Friday, August 14, 2020

Super Bayern Munich

8-2 is never a score you expect in a Champions League quarterfinal, but it was the score today, when Bayern Munich took apart FC Barcelona in what some people had called the "pre-final" of the Champions League.
The Bavarian side was 4-1 ahead at halftime in what reminded me of the infamous 1-7 World Cup semifinal match in 2014, and of the 2013 Champions League match when Bayern defeated Barcelona 4-0.  And surely Bayern Munich never put a break on their attacks, and eight goals was, if anything, not enough. The German side was simply outstanding; all their players performed to the highest level, with good ole' Thomas Muller, scoring two goals, truly at his best. The 19-year old Canadian, Alphonse Davies, also made a huge impression, in particular his build-up for Bayern's 5th goal (by Coutinho). Anecdotally, young Davies has an interesting life-story, as he was born to Liberian parents at Budumburam refugee camp in Ghana, moving to Canada in 2005. I was living in Ghana in 2005 (and have visited Budumburam a few times) and later lived in Liberia. I am sure that Mr. Davies is starting a glorious career!

And about Barcelona: you prove your greatness in adversity, and this Barcelona side is not great. They never looked as if they believed in a result (even when they equalized to 1-1, one had the feeling that Bayern would overrun them), and they were disorganized and slow. Sergi Roberto was probably substituted because the match was supposed to be played without spectators, and he was, alongside many of his teammates, a spectator.
Regarding Lionel Messi, we are used to him being petulant when things are against him (we have seen it with Argentina), and not doing anything to pull his team up, and this was also the case today; he looked as if he had given up by Bayern's second goal. That is no way to behave for a captain, but even less for a player who is supposedly the best in the world.
Barcelona will probably undergo massive changes in the next months, and in the meantime this will be the first Champions League semifinals since 2007 without any Spanish teams!

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