Champions League: Bayern Munich’s treble dream lives on after Chelsea win

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Bayern put the rest of the Champions League on high-alert as they booked a quarterfinal date with Barcelona at Chelsea’s expense.

It was a defeat to Chelsea in 2012 that inspired the first treble in Bayern Munich’s glittering history and now the German record titleholders will be hoping a win over the Blues can get the ball rolling on another.

This was Chelsea’s first return to the Allianz Arena since Didier Drogba scored the winning penalty to break Bayern hearts in the Finale Dahoam (“Home final”). It came under very different circumstances. 

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The hosts were out build not only on the 3-0 lead they had fashioned five and a half months prior at Stamford Bridge, but also the domestic double they had clinched in the meantime. 

Flexibility and intensity to the fore under Flick 

Head coach Hansi Flick has been lauded for restoring a Bayern philosophy that had become lost in transition. One of the more impressive facets though is that he’s done so whilst managing a squad light on depth and prone to injuries. 

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With Benjamin Pavard sidelined, Joshua Kimmich was forced to drop into a backline in which Jerome Boateng was the only defender playing in his natural position. It was another demonstration of Bayern’s ability and versatility. 

Flick recently said that Bayern’s intensity is “crucial” in their pursuit of playing “attractive possession football.” Despite a five-week hiatus and even with a three-goal cushion, Bayern produced a purposeful opening that forced Chelsea to play at their pace. 

Their just reward was a 2-0 lead inside the opening half an hour. Robert Lewandowski netted from the spot before teeing up Ivan Perisic for a neat near-post finish that doubled Bayern’s lead. 

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Sending a message 

The German record titleholders were taking on a Chelsea side not expecting an upset, but keen to deliver a positive for their fans to mull over for the shortened summer hiatus. The fight back came before half-time and saw one-time Bayern target Callum Hudson-Odoi denied by VAR before Tammy Abraham tapped in from a rare Manuel Neuer mistake on the stroke of half-time. 

If anything the glimmer of hope the Blues created for themselves before the break only gave Bayern more motivation to snuff it out after the restart.

At no stage did Flick’s charges rest on their laurels, instead they produced a dominant second-half performance that stood as a statement of their title-winning intent with Corentin Tolisso and Lewandowski adding to the score line. 

The ambition levels never dropped on the pitch against Chelsea and, on the back of another exemplary performance that underlines their progress under Flick, the ambition levels off the pitch won’t wane either.

The dream of another treble lives on.

Fußball UEFA Champions League I FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC I Tor (Reuters/M. Dalder)

+++ As it happened: +++

FULL-TIME! Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea (7-1 on aggregate)
Just as they did in the first leg, Bayern Munich make light work of Chelsea, running out 4-1 winners on the night and 7-1 on aggregate – the most Chelsea have ever conceded in a two-legged European tie. But Bayern won’t be worried about that. Robert Lewandowski was as imperious in Munich as Serge Gnabry had been in London. In fact, the Pole was directly involved in all seven goals over both games, scoring three himself and setting up the other four.

But just as impressive as Bayern’s strike force was their defensive discipline and hard work, epitomized this evening by Thiago Alcantara. Normally known for his neat link-up play further up the field, the Spaniard took his number six role seriously and constantly tracked back to make key interceptions and ensure that Chelsea’s lively forward line of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount barely had a sniff.

A formidable display from the German champions, but Barcelona and Lionel Messi will surely procide a greater threat in the quarterfinal in Lisbon. Full story to follow.

90′ Two added minutes at the end of this last-16 tie.

83′ Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea (7-1) – Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski rises at the back post to power home Odriozola’s cross. It’s the striker’s 13th goal in this season’s Champions League and his 53rd in all competitions.

76′ Bayern Munich 3-1 Chelsea (6-1) – Corentin Tolisso
Substitute Tolisso is left completely unmarked in the six-yard-box to volley home Lewandowski’s cross. The Pole with yet another assist in this tie.

73′ Ross Barkley lays the ball off to Reece James on the edge of the Bayern box and the English teenager fires over.

72′ Coutinho announces his arrival by curling a right-footed effort just over the bar.

71′ Double substitution for Bayern:
Tolisso replaces Thiago, Odriozola comes on for Kimmich. Both Thiago and Kimmich were one yellow card away from a suspension, but all bookings are wiped off from the quaterfinals onwards.

70′ Barkley’s free-kick comes back off the wall.

69′ Chelsea have a free-kick on the edge of the Bayern box after Barkley is fouled by Thiago, the Spaniard working hard but getting his timing wrong this time.

67′ A David Alaba shot from distance is gathered up by Caballero.

65′ The ball bounces around the Chelsea area following a corner, and is eventually headed into Lewandowski’s path by Kimmich. The Polish hitman takes it immediately on the volley but the ball flashes wide of goal. 

