FC Bayern München were lucky to defeat Sevilla FC on Tuesday night in Spain and a “timely” injury allowed James Rodríguez to work his magic once more.
The Bavarians could have been in serious trouble after this first leg, but they come out of it with two away goals and a return leg at the Allianz Arena. Winning this tie is doable.
Love you, Lady Luck
FC Bayern had a brutal start in the first half – they can thank the football gods for the luck. As soon as James Rodríguez was brought on, he initiated an attack and fed Franck Ribéry a pass on the left. The Frenchman’s shot deflected on Jesus Navas and the ball was mishandled by goalkeeper Soria.
The second Bayern goal also was assisted by luck, with Thiago Alcântara’s bouncing header off a Franck Ribéry cross deflecting on a defender before hitting the back of the net.
Beforehand, Sevilla swarmed Bayern all around the pitch, pressing, closing down passing lanes and intercepting at every opportunity. The Bavarians’ response was misplacing passes and melting down defensively.
Sometimes you need luck in the Champions League and Bayern had it on Tuesday night.
Bernat not Bayern material
I have said it many times before and it is worth repeating: Juan Bernat is not FC Bayern material. His defending was terrible in the first 45 minutes, before he made way for Rafinha.
His clueless positioning on the Pablo Sarabia goal allowed a cross that could have been blocked to turn into a clear-cut scoring chance at Sarabia’s feet. Having missed a sitter earlier in the first half, he finished the job that time.
I would have sent Bernat back to Munich by drone after the first half. Now, perhaps his return ticket should be taken away for a permanent transfer to anywhere in Spain. Anywhere.
Ribéry the brat
How old is Franck Ribéry? Mentally? A late tackle followed by his 437784th temper tantrum make me wonder if he is 14 or 34.
I ask because I stopped hitting people in gratuitous fashion much earlier in life, even in tense moments. Why does a grown man keep earning himself cheap yellow cards with unsportsmanlike conduct in Champions League games?
Too much patience with Vidal
Arturo Vidal seemingly picked up an injury in the opening minutes, but he refused to be subbed off on several occasions.
As a consequence, the Chilean warrior limped around the pitch and could not run back quickly to prevent counterattacks. This is unacceptable when the stakes are high in a Champions League game, because the team’s fate and a player’s health are at risk.
As soon as James Rodríguez came on for Vidal, he created a scoring chance and gave the passing game the composure it lacked for most of the first half. Then, the second half was more of a breeze despite a couple of scary moments.