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Four observations from Bayern Munich’s 3-0 Champions League victory over FC Barcelona

On a snowy evening in Munich, FC Bayern took on Barcelona in their last leg of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League

FC Bayern München v FC Barcelona: Group E - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Return of the Geisterspiele

In shades of yesteryear (last year seems like forever ago), FC Bayern Munich had to play Barcelona in an empty stadium. Thankfully, they were in Munich this time. But for FC Barcelona, it did not matter. By the end of the first half the result remained the same compared to their previous Geisterspiele matchup: Bayern thoroughly dominating play and taking a 2-0 lead into half before sealing it at 3-0 with a early second half goal. Though, it was interesting to hear the communication that occurs between both squads and one thing became abundantly clear: Bayern are excellent in their communication skills.

With rates of COVID-19 spiking tremendously in Bavaria, expect the Gesiterspiele to remain around for the foreseeable future. Bayern is weird without their fans, but if we know one thing, Bayern still have what it takes to win when the fans are missing.

Thomas Müller, the record breaker

Thomas Müller: Awkward, goofy, and only the eighth player in UEFA Champions League history to score 50 goals, joining an elite list of players who have achieved everything there is to win. He was able to accomplish this goal with sublime player from his fellow teammate and listmate, Robert Lewandowski, who took on the Barcelona defense and gave Müller a clear opening to head in the goal.

Though to be honest, it had to have happened against Barcelona for Müller. It’s not like he has a natural affinity for scoring against them or anything.

Barcelona bow out of Champions League

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Over the course of the year it’s become increasingly clear that Messi literally willed this team through some of the most horrendous mismanagement ever seen in club football. Now does Barca have talented players? Yes. I’m a fan of Frenkie de Jong and Sergiño Dest, but outside of that they are a vastly overpaid and overrated squad. While Bayern started out with their core starters such as Lewandowski, Sanè and Müller, there was ample squad rotation early into the second half with Bouna Sarr and Co. making rare appearances . Even then, Barca offered little to not challenge to Bayern.

Xavi seemingly has his hands full to escape their current La Liga struggles as well as aiming to make a statement in the Europa League (Which, man. First Manchester United and now Barcelona in the Europa League. Ouch.)

Nagelsmann has Bayern rolling

While Barcelona is not the Barca of old, Bayern handled them with utmost ease. Honestly, Bayern hardly looked like they were challenged at all and this is Barcelona. With some good squad rotation, Nagelsmann has Bayern playing some perfect football. Frankly, Bayern just steamrolled their group and honestly I do not see more than two teams who have the class to realistic beat Bayern. 18 points, 6 wins of 6, a +19 goal differential and Bayern are running on full power. With the Winterpause coming around the corner, Bayern are primed to continue their dominance and if we’re lucky, we get to see a repeat of 2020 both domestically and internationally.

By the way, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich, where we discussed the aftermath of this game in a lot of detail, why not give it a look? You can listen to it below or at this link.

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