Bayern Munich further cement their status as tournament favorites.
Bayern Munich were the consensus frontrunners to win the Champions League. Against Barcelona, they proved just why.
Within three minutes, Bayern were already up a goal. A David Alaba own goal drew things level. By the end of the first half, however, the Bavarian side were up 4-1. The match finished 8-2 in favor of the German side.
Bayern came into the match as favorites and made it known through the media that they relished that role. Former club legends had no problems claiming that this team would have to collapse to lose to Barcelona. In the end, they were proven right.
Any sort of motivation that their comments could have instilled into Barcelona was quickly evaporated. Time and time again the Bayern attack cut open the Barcelona defense like a hot knife through butter.
Despite the final score, it could have been so much worse for a Catalan side that showed no resistance and was a shambolic mess on defense. The game quickly brought flashbacks to Germany’s destruction of Brazil in the 2014 World Cup.
Everything clicked for Bayern Munich. Their midfield easily bypassed Barcelona despite the manager opting for a 4-4-2 in what one Catalan paper called the “anti-Bayern” plan. Up front, they were clinical.
Usually a match can be broken down into different parts and analyzed. But this one is very simple to break down.
This was a match that pitted a good team with players who knew their roles and performed them to the letter. On the other was a an old, dysfunctional team who rely on the brilliance of one player to get them through a game. It’s as simple as that.
Lionel Messi was able to do very little aside from a cross early in the first half that Sergio Busquets whiffed in heading in. Had he scored, it would have put Barcelona in the lead. But it wouldn’t have mattered.
Bayern would have been able to make up the difference because they don’t simply rely on one person.
Robert Lewandoskwi didn’t even get on the score sheet until the game was well over. The supporting cast around the Polish striker far exceeds the one surrounding the Argentine.
As for Barcelona, it’s another humiliating exit from the Champions League. Their third in a row. The only solace is that this one was expected. Plenty of changes will need to be made at the Catalan club.
Bayern Munich now await the winner in the match between Lyon and Manchester City. Whoever it may be, it’s hard to see Bayern as anything but favorites not only to win that game but the whole tournament as well.