Bayern Munich took a massive step toward the last four of the Champions League as they produced a dominant display in the first leg of their quarterfinal with Juventus to secure a 2-0 victory at the Allianz Arena.
Such was Bayern’s control of proceedings and the number of chances they created against a poor performance from the Serie A leaders that the Bavarians may feel they should be taking an even bigger lead to Turin next week.
The narrative of the match had been set from the first minute when David Alaba scored a long-range effort, before Thomas Muller added a second from close range in the second half.
The tie appeared on paper to be the closest-matched of the quarterfinals with both sides holding commanding leads in their domestic leagues and keen to return to the summit in Europe.
While Bayern had extraordinarily won 9-2 against Hamburg on Saturday, goals could have been expected to be a premium on Tuesday with a Juventus defense featuring a trio of Italian internationals in front of Gianluigi Buffon.
There was a sense of amazement then when Bayern struck after just 25 seconds. Buffon, usually so dependable throughout his long career, failed to get across to keep out Alaba’s deflected effort from 35 yards that spun low into the corner.
Despite Arturo Vidal seeing a fierce effort saved by Manuel Neuer and Bayern losing the influential Toni Kroos to injury, the home side created a host of opportunities.
Bayern could easily have gone in at the break 3-0 ahead if Kroos’ replacement, Arjen Robben, not been so profligate in front of goal. The often frustrating Dutchman first drilled a shot straight at Buffon after a poor clearance from Andrea Barzagli and then shot awkwardly wide of the near post after a good run and pull back by Muller.
Franck Ribery also fired into the side netting and Buffon produced saves from Mario Mandzukic and Alaba, but Bayern eventually got a potentially decisive second goal.
Buffon’s contribution will again be called into question as he failed to hold Luiz Gustavo’s long-range shot and Mandzukic was given the benefit of the doubt with an offside call allowing him to side-foot across the six-yard box for Muller to tap home.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.