Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona: Bayern produce an astonishingly dominant performance

April 24, 2013

FC-Bayern-Muenchen-v-Barcelona
“Bayern Munich didn’t try to outpass Barcelona, and instead ruthlessly exposed their traditional weaknesses. Jupp Heynckes selected Mario Gomez rather than Claudio Pizarro as Mario Mandzukic’s replacement, and decided Jerome Boateng was a better option than Daniel van Buyten because of his extra speed. Tito Vilanova’s side was as expected: Lionel Messi was fit, and Alexis Sanchez started as wide forward on the left, with Pedro Rodriguez on the right. Barcelona enjoyed a decent opening ten minutes, but Bayern were strategically perfect and fully deserved to win by such a convincing scoreline.” Zonal Marking

Will the football world now follow Bayern’s method rather than Barça’s?
“The sun has set on the age of Barcelona and dawn has broken on the bright new age of Bayern Munich. Bayern’s demolition of Barça last night certainly had the sense of a game that changed the order of things – even in advance it felt like an era-defining game. It crystallised the sense that Barça are not quite what they were, a weary shadow of the team that won the Champions League in 2011, and that Bayern are rising, inspired by a crop of fine young players and German economic might.” Jonathan Wilson

Are Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez the perfect midfield pivot?
“Bayern Munich have been majestic this season, winning the Bundesliga with ease and making headlines in the Champions League also. The imminent arrival of Pep Guardiola next season has also been much anticipated by fans and pundits. Guardiola will inherit a team who have not only recently announced the signing of Dortmund’s Gotze, but possess two of the best midfielders in world football in Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez. So many sides are now opting for a 4-2-3-1 formation which makes that pivot an integral part to the side and in these two midfielders Bayern arguably possess the best combination around.” Think Football

Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona: Tactical Analysis
“Hours after announcing the unexpected signing of Mario Gotze from rivals Dortmund, Bayern Munich went ahead and shocked the footballing world again. It was uncharted territory for Barcelona. Rarely do opposition so significantly humiliate the Catalan giants. Some may say Barca got lucky in the previous rounds, overturning disappointing results in the 2nd leg. But after Bayern’s 4-0 thrashing at the Allianz Arena, it seems unlikely that Barcelona will get a shot at a 5th Champions League crown. Bayern Munich have put the disappointment of last season behind them as they displayed a sensational performance in front of their home fans. Incredible organisation, constant pressing, effective counter-attack play & a refreshing change in European football.” Outside of Boot

Barcelona no longer Europe’s dominant force
” Gerard Piqué summed it up. ‘They gave us a repaso, a going-over,’ he said, ‘they were quicker than us and better than us. That’s all there is to it, there is no excuse.’ In its simplicity, his analysis was eloquent: this was a hammering that brokered no argument and left no room for hope. Bayern Munich won 4-0, Barcelona’s worst European defeat in 16 years. All over the pitch, Barcelona’s players looked shell-shocked, dazed and confused, ragged, like they’d been hit by an entire fleet of buses. The front cover of the Catalan sports daily El Mundo Deportivo summed it up: ‘Nightmare’.” SI


Good outweighs the bad for Liverpool’s biting Luis Suarez

April 24, 2013

“Seven minutes into the second half of Liverpool’s Premier League match against Chelsea on Sunday, Luis Suarez sent a cross into the path of Daniel Sturridge, who cushioned a volley into the bottom corner of the net to equalize. It was a fine finish but a truly stunning pass — conceived in a fraction of a second and played with an astonishingly precise level of accuracy, in terms of weight, angle and height. It was a moment of extraordinary skill, and yet it will barely be mentioned this week because of what happened 14 minutes later.” SI – Jonathan Wilson (Video)