Bayern Munich’s clash with FC Barcelona in the quarterfinal of the UEFA Champions League was always going to be an enticing match-up. However, the Bundesliga giants’ thumping 8-2 win over their Catalan rivals is certainly not a result many had been expecting, and it unsurprisingly had a massive impact on both the clubs. In this article, we will talk about five takeaways from Bayern Munich’s 8-2 victory over Barcelona.
Time For A Radical Change At Barcelona
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way.
FC Barcelona have been showing signs of complacency at the highest level of football for quite some time now, and it was clearly indicated in their performance over Bayern Munich.
The team lacked a proper identity and had over-relied on the services of old guards like Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. It means that the Catalans lacked pace in their game and were no match for Bayern Munich. It was combined with a questionable tactic of playing out from the back despite the manic pressing from the opposition.
Hence, it is quite reasonable to assume that there would be radical changes in the Barcelona camp this summer. Quique Setien’s future is already in doubt. At the same time, Pique has told the reporters that he will be more than happy to make way for a younger defensive alternative should Barcelona try to make a complete transition in their squad.
Manuel Neuer Is The Man For Germany
Friday’s encounter between Bayern Munich and Barcelona was enough to indicate just how much Manuel Neuer deserves to retain his place in between the sticks for the German national team in the upcoming European Championship as well as the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
There was pressure on the veteran goalkeeper due to his slight decline, combined with the massive rise of Marc Andre ter Stegen. But against Barcelona, Neuer showcased incredible composure and played the role of the sweeper ‘keeper.
ter Stegen, in contrast, conceded eight goals and made numerous mistakes while playing out from the back. He just couldn’t handle Bayern’s high-press that hurried and hassled him throughout the course of the ninety minutes.
Will Philippe Coutinho’s Late Cameo Affect His Future?
Philippe Coutinho was heading into this game with an uncertain future, not only at Bayern but also at his parent club, Barcelona. However, the Brazilian played out quite the cameo, scoring two goals and providing an assist after being used as a substitute late in the game.
Coutinho’s explosive display during the final phase of the match may not earn him a permanent move to Bayern or perhaps even a rebirth at Barcelona. Still, it could surely attract a host of Premier League clubs, with Arsenal, in particular, being heavily linked with a move for the ex-Liverpool sensation this summer.
Is Alphonso Davies The Best Left-Back In Europe?
Alphonso Davies was going to face arguably the toughest challenge of his career in this game, the job of containing Messi. It was a responsibility he took with aplomb, showing immense composure and athleticism to not only provide support in defence but also in attack.
In fact, the Canadian international provided one of the best assists in the Champions League this season when he found Joshua Kimmich in the second half. It capped off a brilliant display that saw Davies dominate the left-flank and terrorise Nelson Semedo and the Barca defence.
Although the Bayern Munich star still has a long way to go before he can be considered as the best left-back in Europe, he does have the quality to do so. Plus, it will be interesting to see how he performs during the rest of the tournament.
Bayern Munich Are The Favourites To Win UCL
Bayern Munich winning against Barcelona means there will be now two Bundesliga teams in the last four of the competition, and it goes without saying that the Bavarians are the favourites.
The German record champions have performed incredibly, ousting Chelsea 7-1 in the Round of 16 before securing an 8-2 victory over another favourites, Barcelona and that too in just one game. They are also the only side who have a realistic chance of landing a treble and it seems like a possibility as they showcase their true quality at the highest level of football.