An evening which began with the most angry and organised protests against Arsene Wenger's tenure at Arsenal ended with a fruitless last ditch attempt to prove that the Frenchman should remain at The Emirates Stadium on a more than sentimental basis. The record books will read that Bayern Munich reached the Champions League quarter-finals, consigning the 10-man Gunners to their heaviest ever two-legged European defeat and exit at the first knock-out stage for a seventh year in a row. That they will omit the character shown by the home side is acceptable, such is the hame of the 10-2 aggregate defeat.
The toxicity had expected to be palpable as it ever had been during the 21-year tenure of English football's most successful ever overseas coach. That Wenger is "killing the club" as several hundred alleged prior to the kick-off might be an exaggeration, but that frustration was expected to be reflected inside the home of the north Londoners. By the end it was disappointment rather than anger expressed by the home faithful. Though many are at the end of their tether.
The reality was somewhat different for the first hour as Arsenal's players showed the fight that has been more than absent from their recent displays. Though for skeptics of the resolve offered by Wenger's men, they have often flirted with the improbable in this competition.
Previous campaigns have seen Monaco, Barcelona, Bayern and AC Milan had each sauntered to first leg leads before being forced to weather a storm from Wenger's side when the tie was all but put to bed. That storm in the first half was underlined by Theo Walcott whose tangible impact saw him thunder Arsenal ahead before earning a yellow card for an uncharacteristic confrontation with David Alaba - an incident which showed a glimmer of fight within Wenger's team
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was biting into the tackles, while Alexis Sanchez was at least sporadically aggressive just days on from a rumoured falling out with Wenger. This was not the display, initially at least, from a group of players who have given up, but it was devoid of quality at the key moments.
An out-of-sorts Bayern did their best in the first half to assist the narrative of an Arsenal side who had seemed if not re-born, then certainly awoken from a daze. The irony of the German supporters embarking on their own protest at kick-off - throwing toilet roll to the pitch to cause an early delay in response to the ticket prices charged by their hosts - will not have been lost even on the most stubborn Wenger supporter. Their mood will hardly have improved in the first half as David Ospina saved from Arturo Vidal's header before Robert Lewandowski skewed a volley wide.
From the moment Olivier Giroud's free header landed on the roof of Manuel Neuer's net after the break, Arsenal's hope of becoming the first side to overturn a four-goal deficit over two legs in Europe's premier club competition was deflated. Lewandowski would prove to be scourge of the 2006 runners-up, winning a penalty which saw Laurent Koscielny eventually, and rightly, dismissed. The Pole made no mistake to net for the 30th time this term and much like Koscielny's exit from the scene during the 5-1 demolition in Munich, Arsenal succumbed to the numbers game in the closing minutes.
Sanchez's perseverance doubled, but he only contributed to the problems as running back into his own area he was disposed by a swarm of Bayern attackers, with Robben tucking into the corner. As pride proved an unsatisfactory carrot for the hosts, substitute Douglas Costa hammered home a third on the break as Arsenal were guilty of pilling forward. Vidal then flicked a beauty beyond Ospina, before walking in a fifth as the effort of the opening 60 minutes was replaced by humiliation which may prove impossible to overlook.
Whether Wenger's decision over his future has been made remains to be seen, but the chasm between Arsenal and a club they aspire to be compared to was embarrassingly vast. Not since 1983 and Spartak Moscow had the club suffered as harrowing a defeat on the continent. Now, the campaign is an FA Cup defeat to non-league Lincoln City away from ending in the absence of a major trophy for the 10th time in 12 seasons. That may be the final straw.