by ‘Ifreke Inyang
These days, they only Barc not bite
It has has something that before Tuesday, was remotely whispered. But at the Allianz Arena, the way Bayern Munich bullied Barcelona to submission, suggested that the German champions, are set to rule Europe for at least two to three more years. It has long been coming. The Bavarians were desperately unlucky not to defeat Chelsea in the finals last year and have featured consistently in the latter stages of the competition for several years now. Not a team to relent on their oars, they have announced that Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze and Pep Guardiola will be joining this summer. There is also talk about Lewandoski following Gotze to their Bundesliga rivals.
The Germans are FOURmidable
There is something refreshingly different about German efficiency. Bayern did not need to go toe to toe with Barca at the tiki-taka. They maintained an admirable discipline as Xavi and Iniesta tried to weave their familiar patterns around them and when the hardworking duo of Bastian Schweinteiger and Martinez retrieved possession, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery provided pacy outlets, supported by the deadly Mario Gomez and the subtly efficient Thomas Muller.
After Dortmund battered Madrid a day after, Jurgen Klopp declared that it was like ‘Robin Hood’. He couldn’t have been more apt. His team that faced Jose Mourinho’s men cost a mere £32m. Madrid ended the game with Ronaldo and Kaka, the two most expensive players on the planet, who cost a combined £135m.
When will this Klopp pass over Jose?
It is like Barcelona all over again for the Portugese manager. The first time he faced the Catalans as coach of Madrid, the game ended in a 5-0 drubbing. Fast forward to 2013. The former Chelsea man had found a way to inhibit their flair and craftiness and even defeated them with a second string team. However, after losing to Dortmund at home and drawing them at the Bernabeu in the early stages, there was no reply at the Signal Iduna Park, as Klopp’s ran riot.
Lewandoski is top drawer
I’ve never been a big fan of Robert Lewandoski, but his performance against Madrid was nothing short of sensational. Pepe and Varane had not answers for the Pole’s movement and instincts. Manchester United have shown interest in the striker, but the German media are reporting that he will be part of Guardiola’s Bayern team.
Bayern’s ploy was a Reus in the end
News of Gotze’s transfer to Bayern, leaked day before the crucial match with Madrid. The conspiracy theorists immediately speculated that the Bavarians had done so on purpose, to derail Dortmund’s preparations for the game. I was mildy surprised that Gotze started the game, but apart from the early assist for Lewandoski’s opener, he did not have much influence on the game. Instead, it was Marco Reus who troubled the Spaniards, running at their defence at will and delivering wicked set-pieces. Klopp has done really well with the team and I don’t expect Gotze’s departure to be much of a problem, especially with Reus still around.