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Five Match Observations: Bayern beat Juventus 4-2, advance to the quarterfinals

An emotional roller coaster ends with Bayern coming out on top 4-2, securing a place in the Champions League quarterfinals along the way.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
1. Three years under Pep Guardiola and we still can't defend a counter-attack

While it's easy to blame Guardiola for this, it seems unlikely to me that he wouldn't address the problem after spending three years in the Bundesliga, where every team plays a counter-attacking style against Bayern. Was Cuadrados goal a result of poor coaching? Was it just David Alaba getting caught out of position? Or maybe Joshua Kimmich being inexperienced at handling them as a canter-back? Whatever it is, Bayern need to figure it out, because while Ancelotti may change the style of play, it's unlikely that the oppositions plan of attack will change too much.

2. Manuel Neuer playing with his feet

I love Manuel Neuer, I really do. I hope he stays at the club forever, but in games like this, Bayern shouldn't be relying on him as heavily as they do with back passes, as it clearly doesn't do us much good. And while he's most likely the best goalie with the ball at his feet, it doesn't mean that he should have the ball there as much as he does. A poor pass by Neuer should have led to a goal for Juventus, and another almost lost us possession of the ball. He was incredible in the second half, making a number of incredible saves to keep Bayern in the game, but it doesn't change the fact that he has too much freedom with the ball at his feet.

3. Bayern fans were absolutely brilliant

From the first minute all the way through to the last, our fans cheered and sang the team on. It didn't matter the score, they supported our boys, something that isn't as common amongst football fans as it should be. While the players didn't bring their "A" game for a full 120 minutes, the fans absolutely did, and they played a big part in this comeback. They deserve a ton of credit for never losing faith when maybe even the players did.

4. Guardiola's substitutions hit the spot

Kingsley Coman, Juan Bernat, and Thiago absolutely changed this game for the better, with two out of the three getting on the score sheet in over-time to secure Bayern a place in the next round. Guardiola may have gotten it wrong in the first half in terms of his line-up, but he absolutely redeemed himself in the second half with his adjustments. A special mention also goes to Douglas Costa, who was the one most affected by these changes. He was moved from the right wing to the left wing when Bernat was brought on, shifted into the middle when Coman came in for Alonso, and thrown back out onto the left when Thiago replaced Franck Ribery. A brilliant performance by him.

5. Character

Under Guardiola, Bayern have really had it all in terms of on field performance. They're comfortable playing many different styles and formations, often changing them in the middle of games (like they did today). They have an offense that is up there with the best in the world, a midfield that can rival anyones, and a defense that, while patchy and frustrating to watch at times, can be downright dominant when in form. But today they showed something than can get them further in the competition that any of those ever could. Character. Passion. Fight. Staring an early exit right in the eyes, they found a way to claw their way back into the tie and win it in over-time. If Bayern go on to win the Champions League, look at this game as to why. Those two early goals by Juventus may have been a blessing in disguise, and hopefully this lights a fire under the players asses that takes them all the way to Milan.

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