Bayern Munich are by no means perfect. Like all other sites, they have their weaknesses and admittedly these weaknesses are quite obvious.
Defensively, there is a lot to improve. But when you attack like they do, who really needs to be perfect?
On Tuesday night, Die Roten gave the opportunity to secure promotion to the Champions League knockout phase with two matches left in Group E. Their opposition was their closest challenger, even though they looked anything but challengers in the evening.
Julian Nagelsmann’s men made no mistake when they got the three points they needed, and set up an exhibition of pure attack class and ruthlessness to flash Benfica.
What was clear, however, was the need for improvements on the back. The guests put the ball in the net three times – two stood – and on each occasion the goal was to avoid. It is true that Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez were absent from the lineup, but both strikes were born out of incompetence from common first team names: Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano.
This is without a doubt an area that will be looked at by Nagelsmann. But despite all the frustration on the back, Bayern fans got a party of absolute perfection ahead.
From the unwavering positive pressure to the silky and saturated ball posture, and from the windy build-up game to the unchanging finish in front of goal – Bayern were unstoppable.
The midfield collaboration between Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka was typically dominant, with the latter running around persistently and vigorously while the former gained an irreplaceable influence on the procedure.
Joshua Kimmich was a prominent figure for Bayern Munich on Tuesday night / TOBIAS SCHWARZ / GettyImages
Their perseverance, drive and match-dictating precision from the depths were matched by the sharpness of Bayern’s wide men. Kingsley Coman was frightening right from the start and weaved his way through Benfica’s back line on several occasions before setting up the opening goal.
Leroy Sane, although not as directly dangerous, showed fantastic spatial awareness and movement before he got his own goal in an emphatic way – assisted by Alphonso Davies who on his 21st birthday was as dynamic and prominent forward as ever.
Serge Gnabry was also on the goal record and ended an effective, elusive and above all playing performance with a fantastically taken finish with backs during the first half.
Robert Lewandowski was of course central to the goals. The enigmatic Pole marked his 100th Champions League outing with a hat-trick, and even took an assist to put the cherry on top. The first was a simple nod, the second a cheeky drink over the goalkeeper and the third a careless lob. The fact that he wasted a punishment is likely to go unnoticed, in the name of honesty.
On his 100th Champions League appearance, Robert Lewandowski makes his fourth hat trick in the competition … ✨ # UCL pic.twitter.com/qvqfbnfjrI
– Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 2, 2021
Five goals of different styles. Bayern showed patience in their build-up before playing astonishing killer passes (mainly Kimmich’s work), aggression and speed from wide, untraceable moves in and around the box, and counter-attacks to perfection whenever possible on Tuesday night – with the result of offensive phases determined by confident and clinical forwards all the time.
There was everything imaginable in their play going forward; there is no limit to their attack ability.
They may be open in the back thanks to their aggressive pressure and high back line, they may be prone to an odd concentration loss, and they are likely to concede goals to their elite European clubs.
However, it is safe to say that no one attacks like Bayern Munich – they are simply petrified. Die Roten has been thundering for a while now and after another opposition on Tuesday to secure a place in the round of 16, Bayern have put down the glove.
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