Yes, the Bavarian side is always included on the set of potential contenders to win the Champions League, but this season they were clearly considered “outsiders” after a weak start to the season and this Tuesday’s encounter against Chelsea was a great declaration of interests from the side led by Hans-Dieter Flick.
When talent makes the difference in matches
It was a very close match the one we watched between Chelsea and Bayern Munich. However, the German side advanced to a solid 0-3 victory thanks to the virtuosity of some of their players, as well as a good defensive organization.
After a weak start to the season – following up on the end of the previous one – it was with ease that we saw the club firing Niko Kovac, but what wouldn’t be expected was that Hans-Dieter Flick took over the position as interim manager with so much success.
He recently recovered the lead of the Bundesliga after a good streak of results and now he also gave an excellent reply abroad with a resounding victory in London.
Serge Gnabry with 2 goals, Robert Lewandowski with 1 goal and 2 assists and also the Alphonso Davies, with 1 assist, ravaging the Blues’ defence and putting Bayern on an excellent position to reach the quarterfinals of the most important clubs’ competition in Europe.
It was a truly convincing performance where the versatility of the Bavarian attack stood out. Serge Gnabry is a true nightmare for the opposing defence while Lewandowski knows it all, from passing, to dribbling and to scoring goals naturally – since he has 11 goals scored on the competition.
A result and a performance that changed everything
With the excellence of their display on Tuesday night and still before Wednesday’s matches where Manchester City, Juventus and Real Madrid might also present their propositions, Bayern took over the No.1 position on the list of favourites to win the Champions League.
Barcelona (6.50) drew in Naples by 1-1 and, despite having been in the lead of the knockout tie, they didn’t show they are well above the Italian rivals which means we might see an upset at Camp Nou on the 2nd leg match.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 27, 2020
Liverpool, current title holders, lost in Madrid by 1-0 against Atlético and they will have the difficult task of breaking them in Anfield to revert the course of this tie next week, which means the odds for them to successfully defend their title have increased to 5.00 on the main bookmakers.
I should also highlight Paris Saint-Germain that lost in Dortmund by 2-1 on a high voltage encounter and they will have to work hard at the Parc des Princes if they want to keep their dream of becoming European champions for the first time in their history alive.
Currently, they are priced at 8.00, which reflects the probable difficulty they will have to face on the 2nd leg encounter.
Lampard’s Chelsea needs to grow
On a season where the club was prevented from signing players due to UEFA’s restrictions, it was already expected that Chelsea would struggle a bit during the season, but the truth is that Frank Lampard has actually been making a good job.
The former club’s captain created an interesting dynamic amongst the club and that allowed them to advance in one of the most competitive groups of the Champions League that also included Valencia and Ajax.
Besides that, the Blues are on a very good position to ensure another qualification onto the Champions League next season because they are in 4th place of the Premier League with a 3-points advantage over Manchester United and a 4-points advantage over Tottenham and Sheffield United.
Prevented from strengthening their roster in the Summer and also during the January transfer window, Chelsea couldn’t overcome some of the weaknesses of their group, which means they will always be an unfinished project until the end of the season.
🔴 When Gnabry was last in town…
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 25, 2020
Still, the signs have been clearly positive and, even if Lampard ends up missing out on a spot in the next edition of the Champions League, I believe he will always deserve a vote of confidence because the principles he applied are encouraging and with the right reinforcements this might be a good time for redemption for the club from London.
Hakim Ziyech already agreed on his transfer to Chelsea for 40 million euros and it will be a signing of great quality for the club because the 26-years old Moroccan winger has been incredible on the past couple of seasons playing for the Dutch side Ajax.
Only counting the Champions League, Ziyech scored 5 goals and made 4 assists in 17 matches last season, adding to the 2 goals and 8 assists on 10 encounters this season.
This is a player of undeniable quality that will add more goalscoring prowess and passing quality to the Blues’ final third, something that has been one of the weaknesses of Lampard’s men this season.