63′ Double substitution for Bayern:
Süle replaces Boateng, and Coutinho comes on for Perisic

Champions League - Bayern Munich v Chelsea (Reuters/M. Dalder)

61′ Davies advances down the left with speed and crosses towards the penalty spot where Müller is free but volleys over. 

58′ Boateng digs deep to beat Abraham for pace and head back to Neuer – perhaps too deep, with the Berliner going down clutching his hamstring. Has he done himself some damage there?

56′ A miscommunication sees Hudson-Odoi get his angles all wrong and tap a deep cross out of play. 

52′ Jerome Boateng the latest Bayern Munich player to make an alert, well-timed challenge, this time checking Mount on the touchline. Bayern still so disciplined, even with the tie won. 

50′ Chelsea come forward again with Abraham who cuts inside to the advancing Kovacic but Thiago digs deep to stay with him and track back and make a key interception. Impressive defensive work from the Spaniard, emblematic of Bayern’s tireless work rate.

49′ Mount is played in behind the Bayern back line but all he can do is fire a weak shot at Neuer from a tight angle. He had no other options.

47′ Gnabry’s teasing cross from the right is too close to Caballero, who gets there before the advancing Perisic.

45′ KICK-OFF! We’re back underway in Munich. Surely nothing more than a procession to Lisbon now for Bayern.

HALF-TIME! The half-time whistle goes and Bayern Munich are well on their way to a Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona in Lisbon. Robert Lewandowski gave them an early lead from the spot before Ivan Perisic made it two, as Bayern dominated the opening stages. Chelsea struggled to find their way into the game and, when they did, Callum Hudson-Odoi’s neat finish was ruled out for offside, before Tammy Abraham did pull one back. But Frank Lampard’s side have been clearly second best so far.

44′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea (5-1) – Tammy Abraham
This time, it does count! Hudson-Odoi drives in from the left and crosses low into the six-yard-box. Neuer should gather but can only parry into the path of Abraham who taps home. Deserved, if only for the tireless work of the Chelsea duo.

Champions League - Bayern Munich v Chelsea | Frank Lampard (Reuters/M. Dalder)

43′ Emerson with an unnecessarily hard and late challenge on Goretzka in the Bayern right-back position. The Chelsea man goes into the book and Goretzka hobbles back into play.

42′ Gnabry with another weaving run into the box down the right hand side, which Chelsea manage to scramble clear.

40′ “Time! Time” is the frequently audible shout from the Bayern players, which says a lot of Chelsea’s pressing. 

36′ Seven minutes later, we have received confirmation that Abraham was offside in the buildup to Hudson-Odoi’s strike. 

31′ At the other end, Gnabry almost makes it 3-0 when he latches onto Müller’s chip but fires wide across goal.

30′ Callum Hudson-Odoi shows exactly why Bayern were interested in him by curling a lovely effort beyond the reach of the Neuer from the edge of the box. But VAR rules the goal out for offside. And we’re still trying to work out exactly who was offside and when … isn’t VAR brilliant?

29′ NO GOAL – Chelsea’s goal is ruled out for offside.

28′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-1 Chelsea (5-1) – Callum Hudson-Odoi

24′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-0 Chelsea (5-0) – Ivan Perisic
Direct from a Chelsea throw-in, Kovacic loses possession under pressure from Müller. The ball comes to Lewandowski who waits and waits until Zouma has come close enough before playing in Perisic in space. The Croatian makes no mistake to score his seventh goal of the season.

Champions League - Bayern Munich v Chelsea | Tor Perisic (Reuters/M. Dalder)

18′ Gnabry sends a teasing ball into the box which is helped on by Lewandowski and goes just wide of the post.

17′ Goretzka tries to hit a blocked Perisic effort with a scissor kick but misses completely. A minute later, he stays down after being struck late by Kovacic, but it wasn’t a bad foul. 

16′ Kante is perhaps fortunate to avoid a yellow card after closing down Davies and stamping on his foot.

14′ Müller shoots over.

14′ A first spell of possession for the visitors. Mount tries to cut in from the left but runs into trouble. Kante tries to orchestrate a move from further back but is closed down quickly by red shirts. And Bayern are back in possession.

11′ Gnabry fires a shot from distance which is easily gathered up by Caballero.

10′ GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Chelsea (4-0) – Robert Lewandowski (pen)
Lewandowski strokes his 12th goal of the competition to the goalkeeper’s left.

Champions League - Bayern Munich v Chelsea Tor Lewandowski (Reuters/M. Dalder)

7′ PENALTY – Bayern Munich
Gnabry feeds Lewandowski who is brought down by Caballero. The assistant referee initially flags for offside but the Pole was on, as the VAR clarifies.

