Bayern Munich 4-1 (7-1 on agg.) Chelsea
The outcome of this Champions League encounter was never in doubt for me.
From the moment Bayern blew the Blues away in February, this was only going in one direction.
Only one half of Champions League 2020 highlights was required as Serge Gnabry struck twice in four early second-half minutes before the pick of the bunch as Philippe Coutinho released the outstanding Alphonso Davies with a cute flick and his cross was buried by Robert Lewandowski.
From that moment onwards, the Bundesliga champions were this SBOBET observer’s tip to win the 2020 competition – let alone this tie – and the enforced football hiatus has not changed my mind one iota.
Tonight’s events just confirmed it further.
Highlights of the game
Three goals ahead before kick-off, brilliant Bayern had increased their advantage within 10 minutes at the Allianz Arena and the remainder of the evening was a formality.
First, Gnabry slipped a lovely pass through to Lewandowski who reached the ball a split-second before Willy Caballero and was brought down.
The resultant penalty was slotted home by the Polish frontman for his 52nd goal of the season!
Then, Mateo Kovacic was shoved off the ball by Thomas Muller and the ball ran to Lewandowski, whose side rule pass found the unmarked Ivan Perisic who guided home the second.
At this stage, many fans may have looked at the Champions League 2020 betting odds for a rout but, to Chelsea’s credit, they continued to battle against the fading light of what was an unenviable task.
Callum Hudson-Odoi deserved a goal for his sumptuous finish, only for VAR to rule Tammy Abraham had strayed offside. But an element of spirit paid off on the stroke of half-time when Abraham pulled one back after Manuel Neuer pushed out an Emerson cross straight at the club’s top scorer.
After losing three players to injury in their FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal last weekend, including their skipper César Azpilicueta and the outstanding Christian Pulišić, and with both Marcos Alonso and Jorginho suspended, the west Londoners were certainly short of options and Abraham’s goal never seemed more than a consolation.
Hansi Flick’s side were simply too strong and, unlike in the FA Cup final when Chelsea could blame themselves, this was a very different story as Bayern, fresh from sealing a German double amid a 17-match winning run, eased to victory.
Into the second half and Davies, the 19-year-old who has just been named the Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Year award after playing a key role in the club’s title triumph (chalking up three goals and five assists in 29 league appearances) was only denied a third goal by a superb Kurt Zouma block.
The only downside for the hosts came just before the hour mark when Jerome Boateng appeared to pull up while heading the ball back to his goalkeeper but he managed to play on for a while, although it’s too early to say if he is doubtful with the quarter-final only six days away.
Caballero and Zouma made important saves and challenges to prevent further home goals but, as if to highlight their supremacy, they added two more.
A third on the night made it 6-1 on aggregate when substitute Corentin Tolisso, left unmarked, fired home just six minutes after entering the fray.
Lewandowski then notched his second, to add to his two assists, when he powered a downward header back across goal and into the net from an Alvaro Odriozola delivery.
Lewandowski has scored 52 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions this season, finding the net in 36 of those matches.
This was Muller’s 112th appearance in the Champions League, the joint-most by a German player along with his former teammate Philipp Lahm, who played 112 times between 2002 and 2017.
Chelsea tonight became the first team in Champions League history to start three Englishmen aged 21 or younger in a knockout match.
The team has failed to win any of its last 10 knockout matches in the competition (drawn four, lost six).
Bayern Munich have won 30 of 33 competitive matches under Flick, scoring 104 goals and conceding just 24.
Bayern have lost only one of their 26 UEFA ties in which they won the away first leg, going out to then holders Inter Milan in the 2011 Champions League last 16.
David Alaba, Boateng, Müller and Neuer were all part of the Bayern team that lost to Chelsea in the 2012 Final.
The remainder of the competition will be played in Lisbon, all single-leg affairs, and what a quarter-final awaits next Friday (August 14) as Bayern meet Barcelona.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE FOOTBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.