German giants, Bayern Munchen have set up a dream final in the UEFA Champions League, UCL, following a not-so-easy win over Lyon in the second semi-final on Wednesday in Lisbon. Two first-half goals from Serge Gnabry and a late third from tournament leading scorer Robert Lewandowski sealed a 0-3 victory for the Bavarians, setting up a dreamy final date against Neymar and Mbappe-led PSG on Sunday.
But what else did we find out from that entertaining game? Let’s dig in…
1. Bayern can score goals and have made history
The Bavarians put in another good display to see off a spirited Lyon side, scoring three goals this time after plunging eight past Barcelona in their previous game to book a place in Sunday’s final against PSG and also confirm their superiority.
But what you didn’t know is that those goals against the Ligue 1 side took their tally in the UCL this season to 42 goals in just 10 matches for an average of 4.2 goals per game, the best goals to game ratio in UCL history.
The greatest goalscoring duo in @ChampionsLeague history 🤗
Not an opinion. pic.twitter.com/MiUw1cXkcW
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 19, 2020
It also means Bayern become just the fourth team to ever score 40 or more goals in a single UCL campaign, with their 42 goals ranked second-highest since Barcelona needed 16 matches to score 45 goals back in the 1999/2000 season. With one match to go, Hansi Flick’s Bayern could replace Barca at the top having played five fewer games.
2. Arsenal fans can’t recognize this Serge Gnabry
“Nah [sic] seriously, whoever sold Gnabry at Arsenal needs to be found and put in jail. No place in football for him. Complete fraud.”
Those were the words of an Arsenal fan, Bhav, based in London after a man of the match performance from their former player, Serge Gnabry. Gnabry was just 16 years old when he left Germany to join Arsenal’s youth team in 2011 from Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
Nah seriously, whoever sold Gnabry at Arsenal needs to be found and put in jail. No place in football for him. Complete fraud.
— Bhavs (@bhavss14) August 19, 2020
However, he struggled to find his feet with the first team and was subsequently farmed out on loan to West Brom Albion four years later in 2015 after just 18 appearances for the Gunners.
Five years later, after failing to find a place at WBA, the now 25-year-old is a star for one of the world’s biggest teams, Bayern Munich and on the biggest stage, he delivered a man of the match performance that has left Arsenal fans asking more questions than there are answers. Gnabry scored two of the goals in Bayern’s 3-0 win over Lyon in Wednesday’s second semi-final, taking his numbers to nine (9) goals in just eight (8) Champions League appearances this season.
— Serge Gnabry (@SergeGnabry) August 19, 2020
Also, his brace against Lyon means the former Gunner becomes the second German to score twice in a UEFA Champions League semi-final after teammate at club and national level, Thomas Müller against Barcelona in 2013.
What a turnaround, don’t you agree?
3. Bayern are vulnerable
Bayern’s semi-final hero, Gnabry admitted after their victory over Lyon that the Bavarians indeed rode their luck against the French side. Speaking to Sky Sport and POLSAT, the 25-year-old wide forward said;
“We were a bit lucky at the start, Manuel [Neuer] saved well and then they hit the post. The first couple of minutes we struggled a little bit.”
Moments before scoring his first of the evening and putting Bayern ahead, Lyon proved that the Bundesliga giants are indeed vulnerable as they opened them up enough to have taken the lead not once but twice.
.see Lyon. Pray they don’t pay for all this rubbish they’re doing.
— TheHighPriest. (@IBARU__) August 19, 2020
The first chance came when Memphis Depay was put through on goal and with just Manuel Neuer to beat, the Dutchman could only find the side netting after going round the goalkeeper, who perhaps narrowed the angle by making himself big as early as the fourth minute.
13 minutes later, his strike partner Toko Ekambi came close again but watched agonizingly as his shot came off the post. Bayern weathered these early storms to come out of that encounter unscathed with Gnabry’s first-half goals proving decisive for their confidence for the rest of the game.
Nevertheless, if the Lyon chances prove anything, they showed that Bayern are humans after all, which gives PSG plenty of hope going into Sunday’s epic final especially as they possess talents like Marco Verratti, Angel Di Maria, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe, who have the quality to harm the Germans in a way their fellow Ligue 1 ‘farmers’, Lyon, failed to do.
Our own Cerebrone sums it up with this line;
“Bayern looked really vulnerable tonight. Lyon really had to take their chances when they got them. You just can’t do that as underdogs. You have to take those chances.”
Bayern are always vulnerable if you attack the channels and isolate their central defenders. The problem is, you have to play a perfect game; take your chances and limit mistakes at the back because they’re unforgiving. https://t.co/ufErN2k9Yx
— Oluwatobi Ogunsakin (@tobiogunsakin) August 19, 2020
The question now is, can the French champions do better by taking their chances against the German champions?