6′ Kimmich is seeing a lot of the ball in these opening stages, this time floating a left-footed reverse ball into the box which Perisic attempts to knock down but no effect.

5′ Kimmich, reacquainting himself with the right-back role, drives forward but an attempted one-two with Lewandowski comes to nothing.

2′ An early Kimmich corner is headed clear by Zouma.

1′ Kick-off! After a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims of the ongoing pandemic, Chelsea, all in blue with white socks, get us underway. Bayern, of course, all in red.

Thomas Müller makes his 112th Champions League appearance this evening, making him the German player with the most games in the competition. The other? Former teammate Philipp Lahm.

DFB Pokal | FC Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt (Reuters/K. Pfaffenbach)

Line-ups

Bayern Munich XI: Neuer – Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies – Goretzka, Thiago – Gnabry, Müller, Perisic – Lewandowski

Chelsea XI: Caballero – Zouma, Emerson, Christensen – Kante, Kovacic – James, Barkley, Mount – Abraham, Hudson-Odoi

As expected, Joshua Kimmich drops to right-back to replace Benjamin Pavard and Thiago Alcantara comes into midfield. As in the friendly against Marseille, Perisic gets the nod ahead of Coman.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, for a while a target for Bayern Munich, leads the line for Chelsea. 

The Lisbon shop window

For several Bayern players, the potential mini-tournament in Lisbon is not just a sporting chance to complete a Treble, but also a chance to showcase their talents to potential suitors. 

Javi Martinez is said to have no future in Munich, and French side Stade Rennes are reportedly interested in the 31-year-old.

Philippe Coutinho has also failed to have the promised impact and will be looking to demonstrate to his parent club Barcelona that he could play a role for the Catalans.

And Thiago Alcantara is the subject of interest from Liverpool, who would need to free up funds with a sale first. 

On the other hand, David Alaba, who had been flirting with the idea of leaving Bayern, preferably to Spain, is reportedly now prepared to stay, although he still hasn’t put pen to paper on a contract extension.

Bayern team news

Apart from defender Benjamin Pavard (ligament injury), Hansi Flick has a full squad to choose from, including Niklas Süle, Corentin Tolisso and Philippe Coutinho, who all missed the end of the Bundesliga season through injury.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bayern line-up is predictable, and there is particular interest concerning the wide positions. During the 1-0 friendly win over Olympique Marseille last weekend, Ivan Perisic started in place of Kingsley Coman, as Flick opted for a more experienced, more defensive variant. Could this be his thinking ahead of potential tougher games in Lisbon?

Having said that, it may just be a precaution. Coman, reportedly the subject of interest from Manchester United, missed two training sessions this week with a slight muscle problem and may not be worth the risk.

As for Pavard’s absence, the Frenchman is likely to be replaced by Joshua Kimmich at right-back, with Thiago Alcantara taking his place in midfield alongside Leon Goretzka. Both Kimmich and Thiago need to be careful though: both are only one yellow card away from a suspension.

DFB Pokal Finale - Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich | Tor 0 : 3 (Reuters/A. Hassenstein)

The first leg

It seems a lifetime ago now, a football match from a different era – and in many respects, that is was it was. Coronavirus was little more than an item on the news and Bayern Munich had only recently gone top of the Bundesliga as Hansi Flick’s revolution took hold.

There were even fans present at games (remember them?), and over 2,000 Bayern supporters accompanied their team to Stamford Bridge, where they protested against ticket prices and watched Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies tear Chelsea apart down the left wing in a ferocious second half.

Three away goals and Bayern had one foot in the quarterfinal – but no-one could have predicted that the rest of the tournament would only be concluded five months later, behind closed doors and in one-off games in Lisbon.

Bayern still have a second leg to negotiate in order to reach the mini-tournament in Portugal, and suddently it doesn’t quite seem so straight forward. The German double winners haven’t played a competitve match since the German Cup Final on July 4, whereas Chelsea were in competitive action as recently as last week – an FA Cup Final defeat to Arsenal.

Read more: Serge Gnabry provides cutting edge as Bayern Munich machine crushes Chelsea

From the coaches mouth: Hansi Flick

“If I were on the other side, I would think we have nothing to lose and would throw everything at the game. That’s exactly what we expect from Chelsea.”

From the coaches mouth: Frank Lampard

“We have to believe we could have the opportunity to do something special. It is a huge task, no doubt, but games have turned to big degrees, some famous games and great games.”

Fun fact:

Frank Lampard was captain of the Chelsea side which came from behind to beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the 2012 Champions League final – the last time Chelsea visited Munich. 

Bayern lineup prediction: Neuer — Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies — Goretzka, Thiago — Gnabry, Müller, Coutinho — Lewandowski

Chelsea lineup prediction: Caballero — Zouma, Rüdiger, Christensen — James, Kante, Kovacic, Mount — Barkley — Abraham, Giroud

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