Bayern Munich handed a humiliating 5-1 thrashing to English side Arsenal earlier this week in the UEFA Champions League. The win, combined with the triumph in the first leg at the Allianz Arena, meant that the German outfit sent the Gunners packing out of the competition by an aggregate score of 10-2; the worst defeat for an English side in the history of the Champions League.
Arsenal were brutally exposed and torn apart methodically by Carlo Ancelotti’s side in what was one of the best halves of football they have played this season. As the end of the match approached, you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that they were going through training. That’s how easy Bayern made it look on Tuesday night.
The way that the Die Roten performed over the two legs, the clinical edge that they showed, it is sure to have sent a chill down the spines of the opponents who will be waiting in the upcoming rounds. After having started the season slowly, Bayern are looking like the team they were meant to be and here are three reasons why they could run away with the Champions League trophy this season:
Carlo Ancelotti’s Experience
When you have someone who has been there, seen it all, and done it all in your dugout, it is natural that there is a sense of confidence in the team. With Carlo Ancelotti on the sidelines, one can see that the Bayern players believe they can do it.
The 57-year old Italian is one of the most successful managers across Europe and has tasted plenty of success in the Champions League. Ancelotti led AC Milan to two Champions League trophies back in 2002-03 and 2006-07. And most recently, he guided his previous club Real Madrid to the elusive “La Decima”- their tenth Champions League triumph, in 2013-14. Such is the stature of Ancelotti, that he is widely regarded as the European competition specialist.
Having someone like Ancelotti to guide the team through the competition, someone with so much success and the experience and the know-how makes a huge difference to the team. This has reflected in Bayern’s journey in the Champions League this season. With him on the sidelines, it is definitely advantage Bayern.
When one of the most successful managers in Europe is equipped with arguably the best marksman around the world, the results are bound to be outstanding. Munich have that combination in Ancelotti ad Robert Lewandowski.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Polish international is one of the most feared strikers in the world. The fact that he is at the peak of his career is bound to send shivers to the opponent defenders. The 28-year old has already netted 31 times for the German giants this season and seven of those goals have come in his eight Champions League appearances.
His predatory instincts in front of goal and his ability to keep on scoring make him a priceless asset to have in the team. Bayern are extremely lucky to have him in their ranks. Lewandowski has come close to the Champions League medal before, but this season he could lead his team to European glory.
Don’t Forget the Support Squad
It is true that Robert Lewandowski is a goal-machine who never stops scoring. But for him to keep performing at that level, there needs to be support on the pitch and he enjoys that in plenty.
In Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa, the Die Roten are blessed with two of the most devastating wingers in the game, who can score plenty of goals themselves and create plenty more. Then there is the ever so talented Thomas Muller waiting in the ranks, along with the likes of Franck Ribery and Kingsley Coman, who can all come in and contribute immensely when needed. The midfield of Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal and Thiago Alcantara has the perfect blend of experience and exuberance to help Bayern achieve their dreams.
Champions League winning teams need quality on the field and quality on the bench, and Bayern possess that in bountiful. Apart from this, they have the perfect man in-charge in Ancelotti, to bring them another Champions League trophy.