Bayern Munich reached the Champions League semi-finals as they crushed Barcelona 8-2 in Lisbon on Friday evening.
Two goals from Thomas Muller, as well as further strikes from Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich and Robert Lewandowski added to a stunning scoreline, with on-loan Barca man Philippe Coutinho almost embarrassingly getting two himself in the closing stages. There was next to nothing for the Spaniards to cheer, albeit for a David Alaba own goal and a Luis Suarez strike to reduce the huge deficit.
Here are three things we learnt from a frankly unbelievable evening in the Portuguese capital…
Ruthless from Hansi Flick’s troops
Heading into the tournament, it would probably be fair to say that most clubs would be content with just edging past Barcelona, historically one of the biggest clubs in world football, into the semi-finals. However, that was just simply not enough for Bayern.
Goals and chances rained down for the German champions all evening as Muller gave them the lead within the first four minutes, with Barca then replying through Alaba’s unfortunate own-goal before strikes from Perisic, Gnabry and another from Muller saw them seize control. With Suarez pulling one back, there could well have been fleeting hope for Quique Setien’s men. That glimmer was instantly snatched away though as Joshua Kimmich got in on the act.
Yet more goals continued to flow in the closing stages with three in the final ten minutes. That ruthless nature from Bayern not only to go ahead but keep adding to the scoresheet really was brilliant to witness and it is something that they have displayed on many occasions in the Bundesliga. It is also an aspect that could potentially carry them to another Champions League crown.
Wide wizardry proves key
One area in particular that Bayern looked to target throughout the match were down the wings. Not only did Perisic and Gnabry both get on the scoresheet but they were a constant threat out wide throughout the whole game. The Catalan defence struggled to deal with the pace and directness of the duo, whilst the overlaps from the irrepressible Alphonso Davies and Joshua Kimmich made them even more uncomfortable.
Even Kingsley Coman and Coutinho were huge threats after their second-half introductions, with the Brazilian rubber stamping an embarrassing night for Barca with two goals. That all contributed to a torrid evening for the Barcelona backline and a huge reason as to why Bayern racked up a comprehensive victory.
Bayern now the favourites?
Whilst Barcelona are nowhere near the force they once were having not lifted the UEFA Champions League since 2014/15, most would do well to forget that Bayern have absolutely dismantled arguably one of the biggest club sides in the world on the biggest stage. They were exhilarating all night long and secured a memorable and historic Champions League victory that will be a huge statement to the rest of Europe not only for this current tournament but for the next couple of years
For the current time, Hansi Flick’s men now deservedly take their place in the semi-finals and should now with no doubt be considered the favourites for the competition despite the presence of Manchester City, RB Leipzig, Lyon and Paris Saint Germain. The Germans can now be backed to win the Champions League this season at a price of 6/4 with 888sport.
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen (4), Alba (3), Lenglet (4), Pique (4), Semedo (3); Vidal (4), De Jong (5), Busquets (5) (Fati (5), 70′); Roberto (4) (Griezmann (3), 45′), Suarez (6), Messi (5).
Bayern Munich: Neuer (6); Davies (9) (Hernandez (N/A), 84′), Alaba (7), Boateng (6) (Sule (6), 75′), Kimmich (8); Goretzka (7) (Tolisso (N/A), 84′), Thiago (7); Perisic (7) (Coman (7), 67′), Muller (8), Gnabry (8) (Coutinho (8), 75′); Lewandowski (7).
Goals: Muller (4′, 31′), Alaba OG (7′), Perisic (22′), Gnabry (27′), Suarez (57′), Kimmich (63′), Lewandowski (82′), Coutinho (85′, 89′)
Referee: Damir Skomina
Yellow Cards: Boateng (42′), Davies (52′), Suarez (54′), Alba (59′), Kimmich (85′), Vidal (90+2′)
Red Cards: N/A
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