Created on 11-03-2015 at 22:35 PM
Bayern eased into the Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth time in a row and served chilling notice to their European rivals with an ultimately crushing victory in Wednesday evening’s Round of 16 return at home to Shakhtar Donetsk, the Bavarians winning 7-0 on the night and by the same score on aggregate.
The 70,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Pep Guardiola’s team make a dream start when Thomas Müller netted a fourth-minute penalty after the incident which saw the Ukrainians reduced to ten men following a red card for Olexandr Kucher. FCB utterly dominated from then on with Jerome Boateng doubling the lead before half-time, Franck Ribery and Müller adding further goals early in the second half, Holger Badstuber making it five with his maiden goal in Europe’s elite club competition, Robert Lewandowski bringing up the half-dozen 15 minutes from time, and Mario Götze rounding off the rout at the end.
The Reds join Real Madrid and Porto in the last eight but must wait until next week’s remaining Round of 16 ties and the subsequent draw before learning who they will face in the next round. The Bavarians return to action in the Bundesliga on Saturday with the trip to in-form Werder Bremen.
Skipper back in the squad
Guardiola made three changes to the team that beat Hannover 3-1 in the Bundesliga last weekend. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ribery and Lewandowski took over from Dante, Juan Bernat and the suspended Xabi Alonso, but arguably the biggest selection news was Philipp Lahm’s return to the matchday squad for the first time since the club captain broke an ankle last autumn.
The 2013 winners’ starting line-up comprised Manuel Neuer in goal, Rafinha, Boateng, Badstuber and David Alaba in the back four, Schweinsteiger in the holding position, and an attacking front five of Arjen Robben, Mario Götze, Müller, Ribery and Lewandowski.
Game-changer early doors
Only three minutes after Scottish referee William Collum whistled play underway, the official made a decision which would ultimately prove pivotal in determining the course of the match: Götze broke past the last line of defence and was tripped by Kucher, with Collum deeming the offence a foul by the last man. It seemed harsh but inevitably meant a red card for the Ukrainian and a penalty to Bayern, despatched with typical ease by the deadly Müller.
The rest of the half was pure one-way traffic as Bayern arrived at half-time with 15 shots at goal to their opponents’ none. Ribery and Robben both came close on more than one occasion, with the lively Lewandowski also crowded out as he headed goalwards. There was a blow for FCB after 19 minutes when Robben, clutching a hamstring, hobbled off to be replaced by Sebastian Rode, but the onslaught continued and the unlucky Lewandowski headed against a post from Rafinha’s cross.
Shakhtar keeper Andriy Pyatov did well to stop Ribery’s angled effort and Müller’s header, but he was powerless to prevent Boateng doubling the lead on 34 minutes with a tap-in at the back stick after a slick move involving Müller and Lewandowski. The latter pair both came close again as FCB kept up the pressure through to the break.
Crushing second half
The Reds came out for the second half with the clear intention of finishing off their wounded opponents, and it was game over after a quick-fire double from Ribery on 49 minutes with a fine cross shot after a wonderful interchange with Alaba, and Müller with a side-footed finish 123 seconds later when Pyatov could only parry Lewandowski’s drive.
Luiz Adriano finally had a chance for the visitors after 55 minutes but was beaten to the ball by Badstuber, although the action was all at the other end and sub Bernat drew a very good stop from Pyatov. However, the keeper was beaten again when Badstuber powered home a header for his first-ever Champions League goal after 63 minutes, before Lewandowski crowned a commendable display with a goal of his own from Schweinsteiger’s long ball to make it 6-0 a quarter of an hour from time. Götze supplied the finishing touch with the seventh from the rampaging Boateng’s pass three minutes from the end as FCB strode impressively into the last eight, although Pyatov took the late plaudits with great saves from Götze and Lewandowski.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley