Coming in to the second leg of the quarter final stage of the Champions League, an outcome that left supporters on either side gasping, wide eyed and mouth open at different emotional levels of course while the critiques were left baffled! Such was the game played between FC Bayern Munchen and FC Porto in Futball Arena München, in Munich, home to the mighty German contenders; Bayern Munchen.
6-1 was the final tally. Wherein which 5 of the 6 were scored in the first 36 minutes of the game, annihilating what seemed initially a quite favorable lead of a 2 goal advantage by the Portuguese based team in the first leg played in the Estádio do Dragão, Porto. But few if any, could have foretold what the second leg would bring, even when Bayern under their illustrious manager Pep Guardiola have simply been unsurpassable at home this season in the league having prior to swiping porto aside they demolished Shakhtar Donetsk, again at home beating them 7-0 in Munich. Under their world class defender, Captain Philipp Lahm, the Bavarians have simply been unmatched in the competition… Still however their metal is yet to be tested by the veteran elite in this competition with the likes of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid FC, Juventus FC locking horns to graduate further in seeking to bask in the ultimate glory that can be expected in European Football.
It all started to go haywire after, Thiago Alcántara in the 14th minute headed a goal past the porto keeper Fabiano, scoring the first goal of the evening. That was a crucial goal on two fronts; firstly to begin to lift the surmounted pressure of a weeklong training period of the 2 goal advantage held by the visitors and that too quite early in the game and secondly to settle the nerves when moments before the goal, Robert Lewandowski was unable to score a rebounded shot, struck by Thomas Müller by agonizingly hitting the woodwork. But after the first, the goals just kept on coming;
Minute 22nd: Jerome Boateng getting on the score sheet by heading in a lofted ball swung back in from a corner. Boateng’s angled header passing barely between Fabiano’s post with just a hair’s breadth difference from drawing a fingertip save off the Brazilian keeper. Tormenting for any Porto fan to view it again at slow-mo.
Minute 27th: Robert Lewandowski doing what he does best; hitting the back of the net. A volleyed cross by Lahm coming from the right flank finding Mueller who deflected the ball ever so clinically by the faintest of touches into the path of the Polish striker or rather the head who merely had to tuck the ball past the keeper from 6 yards out.
Minute 36th: It is said that when Thomas Mueller scores for club or country, his side has never lost and such seemed again the case this time. A goal which had every reason to be saved but could not but then again this was a night which one simply cannot foretell. Mueller stuck the ball from around 25 yards merely finishing a swift move when it strikes the defender taking a deflection and bouncing right between the already grounded keeper’s leg whose scissor kick was of no avail.
By this time having lost their lead and now losing in barely the space of 22 minutes, Porto’s spirit began extinguishing.
Minute 40th: Again the duo of Mueller and Lewandowski combing to score with the former assisting and the latter finishing with ease.
After half time is was purely a game to be played for pride and preserving self-dignity for the visitors while the hosts were in the driving seat cruising towards their inevitable spot in the semi-finals.
In the 73rd minute however, Porto collected a consolation prize in the form of a goal, delivered by the skipper Jackson Martínez, which stirred back a bit of life into the collapsing Porto side, but when Iván Marcano was sent off taking a second yellow on a tackle on Thiago, all hope was lost…and if the fates weren’t already cruel to Porto, the resulting free kick was converted by Xavi Alonso as if delivering the last nail in the coffin in form of the 6th goal of the night.
Needless to say that Porto did not see this one coming and to be honest neither one could have said that a team bearing a 2 goal lead in the first leg would be thwarted in a manner such as this, now we are to see this German giant in the semi’s and I for one cannot wait.