Top 10 matches under Hansi Flick: Episode 2 – Chelsea 0-3 FC Bayern, February 25, 2020
We saw some brilliant games under Hansi Flick, and we decided to do a series featuring the 10 best games that the legendary coach has given us. These reviews will examine the construction, the correspondence itself, the meaning of the correspondence and the consequences. Enjoy!
Uefa Champions League Round of 16 first leg
February 25, 2020
Stamford Bridge, London
Align: Neuer – Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies – Kimmich, Thiago (Goretzka 90) – Gnabry (Tolisso 85), Muller, Coman (Coutinho 66) – Lewandowski
Scorers: None / Gnabry 51 ‘, 54’, Lewandowski 76 ‘
After reserving their place in the Champions League round of 16 with six wins in six group matches, Bayern Munich faced a tall order in the form of Chelsea. Due to their rather unpleasant history with Londoners, Bayern fans around the world were hopeful that Flick and his men would avenge the final which will remain anonymous. Easier said than done, of course.
Bayern were in great shape, entering the game unbeaten in the New Year and having lost points in a single game against RB Leipzig (0-0). But it was the Champions League. A competition that offers better quality opposition than the Bundesliga. It remains to be seen whether Bayern could shine outside of Germany after being humiliated the previous year by another Premier League side. Needless to say, this was not a pressure-free trip to London.
Bayern started the game less exuberantly than usual, although that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their chances. In fact, without opposing goalkeeper Willy Caballero, Bayern would likely have killed the tie at half-time. Not only that, but the woodwork also came to Chelsea’s rescue when Thomas Muller’s header rocked the crossbar. But Chelsea weren’t going to fall without a fight either, and Manuel Neuer had to be vigilant to keep the score 0-0.
The second half was much more one-sided. Barely ten minutes after the resumption, Serge Gnabry played a one-two with Robert Lewandowski and scored the first game in front of the Bayern faithful. Three minutes later, Lewandowski latched onto a long punt from Neuer, and he and Gnabry exchanged a few passes before the latter rolled the ball to the far corner to double the score.
With the game suddenly open, Chelsea struggled to get back into the game but suffered another heavy blow as Lewandowski took matters into their own hands this time around. Credit for Lewandowski’s goal, however, should go to Alphonso Davies. The Canadian left three players in the dust as he tore the left flank and squared it to Lewandowski, who finished it easily.
Chelsea’s miserable night ended with Marcos Alonso sent off after hitting Lewandowski in the face as he fought for the ball, and Bayern returned to Munich with a three-goal advantage.
Why was this match special?
Bayern’s dominance in the league had not gone unnoticed, but few really gave them the credit they deserved. This game was the game that caught the attention Bayern fully deserved. Apart from a 7-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur In the group stages Bayern had never looked like huge title contenders because, well, it was only the group stages. But this match showed that Bayern are still serious in the Champions League, toppling a strong Chelsea side with little difficulty.
It also put Serge Gnabry back on the map. Gnabry had had a dry Champions League streak since his four goals in the aforementioned win over Spurs. The world came to appreciate Gnabry and his London-based talent once again after his brace against Chelsea, and they would not forget his name anytime soon. Alphonso Davies also shone in this game with his assist, also putting his name in the spotlight.
Overall, this game was the first leg of what turned out to be a very successful Champions League round of 16 for Bayern. On a slightly darker note, it also remains the last Champions League game that Bayern fans have been in so far. We keep our fingers crossed that the fans will be back in the stadium soon.
After securing a three-goal lead, Bayern continued their Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal success story, scoring nine goals and conceding none in their next three games. That statistic becomes even more impressive when you factor in the absence of Robert Lewandowski, who injured his knee against Chelsea.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Bayern to an abrupt halt in March, but luckily the Champions League tournament resumed in August, and Bayern, with a fully rejuvenated Lewandowski, sent Chelsea 4-1 to the return match reserve their place for the quarter-finals. Lewandowski has scored twice and assisted twice in that game, having contributed to Bayern’s seven goals in a draw with Chelsea that season.