FC Bayern beat Chelsea 3-0 on Tuesday night, achieving a more than promising position to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Bayern ran up in vain against the rock of the London side's defence in the first half, but Serge Gnabry struck twice to deadly effect after half-time, Robert Lewandowski rounding off the scoreline with a quarter-hour to go.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Benjamin Pavard, Jérôme Boateng, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Thiago anchored a midfield featuring Kingsley Coman, Thomas Müller and Gnabry, with Lewandowski up front. Philippe Coutinho took over from Coman after the hour mark, Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretka coming on for Gnabry and Thiago in the closing stages.
After referee Clément Turpin whistled play underway, Bayern went straight onto the front foot. Müller warmed the gloves of keeper Willy Caballero before Mason Mount fired over the bar at the other end. Coman hit the side-netting before Caballero denied Lewandowski, Gnabry glancing a header wide.
Caballero made another save against Lewandowski. Müller curled wide before seeing a header denied by the crossbar. Neuer was called into action shortly before half-time, making a fine diving save to turn aside Marcos Alonso's low drive.
Serge's crucial brace
Gnabry broke the deadlock five minutes after half-time, charging down the centre before teeing up Lewandowski, who poked it back, inviting the Germany international to slot home. Three minutes later Gnabry once again crowned fine interplay with Lewandowski, beating Caballero to double the lead.
The home side went looking for a reply, but it also made them vulnerable at the back, Gnabry blasting over before seeing another effort blocked. Mount fired over before a Willian cross evaded friend and foe alike, but Lewandowski closed it out following a fine solo run by Davies, who invited the striker to tap in. Chelsea's Alonso earned his marching orders for a foul on Lewandowski, Goretzka seeing a header blocked before Turpin put the game to bed.
The Bavarians will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to face Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Bayern and Chelsea will meet again on 18 March.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Caballero - Azpilicueta (Pedro 73), Christensen, Rüdiger - James, Jorginho, Kovačić, Alonso - Mount, Barkley (Willian 61) - Giroud (Abraham 61)
Kepa - Zouma, Emerson, Gilmour
Neuer - Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies - Kimmich, Thiago (Goretzka 90) - Coman (Coutinho 66), Müller, Gnabry (Tolisso 85) - Lewandowski
Ulreich – Odriozola, Hernández, Zirkzee
Clément Turpin (France)
0-1 Gnabry (51), 0-2 Gnabry (54), 0-3 Lewandowski (76)
Jorginho / Thiago, Kimmich
Alonso / -