Photo: Thomas Muller produced a man-of-the-match performance as Bayern Munich embarrased Barcelona 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League on Friday. (Getty Images)
Bayern Munich were at their ruthless best as they embarrassed a hapless Barcelona, 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League on Friday.
A brace from man-of-the-match Thomas Muller and one from Phillipe Coutinho helped the German champions inflict the worst European defeat on the former Spanish champions, in a one-sided affair at the Estadio da Luz Stadium in Lisbon.
Bayern went into the contest brimming with confidence and took the lead in only the 4th minute when Muller combined with Robert Lewandowski on the edge of the box, before hooking the ball home to give his team the lead.
Bayern were ahead for only three minutes before David Alaba put the ball past his own goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, from a Jordi Alba left-sided cross to level the game at 1-1.
Ivan Perisic restored Bayern’s advantage in the 21st minute when he squeezed the ball home from a tight angle on the left side as his team regained the lead at 2-1.
It soon became 3-1 as Serge Gnarby fried home from inside the box to make it 3-1 just six minutes later, as Bayern manhandled a listless Barcelona team for whom Lionel Messi had been virtually missing.
When Muller got his second in the 31st minute, a header into the far corner, there was certainly no coming back from a 1-4 deficit for Barcelona, or was there?
But the Catalan club were the first to score in the second half when Luis Suarez shaped to shoot before dragging the ball past Jerome Boateng with is right foot and then firing home into the corner of the goal with his left.
Witt the score line reading Bayern 4-2 Barcelona, there may have been thoughts of a great Messi-inspired comeback, but those thoughts were dashed when Joshua Kimmich restored Bayern’s three goal advantage in the 63rd minute.
The Bayern right back had his left back Alphonso Davies to thank after the Canadian International single-handedly destroyed the Barcelona defence. He weaved his way along the byline, before laying the ball on a platter for Kimmick to stroke home from five yards, to make it 5-2 Bayern.
After that it became the Coutinho show. Owned by Barcelona, but playing for Bayern, Coutinho who came on as a second half substitute, created the goal for Lewandowski to head home for his 14th Champions League goal in eight games, before scoring the final two goals of the game, effectively driving the final nails into the coffin of embattled Barcelona manager Quique Setien.
Bayern Munich have won all their Champions League games so far this season and it would probably be foolhardy to bet against them going all the way in this year’s tournament, based on the evidence of their ruthlessness yesterday. It must be said that Hans-Dieter Flick’s team has been that way all season!