Thomas Muller turns in masterclass as Bayern crush Besiktas

by Leon Thompson February 23, 2018, 1:50
Thomas Muller turns in masterclass as Bayern crush Besiktas

Bayern Munich, helped by two typical Thomas Mueller goals and two from Robert Lewandowski, romped to a 5-0 win over Besiktas in their tie after the Turkish champions played almost the whole match with 10 men. In near-perfect symmetry, Muller and the horse cocked their left legs back and forth before doing the same with their right.

Increasing the tempo and the pressure in the second half, Bayern did not give any chances to Besiktas to be unsafe. "It is hard to come back against Bayern after such a result", Besiktas head coach Senol Guenes.

Heynckes' side were unbeaten in the previous 61 competitive matches in which the 28-year-old Germany global has scored. The Istanbul side advanced out of the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history but are fourth in the Turkish Super Lig this season.

The Turkish champions start a hectic period of six games in three weeks before the return leg against Bayern on March 14, including two home matches against Fenerbahce.

Even with the omens stacked in their favour, Bayern did not immediately have it all their own way after Vida's red card.

The 29-year-old has always been linked to the Champions League holders, who are looking for alternatives to Karim Benzema up front.

Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.

Manchester United's Mourinho praises Vincenzo Montella
France star Pogba was struck down by a mystery illness ahead of the Red Devils' FA Cup win over Huddersfield Town last weekend. Marcos Rojo, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones are expected to miss Wednesday's fixture through injury.

It was not enough to stop a rampant Bayern.

They can, though, count on the experience of former Real Madrid defender Pepe - who will be making his 95th Champions League appearance - his fellow Portuguese veteran Ricardo Quaresma and Dutch striker Ryan Babel.

Lewandowski pulled the ball back for Coman to score early in the second half, and Mueller grabbed his second a quarter-hour later, prodding Joshua Kimmich's cross in from close range.

The big question is whether Bayern's dominance of the Bundesliga has allowed them to develop bad habits, and whether they can raise their game to the level required for big Champions League clashes.

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi finally opened his account against Chelsea with a 75th-minute equaliser to earn his side a 1-1 draw in a fascinating Champions League last 16, first leg duel at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. Yet the Black Eagles finished up being used for round of 16 shooting practice in Munich - just as Arsenal (5-1 in 2017), Juventus (4-2, 2016) and Shakhtar (7-0, 2015) had been - though the circumstances of the victory have not blinded Bayern to their frailties or the challenges ahead.

"That changed - in the second half, we were much more aggressive in attack and we made the extra man count".

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