It has been a tumultuous season for the German giants Bayern München to say the least. They have been out of the top three in Bundesliga already and are in constant pressure by RB Leipzig and Dortmund, despite now holding the throne by one point margin.
They sacked title-winning manager Nico Kovac already in November but retained the services of then assistant manager Hans-Dieter Flick. Under Flick’s command, Bayern has returned to their better form, taken back the Bundesliga top spot and completed their unbeaten group stage in Champions League and more importantly, completely outplayed their English rivals Chelsea.
The high-flying Bavarians were clear favorites to progress through to the quarter finals of Champions League when they were drawn against struggling Chelsea side, managed by Frank Lampard. Chelsea has fought hard for their place in top four of the Premier League, but by no means were they even close to Bayern’s pedigree. Bayern had had the opportunity to warm-up against an English opponent in the group stage, as they trashed Tottenham twice with the goal difference of 10-3 – winning 2-7 in London.
While the first leg of Champions League 1st knockout stage in London seemed somewhat even at first, it didn’t take long to figure out which side was in command. After a goalless first half, in which the visitors held possession for 65% of the time, the second half exploded into action by former London dweller and Arsenal player Serge Gnabry. Gnabry struck twice in four minutes from Robert Lewandowski’s brilliant assists and instantly sank Chelsea. The home team was left completely clueless and couldn’t recover, despite Frank Lampard’s frantic substitutions and animated commentary.
Lewandowski himself pounded in the last nail to Chelsea’s coffin on the 76th minute, making it 0-3 and all but done and dusted for the second leg in Germany. There was no question of the better team and Bayern showed such a dominance the other clubs should consider themselves warned – it’s been seven years since the UCL trophy went to the Bavarians and it just might be time to do it again.
The next leg is played in München on 18th of February and Chelsea need to win by at least three goals. Nothing is impossible in football, but this is probably as close as it gets.