Just when I thought everything is over and I was prepared for a homily for who plays that kind of atrocious, disgusting and humiliating defense in Champions League, from a team that is being rooted to reach the Finals, I was proven wrong and how amazing it feels to be proven wrong by victory.
The start (first 45′) of the match was as heartbreaking as you could imagine.
Possession without quality. The eternal problem of Bayern is that they get the most of the ball without getting much out of it. Exactly the story with some 60+% vs. 30+% in favor of Bayern as early as the first half. At 5′ (yes, that early) birthday boy Paul Pogba nailed an easy one thanks to the painful Bayern defense. Twenty three minutes later, a lightning Alvaro Morata made the Bavarians looked so silly with that awesome pass and calculated finish by the Colombian Juan Cuadrado.
It was all about defense and the mediocrity thereof. Juventus had an amazing defense no doubt. No Bayern player could ever penetrate behind the net. Shots were effectively intercepted by the legendary Gianluigi Buffon. Passes were anticipated correctly hence the lack of decent chances. It was all a game of defense in the first half that for Bayern, the Allianz Arena, fortress of power and might, seemed to be a circus ground with boredom and hopelessness in between. What an early exit I thought.
We are not Chelsea.
Juventus did their homework. That is one downside of playing against big clubs and national teams. They are very well documented. Juve is a huge club too but Bayern’s style in huge matches like this is ever so readily available to those who will prey. The ridiculous ball possession sans good chances is the Bavarian club’s Achilles heel which any capable team can easily take advantage of. It was obvious.
Bayern was all over the place. From the conceded goals of super sweeper keeper Manuel Neuer, Benatia’s seemingly absent mindedness, that sloppy passes, the inability to penetrate (the Juve defenders were collectively an abyss to the Bayern players) everything could definitely be in favor of the sharp and fierce Turin side.
THEN AGAIN, NIEMALS AUFGEBEN.
73′ – What a powerful header from Robert Lewandowski. According to my commentator, not even a great goalkeeper can stop that shot. Gigi is a great goalkeeper. It was inevitable that the ball would hit the net. By the way…this Douglas Costa- Kingsley Coman team up is just… mind blowing. Define precision.
Game on, I thought.
Interlude: What an annoying possession game, these lads are wasting time, they should do something, create chances, keep the ball moving damn it!
90′ – What an excellent pass, Mr. Kingsley Coman! Bavarian Saviour Thomas Mueller nailed a cool, calm, accurate header…
I was shaking and almost crying. Hell, that was literally internal screaming at around pass five in the morning.
Wait, there’s more.
108′ – So apparently, Pep Guardiola has played his cards well. Enter the awesome Thiago Alcantara. And that goal. And that goal celebration. And that edge.
Okay, we are in control.
110′ – BLESSED BE BAVARIA, BLESSED BE FRENCH NATIONAL TEAM FOR A GIFTED PRODIGY LIKE KINGSLEY COMAN. Yup, include me in the cult! I thought he’d pass the ball but he didn’t and took that shot and it was beautiful and exact and it was absolutely certain.
Now, I need some cocktails and dynamite. I want to drink this early.
Though my livestream is acting up from time to time, I could say it was a pretty decent coverage and quite happy about it. It was nice to hear the UEFA Champions League theme being played again. The last time I heard it was FC Barcelona vs Juventus last June.
End of game possession: 61% vs 39% with four fantastic goals converted. One sad story though was since Juventus’ Massimilliano Allegri sat down Alvaro Morata (after that commanding lead until 73′) their side seemed to have lost direction and morale. See? It’s never over until it’s over. Lesson learned: Only the final whistle concludes the match, not a lead, not the number of goals made or conceded.
My two cents: Do not do that again Bayern. You will kill your supporters.