Thomas Müller, the essential big-game gamer
Unconventional, awkward, and oh-so-lethal– Thomas Muller when again proved why he is the quintessential big-game player for Bayern Munich. Released in his favored position behind the striker, der Raumdeuter showed versus Barcelona what the Bavarians have actually been missing out on in previous Champions League video games against top-tier opposition– the X-factor.
2 goals and one help stop working to explain the outright havoc Müller wrought on the Barcelona defense, as he put the fear of God into the hearts of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. His form, his technique, his physicality are all uninspired, but Müllers supreme footballing brain is a possession on par with Leo Messis dribbles or Cristiano Ronaldos clutch goals.
And the man we need to thank for this is Hansi Flick. When it appeared like Müller was on his way out at Bayern, it wasnt long earlier. Under Niko Kovac, he was relegated to the bench and hardly got a possibility in the starting XI. However, things changed when Flick took over. The very first thing he said in his very first interview was “Müller will play.” That began the domino effect leading to todays thumping 8-2 triumph over among the biggest groups in the sport.
Hansi Flick, hold your head up high! You saved a legend, and brought Bayerns the majority of unique player back to the forefront.
Barcelona, an incredible waste of cash
Luis Suarez, when a lethal striker, looked slow and old as he dealt with Bayerns far fitter and better drilled defense. Frenkie de Jong, one of Barcas stars of the future, looked out of his depth against a midfield that cost a 3rd of the quantity he did (Thiago Alcantara + Leon Goretzka + Thomas Müller = EUR25 million in transfer charges).
It should be worrying for Barca that, aside from Frenkie and Ansu Fati, they have no real young skill to mention. And what skill they do have, theyve squandered. Exhibiting this was Philippe Coutinho, the Barca loanee, who came on to assist Robert Lewandowski and rating 2 objectives of his own. That is not an accomplishment the Brazilian had actually ever achieved in his frustrating time with the Catalans.
Barca have just played a trophyless season for the very first time in over a decade. WIth Leo Messi aging quick and significant monetary issues on the horizon, one should wonder just how much longer they have actually left at the top. If they do not apprehend the slide prior to it occurs, they could become another AC Milan story.
Picture by Manu Fernandez/Pool by means of Getty Images
Bayerns defense stays too unsteady
While Bayern Munich just conceded two objectives, and Alphonso Davies shone like a supernova in his blistering run-and-assist for Joshua Kimmichs goal, Hansi Flick will be stressed by his defenders short-lived lapses in concentration.
Prior to Barca collapsed like a house of cards that had been set on fire, they in fact managed some excellent through-balls that sliced through Flicks precarious high protective line. While the high line was a tactical option by the coach to help balance out Barcas dominance in midfield (and it plainly worked– look at the scoreline), versus a more technical group with much better wingers, such as Manchester City, Bayerns high line might leave the group exposed.
Specifically uneasy was the acres of area left behind Joshua Kimmich as he bombed up the pitch to join the attack. While his assaulting contribution is important (he got yet another goal and assist on the night), Joshs proclivity to push up leaves the team susceptible on his side of the field, as he does not have Davies pace to recover. This enabled Barca a clear course to objective once they made it past Bayerns midfield press.
The Bavarians were in fact under the hammer for specific parts of the game, which the significant scoreline obscures. David Alaba and Jerome Boateng werent half as strong as theyve looked all season, which might make Hansi reevaluate the concept of starting Niklas Süle in the semifinals. Bayern Munich still have a lot more work to do.
2 objectives and one help stop working to explain the outright havoc Müller wrought on the Barcelona defense, as he put the fear of God into the hearts of Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet. It wasnt long ago when it seemed like Müller was on his method out at Bayern. Luis Suarez, when a lethal striker, looked sluggish and old as he faced Bayerns far fitter and much better drilled defense. Frenkie de Jong, one of Barcas stars of the future, looked out of his depth versus a midfield that cost a 3rd of the quantity he did (Thiago Alcantara + Leon Goretzka + Thomas Müller = EUR25 million in transfer fees).
Bayern Munich still have a lot more work to do.