Bayern Munich – Chelsea: Bayern Plunge the Dagger Into Chelsea’s Champions League Campaign (4-1)
Although Bayern Munich did not fully flex their muscles, they showed enough to see why so many tip them as favorites for this year's Champions League trophy. Thiago Alcântara’s super passes and Robert Lewandowski’s goalscoring prowess tore through a battered Chelsea, whose tactical gamble failed to pay off.
Tactical analysis and match report by Joel Parker.
More than eight years have passed since Chelsea’s greatest night at the Allianz Arena, but their return to Munich came with a colossal challenge. They were undoubtedly the underdogs when facing Bayern in their own backyard for the Champions League trophy in 2012; this time they had to recover from the 3-0 thumping they had succumbed to at Stamford Bridge.
After that match in February, Hansi Flick was named Bayern head coach on a permanent basis. Bayern went on to steamroll their domestic league to the club’s eighth successive Bundesliga title – beating every single team they faced post-lockdown. The improvements seen under Flick have inflated expectations. A quick re-watch of the excellent team moves they developed, a ruthless return of their high pressing game and the ludicrous form of Robert Lewandowski all point towards a team that should be challenging for the Champions League.
Chelsea secured their place in Europe’s top competition for next season, but to say they limped over the line would be an understatement