Robert Lewandowski: the definition of complete forward
Yet again, Robert Lewandowski proved to be Chelsea’s worst nightmare. While the rest of the offense had a mixed game, Lewandowski picked up where he left off. A right-footed penalty, a superb left-footed curling cross, and a header goal — the Polish gunslinger was involved in all of Bayern’s goals tonight, just like in the first leg. Lewandowski is averaging an astounding 2.47 G+A (per 90) for Bayern in the Champions League and has scored in every game of the competition he has played this season. He was involved in all 7 of Bayern’s goals against Chelsea.
vs. Red Star ⚽— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 8, 2020
vs. Spurs ⚽⚽
vs. Olympiacos ⚽⚽
vs. Olympiacos ⚽
vs. Red Star ⚽⚽⚽⚽
vs. Chelsea ⚽
vs. Chelsea ⚽
Robert Lewandowski has scored in every Champions League game he’s played this season pic.twitter.com/7lZqI2qLtI
A mixed game for Goretzka and Kimmich
One massive improvement that Goretzka has made since the Bundesliga restart is his positional discipline. In contrast to the old days of “ThiaGoretzka,” Goretzka didn’t leave Thiago alone in the buildup. However, about 30-35 minutes into the game, Goretzka went into “ghost mode” and did not reappear in the game until after the 70th minute mark. In contrast, Thiago was seen everywhere on the pitch, as he “stole” the ball, progressed it upfield, and made some crucial challenges in Bayern’s defensive third. The midfield buff didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but with key player Kimmich absent from the midfield, Goretzka needs to remain in the game the whole time.
Speaking of Kimmich: Kimmich performed as backup for Benjamin Pavard is supposed to perform, but he was not at the level at which he formerly performed as a right-back. While his lack of offensive quality was understandable, since he was playing at right-back for the second time in eight months, it looked like he struggled to get involved in the rest of the phases, typically buildup and defensive phase, of the game. His interpretation of his role in midfield looks better for now, but if Pavard is indeed out for the rest of the season, Kimmich should definitely rework on his game as a right-back.
Bayern must be wary of defensive lapses
The team looked to play conservatively at times after getting a comfortable 2-0 lead, but defensive lapses are still a part of Bayern’s game. Excepting the first thirty minutes, during which Bayern were completely dominant, there were numerous nervy moments in both halves where Chelsea were able to exploit Bayern’s defensive line.
Either the team plays with the same intensity throughout the match, or Flick needs to come up with a strategy that enables Bayern to keep the ball and simply recycle it to give players the necessary recovery time. With Barcelona, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid still in the competition, Flick’s men will face a much tougher challenge than Chelsea in the upcoming rounds. The impact of an individual mistake or momentary lapse will be much more severe from now on, and the players won’t have an additional 90 minutes to correct their mistakes. Nevertheless, Hansi Flick has enough expertise in knock-out tournaments and will surely find a way to rectify these issues.