Nobody stepped up individually, but the team achieved its goal
As fans of Bayern Munich we get spoiled with more than our share of individual moments of magic. Arjen Robben’s left foot, Robert Lewandowski’s finishing, crosses from Joshua Kimmich, you get the idea. However, today’s match was lacking in this department. There were no splitting through balls or dribbling runs that led to big chances (although Robben and Franck Ribery both showed flashes with the ball at their feet). It was a relatively quiet night in central midfield although Javi Martinez and James Rodriguez were mostly solid. Jerome Boateng in particular had a quiet night while goalkeeper Sven Ulreich wasn’t involved that much and wasn’t forced to make any difficult saves.
All that being said, Bayern was content and calm for the entire game. There was not a sense of urgency because with a victory and two away goals in their pocket Jupp Heynckes played it conservative and smart. If Sevilla had scored then the tactics may have changed, but since they didn’t Bayern simply road out the game to a 0-0 stalemate - which was all they needed.
Lewandowski gets battered
The match was only minutes old and Robert Lewandowski already had egg on his face. Not because he had made an egregious error but literally as a large bump below his left eye appeared after a clash of heads in the box. That was just the beginning as the striker was constantly nipped, tripped, and stepped on all night leading to multiple trips by the training staff out on the field to check on his injuries. Coach Heynckes mercifully substituted him for Sandro Wagner in the 77th minute.
First half at a glance
The match was back and forth for the opening 30 minutes or so with Sevilla getting the better of the chances although nothing was threatening. Bayern turned it on for the last 15 minutes of the half and had a few decent efforts including a left footed curler from Mats Hummels from just outside the box the barely missed the corner and a right footed rocket from Ribery that he drilled right at the goalkeeper which was Bayern’s best chance of the night. The best defensive play of the night was an excellent sliding tackle by Rafinha in the box that saved the Bavarians some embarrassment due to some sloppy play by Javi Martinez and a Mats Hummels missed tackle.
Second half at a glance
It was back and forth again, but at a slow pace with neither team really pushing forward too much. Sevilla had the best chance of the half off a lovely Ever Banega cross but it was unlucky for them as Joaquín Correa’s header bounced off the crossbar.
Sevilla surprisingly never showed a sense of urgency to score even though they needed at least two goals to advance. Bayern didn’t have all that much to do to preserve the draw and therefore move on in the tournament.
In extra time Sevilla finally showed some desire but it was in the wrong way as Correa went in recklessly on Javi Martinez and was deservedly shown a red card. Even at the death head coach Vincenzo Montella was wildly gesturing on the sidelines after he felt aggrieved by a throw in call that didn’t go his way. All this when they still needed two goals to advance. If Sevilla had shown any of this passion earlier in the game then Bayern might have had a match on their hands - instead it was cruise control all game long.