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Four observations from Bayern Munich’s 4-0 thrashing vs SL Benfica in the Champions League

FC Bayern Munich were back in Champions League action tonight against S.L. Benfica, in a stadium they know all too well.

SL Benfica v Bayern München: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Public enemy No.1

It seems Bayern Munich will forever have a curse that follows them: The curse of the woodwork. I counted no less than three separate occasions during this match where Bayern had an excellent shot or opportunity get stifled by the pesky-woodwork. Add in the two VAR-overturned goals and this night had all the markings of one in which no matter how hard Bayern tried, they just simply were not destined to score.

Even with all of that abysmal “post” luck, Leroy Sané managed to score a beautiful free-kick (more on that below) which finally broke the proverbial seal of this game.

The night of the goalkeepers

I mean, Manuel Neuer, what a beauty.

Both keepers kept their sides in the game with some high quality saves (and some “post” luck, as well) which made it a nail-biter until the 70’ minute where Bayern finally broke through. Frankly, a tip of the hat to Odysseas Vlachodimos for his heroic performance. If he was not Superman out there, Bayern would probably have been up an easy two or three goals by halftime. The same goes for Neuer, including the save shown above. This was a goalkeeper masterclass on both sides even with the unforgiving 4-0 scoreline.

Nice

In prime form

Unfortunate woodwork luck aside, Bayern looked great tonight. Yes, there were defensive liabilities at times, but the attack and midfield just dominated S.L. Benfica. Leroy Sané was — sorry — inSané. He truly has molded into the lethal attacker that Bayern and ourselves envisions when we had that horrendous transfer saga with Manchester City.

Robert Lewandowski was his usual, clinical self even though he had to deal with a rather annoying defender named Nicolás Otamendi. Manuel Neuer is continuing to show why he’s still the best goalkeeper in the world, and the defense is starting to gel together with a pretty effective trio of Lucas Hernandez, Niklas Süle and Dayot Upamecano.