Anyone remember that time Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 8-2 in the Champions League? Well, we haven’t forgotten. One of the biggest defeats in UCL history, it caused the sacking of Quique Setien and almost made Lionel Messi leave Spain.
Well now, a plucky little club from the fifth tier of German football can pride themselves on being better than the Catalans. 1. FC Duren, a team established only two years ago, have just lost 3-0 to Bayern. That, by definition, makes them clearly superior to Barcelona. It also makes them better than Schalke, but almost any team can be better than Schalke, so we won’t insult them my making that comparison.
Memes aside, Duren really did play well. Bayern started with only a few first teamers in the lineup — only Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Alphonso Davies can really be called “regulars”. There was no Robert Lewandowski or any other international player in the lineup (aside from Sule, who missed Germany’s most recent game). The rest were mostly new signings like Douglas Costa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, or youngsters like Jamal Musiala.
Duren tried to exploit the Bavarian’s lack of team chemistry by coming out firing right from minute 1. They pressed with a ferocity that defied their humble origins, and kept a competent tactical shape throughout the game. It was hard for Bayern to create openings, even with Champions League level forwards up top. Many Bundesliga and even UCL level clubs could learn something from the Oberliga men.
Bayern will now advance to the second round of the DFB Pokal, and they have Arminia Bielefeld up next in the league. That will be followed by a mammoth fixture against Atletico Madrid. Duren, meanwhile, can go back home proud knowing that they achieved their primary objective — being better than Schalke and Barcelona.
Dirk Ruhrig (FC Düren sporting director) on tomorrow's game against Bayern: "We want to do better than Schalke and Barcelona" [Bild]— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) October 14, 2020
Mission accomplished, lads!