missed his penalty which factored into Arsenal eventually losing, the missed penalty could have changed the course of the game. If Ozil had made his penalty, not only would Arsenal have taken a 1-0 lead, but it would have given the Arsenal players an extra boost to keep attacking and pressing. Instead, the Arsenal attack slowly began to lose some steam and crispness after the missed Ozil penalty.
While Bayern Munich missed their penalty shot chance late in the first half, they had the advantage of playing the rest of the game with one more player as Wojciech Szczesny was sent off as a result of his foul on Arjen Robben that lead to the penalty and therefore could continue to play their game. Simply put, Bayern Munich had a greater margin of error.
Bayern Munich would have probably found a way to win the game, but if Ozil had made his penalty shot early on, there is no question that Arsenal would have been able to play the rest of the game with a different mindset. At the very least, the missed penalty prevented Arsenal from taking a different tactical approach in the return leg.