Vintage Bayern Munich annihilate FC Porto 6-1, in semis
Bayern Munich are back among the favourites for this year’s Champions League after their 6-1 victory in the second leg of the quarterfinal against FC Porto, a convincing answer to doubts that seemed to have swept away Bayern’s ambitions after their 1-3 defeat in the first leg.
It was coach Pep Guardiola’s brilliant answer after rumours spoke about a near end of the Spaniard’s time at Bayern Munich. Thiago (14th minute), Jerome Boateng (22nd), Robert Lewandowski (27th, 40th), Thomas Mueller (36th) and Xabi Alonso (88th) scored Bayern’s goals. Mueller has scored 27 in Champions League, more than any other German player ever. Jackson Martinez scored Porto’s only goal (73rd).
Now Bayern and Guardiola are back. Bayern not only made it clearly into the next round but their opponents from Portugal were torn to pieces and pulverised by in what was Bayern’s highest victory in a Champions League quarterfinal. It was an impressive sign of a team playing with heart and soul to support their coach who had been under heavy fire last week. As Bayern scored their fifth in the 40th minute, it was hard to imagine that some fans were tormented about a team that was missing many of its key figures such as Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Until that stunning victory one thing was clear when talking about Bayern’s tactical system, without Ribery and Robben, Bayern most likely would have to change its system and operate mainly through the middle. Also, many assumed they would only be half as strong without the unique duet.
Against Porto, Ribery and Robben were sidelined and Bayern played a strong game with a 4-3-3 system. Mario Goetze and Mueller took up station along the left and right flanks with Alonso, Thiago and Philipp Lahm as their conductor’s right behind them in midfield. Thiago played one of his best games ever for Bayern. The Spaniard was the man in-charge. He was Bayern’s absolute boss against Porto, who never managed to stop him.
Lahm supported from the right flank. Lewandowski, scoring twice, was in best shape as well and Goetze’s game was much better. At the back, there was a determined row of four with Rafinha, Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Juan Bernat.