Game in a sentence
Bayern Munich cruise to victory 2-0 at Juventus to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.
- This match was an easy ride for the German powerhouse. They kept a clean sheet and doubled their lead. While it took them a bit longer than usual to settle into the game, once in control, victory was imminent.
- Juventus started off strong and went into attack mode right after the whistle blew. It felt as if the tables were reversed for the first 20 minutes as the black and white flooded the Bayern side with a spell of attacks.
- Juve was playing a higher defensive line and a much more aggressive game. The Italian side’s passing was considerably more organized than in the first leg. Andrea Pirlo was visible again. Paul Pogba, Kwadwo Asamoah and Mirko Vucinic also had a relatively strong game, despite their inability to convert.
- Pogba’s speed and crossing skills troubled Dante and David Alaba in defence. The French man made a clever cross to the left in the 26th minute, which would have been a wonderful scoring opportunity if there was a Juve player to receive it.
- Fabio Quagliarella had his chances, but lacked the finishing touch. Pirlo also had several free kicks, but couldn’t convert.
- Bayern definitely lacked the fire power they carried in the previous game, but as the game went on their fierceness returned. Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben didn’t look nearly as dangerous on the flanks as in the previous match. Bastian Schweinsteiger also had a quiet game, but his silence ended in the second half when he helped set up both of Bayern’s goals.
- Usually Bayern is dangerous on both flanks, but Philipp Lahm’s right side was more threatening pushing forward than Alaba’s today.
- The bad refereeing in the CL continued with Mario Mandzukic booked for a terrible call. He will now miss the next match. The Croatian has been on a roll this season, but with Bayern’s depth (Pizarro and Mario Gomez) his absence may not hamper their European goals.
- Both Buffon and Manuel Neuer were very sharp in net today. Buffon made a strong save in the 39th minute on Alaba, who shot from nearly the same spot as the goal in the first leg. Neuer, of course, didn’t concede a single goal against the Italians.
- As for Bayern, they really came back into the game in the final 10 minutes of the first half. They took away possession and reverted to their natural passing game.
- The Bianconeri came out strong again in the second half with two good chances. Pirlo with a free kick that deflected off the Bayern wall and Quagliarella with an explosive shot in the 48th minute that just went wide.
- But the German side absorbed the attacks and foiled any of Juve’s attempts to steal momentum.
- If there’s one trait we know Robben doesn’t lack, that’s faith and self-confidence. But poor Robben seemed cursed (again). He had three good chances with his famous left-foot. His third attempt in the 57th minute was his best, yet hit the post.
- To further frustrate Juve, Mandzukic, who was probably Bayern’s best player against the Italians in the past two games, headed in the rebound in the 64th minute. Juventus’ uphill battle just got harder, as they needed four goals to get back into the game.
- After Bayern took the lead, Antonio Conte made several drastic substitutions with Alessandro Matri, Emanuele Giaccherini and Mauricio Isla coming on, but regardless of the shake-up, the German side proved to be too tough of an opponent.
- It was clear Bayern’s passing and possession were slowly starting to get under their opponents skins.
- When Bayern went on an attacking spree, Juve’s comeback only faded further into the distance. Thomas Mueller had a fabulous attempt in the 77th minute, but missed the net. A few minutes later Robben had the defenders beaten but couldn’t put the ball past Buffon.
- Claudio Pizarro, who replaced Mandzukic, doubled the lead in the final minutes with an admirable assist from Schweini.
- Pizarro’s goal only reaffirmed the victory for the better side.