Millions of Bayern fans can smile, laugh, drink weissbier and sleep happy tonight. Their club has responded in style to the calls for an important win, blowing Basel out of the Allianz Arena and the Champions League with a 7:0 score (7:1 on aggregate).
The most important thing to notice in this game isn’t the number of goals, however. It is how each of them was scored. Bayern showed a high level of composure today, with superior technique. When there was little room to maneuver, the boys in red controlled and passed the ball accurately. They made the right moves at the right time, and played defense with plenty of discipline.
For instance, look at the “volley goals” by Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez. They were all about redirecting the ball in tight space. The same goes for Arjen Robben’s second goal. He calmly trotted in front of Sommer, who couldn’t do anything more than stretching himself on the pitch, until Robben was out of reach.
The principle applies to the way that Bayern handled itself defensively. Challenges were well timed, and feet stuck out to disrupt Basel’s attacks. Many will notice how combative David Alaba was at left-back. Sometimes he was beaten, but he challenged his way out of trouble to prevent goals.
Bayern was especially dangerous on the right wing today. The combined presence of Robben, Philip Lahm and Müller once again gave trouble to opponents. Ribéry and Alaba did the same thing on the left. The double-wing threat is the bread and butter of this attack, as I was stressing in my preview.
Draw on Friday
The impressive performance can only put everyone in a better mood for the upcoming matches and the quarter-finals, for which the draw takes place on Friday morning.
That confidence thing is the most important aspect of Bayern’s game for now. Let’s hope it stays high. And for now, I need weissbier :-)
1:0 Robben gets past the defense and he takes a trickling ball, putting it to Sommer’s left (10′)
2:0 Robben takes a wide pass, dribbles on the wing and crosses to Müller, who volleys it in (42′)
3:0 Kroos takes a free kick from the left, Badstuber stretches the leg to redirect it from the right of the goal, to Gomez who taps it in (44′)
4:0 Probably thinking that Müller’s goal was pretty, Ribéry and Gomez combine the same way from the left wing, and Number 33 volleys it in (50′)
5:0 Ribéry dribbles past a couple of players in the box and finds Gomez’ head for the goal (61′)
6:0 Ribéry outplays Steinhöfer on the wing, cutting back a pass to Gomez, who sends a curling shot in the right of the net (67′)
7:0 Schweinsteiger sends a perfect pass to a storming Robben, who then goes towards his left, shooting only when the keeper is stretched out and unable to follow (81′)
Boateng, Cabral, Streller
FC Bayern (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba – Kroos, Gustavo – Ribéry (Pranjic 79′), Müller (Schweinsteiger 70′), Robben (Tymoshchuk 82′) – Gomez
Bayern bench: Butt, Contento, Petersen, Olic
FC Basel (4-4-2): Sommer – Steinhöfer (Degen 70′), Abraham, Dragovic, Park – Cabral, Xhaka – Shaqiri (Zoua 80′), F. Frei (Stocker 62′) – A. Frei, Streller