GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Chelsea (agg: 5-0; Perisic 24)
Ivan Perisic scores an offensively easy goal to make it 5-0 on aggregate.
20 min “All eyes on Bayern and their match fitness after finishing their season a while ago,” says Ruth Purdue. “Could be the difference.”
Yes, I did wonder about that, but the intensity of their play in the first 20 minutes has pretty eye-catching. Their freshness suggests the month-long break might have been an advantage.
18 min Gnabry’s inswinging cross from the right beats everyone and almost drifts into the net at the far post.
17 min Goretzka’s acrobatic long-range volley goes over the bar. This could get really ugly for Chelsea. It’s not particularly pretty at the moment, tbf.
15 min “Interesting VAR situation with the penalty,” says John Barrow. “If Caballero hadn’t taken Lewandowski down, it probably wouldn’t have been a penalty – or a goal. The offside call would have stood and play resumed with a free kick. It’s one of the interesting issues with VAR: if you score a goal there are endless replays to see if there was an offside in the build-up. However, if an offside is called during an attack, there is no VAR check.”
With the caveat that I haven’t a clue about the laws of football any more, I’m not sure that’s quite right. Wouldn’t the assistant only have put the flag up when the attack stopped, i.e. after Lewandowski put the ball in the net? You see that quite a lot these days, players putting the ball in the net just to be sure, even if they were flagged offside four days earlier.
14 min Davies storms down the left and angles a crisp pass into Muller, on the edge of the D. He takes the ball in his stride and spanks a rising drive just over the bar. He was shoved by Kante in the act of shooting, which put him off balance.
13 min This has been a blistering start from Bayern. At this precise moment – 20:13 BST on 8 August 2020 – they are the best team in Europe.
11 min Gnabry’s long-range shot kicks up a little awkwardly at Caballero, who holds on safely.
11 min “Mea culpa, Rob – you did say interesting, not surprising,” says Neal Butler. “You’re not the only one whose cognitive function has pencils stuck up its nose and underpants on its head. I have to say, I do like the look of that Chelsea midfield. Kovacic has been a minor revelation this year – under Sarri, he looked very poor, IMHO.”
Yes he’s been terrific, probably their best player this season. If Kante can stay for next season it would make an enormous difference to this team.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Chelsea (agg: 4-0; Lewandowski 10 pen)
Robert Lewandowski scores his 52nd goal of the season! Caballero went the right way, to his left, but the penalty was right in the corner. Brilliant finish.
Gnabry slipped a lovely pass through to Lewandowski, who got to the ball a split-second before Caballero and was taken out. Replays showed the left-back Emerson was playing him onside.
PENALTY GIVEN! And Caballero is booked.
7 min Lewandowski is taken down by Caballero, and the referee is about to give a penalty when he realises the flag has gone up for offside. This may be overturned by VAR.
5 min Bayern look pretty sharp, certainly for a team who haven’t played for a month. The mighty left-back Alphonso Davies curls an excellent ball from the left that flashes across the face of goal.
2 min “Not sure that Hudson-Odoi being on the team-sheet is that big a surprise – with Pedro, Willian, and Pulisic all out, they don’t really have anyone else to put on the wing,” says Neal Butler. “Abraham starting is a little surprising, given Giroud’s recent form, but not Hudson-Odoi.”
I thought I said ‘interesting’ rather than ‘surprising’, but my cognitive function isn’t what it wibble.
1 min Peep peep! Chelsea, in blue, kick off from left to right. Bayern are in red. As per Peter Oh’s email during the City game last night, this match is a mobile provider-off: T-Mobile versus Three. Hang on, Chelsea are sponsored by Three.
“Evening Rob,” says Stephen Carr. “We may as well talk about Pirlo because this game already has a fork stuck in it. Its an interesting appointment given Pochettino’s availability and Pep only having a year left on his deal. Can’t see them bombing Pirlo out after a year unless he completely screws it up.”
I suppose there is a reasonable precedent for a superpower giving a legendary regista his first big managerial job, but it’s such a big risk. I’d love to know what he did during his seven days in charge of the under-23s to gain such a quick promotion.
The most interesting bit of team news is the inclusion of Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who have drifted to the margins. Hudson-Odoi has had a seriously frustrating season, though he’s still only 19 so he’s not ready to join the list of football’s lost boys just yet.
A reminder of the first leg of this tie, which took place in more innocent times.
Bayern (yes, yes, or Chelsea) will play Barcelona or Napoli in the quarter-final on Friday. Our Baz is covering the second leg at the Camp Nou.
For Chelsea, this is the final game of a promising first season under Frank Lampard. They had a brilliant run to the FA Cup final, beating Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester United, and qualified for the Champions League. Christian Pulisic was a revelation and Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are eye-catching signings.
But the plan to invest in young English players didn’t really pay off, with the exception of Mason Mount and to a lesser extent Reece James, and the defence needs a lot of work. I’d give Frank a B on his school report. I’m sure he could really give one.
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1) Neuer; Kimmich, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Goretzka, Thiago; Gnabry, Muller, Perisic; Lewandowski.
Substitutes: Ulreich, Hoffmann, Odriozola, Sule, Javi Martinez, Coutinho, Cuisance, Hernandez, Tolisso, Tillman, Musiala, Arrey-Mbi.
Chelsea (4-3-3) Caballero; James, Christensen, Zouma, Emerson; Barkley, Kante, Kovacic; Hudson-Odoi, Abraham, Mount.
Substitutes: Arrizabalaga, Cumming, Rudiger, Giroud, Batshuayi, Tomori, Broja, Lawrence, Maatsen, Bate, Simeu.
Referee Ovidiu Hategan (Romania)
Hello. It’s Saturday night at the Allianz Arena, and Chelsea are in town. The last time that happened was on 19 May 2012, the greatest night in Chelsea’s history. Eight years later they need the greatest comeback in anyone’s history. Let’s be clear: while there have been bigger comebacks in European football, there is no precedent for a team of Bayern’s ability and experience blowing a 3-0 lead from the away leg.
The closest is probably Barcelona’s hilarious collapse against Metz in 1984-85, but this Bayern team are on a different level. Chelsea have two chances of making the quarter-finals, and slim is self-isolating.
The last match Bayern played was the German cup final on 4 July, so this is a warm-up for their quarter-final against Barcelona or Napoli on Friday. They were playing a different sport when they won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in February, and their form under Hansi Flick has been astonishing.
Bayern have won 25 of their last 26 games in all competitions, the only blemish a 0-0 draw at home to Leipzig. If Chelsea get through tonight, nothing will ever make sense again.
Kick off 8pm.
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