Friday, September 18, 2020

Bayern Munich´s path to Champions League glory

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Bayern Munich clinched their sixth European Cup/Champions League trophy on Sunday, as Kingsley Coman’s goal saw off Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 in Lisbon.

It completed a wonderful season for Hansi Flick’s side, who have completed a domestic and European treble.

Bayern’s slender victory also saw the Bundesliga giants make history, as they became the first side to win every match on the way to triumphing in the European Cup or Champions League.

They may have been helped by the fact that – due to the coronavirus pandemic – Bayern only had to play four knockout games prior to the final, though it is still a remarkable feat.

Here is how their perfect run to Champions League glory panned out.

A record-setting group campaign

History was made by Bayern in Group B, as they racked up a maximum 18 points and a goal difference of +19 – the best performance by a team in the Champions League group stage.

Robert Lewandowski scored 10 goals in the process, a tally only bettered by Ronaldo for Real Madrid in 2015-16, with the highlight display of the group stage coming in October, with Bayern – then coached by Niko Kovac – hammering Tottenham 7-2 in north London.

Chelsea no match

Bayern went up against another Premier League side in the form of Chelsea in the round of 16, and again they came out on top with flying colours. A 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge occurred just before football went into lockdown, with Flick’s side then dispatching the Blues 4-1 at Allianz Arena earlier in August. 

Lewandowski was directly involved in all seven of Bayern’s goals in the tie, scoring three and providing four assists.

Barca cast aside

Any doubt over Bayern’s credentials were cast aside in emphatic fashion in the last eight, as they humiliated Barcelona 8-2 at the Estadio da Luz – a result which ultimately resulted in Quique Setien losing his job at Barca, with Ronald Koeman taking over.

Bayern became the first side in Champions League history to score eight goals in a knockout match, and the first in Europe’s premier club competition since Madrid defeated Wacker Innsbruck 9-1 in the last 16 in 1990-91.

Lyon downed in style

A 3-0 victory over Lyon sent Bayern into the final, and it equalled the longest winning streak by a team in the Champions League – achieved by the Bundesliga side in 2013 and Madrid in 2015.

Lewandowski was on target for a ninth straight Champions League match, as he became only the second player in the competition’s history to net 15 goals in a single campaign.

Coman crowns Bayern as kings

It was far from a classic Champions League final, but a cagey encounter was settled by Coman’s header in the second half, following a wonderfully crafted move as Bayern crowned themselves kings of Europe.

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