Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich: 5 Hits and Flops as the Bavarians excel in London again | UEFA Champions League 2019-20
- A look at five hits and flops as Bayern took a large step towards the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-0 away win against Chelsea.
Bayern Munich maintained their 100% win record in this season's Champions League as a Serge Gnabry brace and yet another Robert Lewandowski goal sealed a comprehensive 3-0 away win over Frank Lampard's Chelsea in west London.
The result sees the Blues with a mountain to climb in the second leg on March 18 in Munich. They will be without Jorginho, who picked up a suspension after being booked for dissent - while his midfield teammate N'Golo Kanté remains doubtful too.
The scores were still level at half-time, though the hosts largely had second-choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero to thank for that. He denied goal-hungry Lewandowski on a few occasions with big saves, while Kingsley Coman came close early on and Thomas Muller saw a well-taken header crash off the crossbar.
In the second half, things were completely different and Bayern's persistence paid off. Chelsea suffered a double blow with no warning just minutes after the restart: Jorginho booked after remonstrating with referee Clement Turpin before Lewandowski and Gnabry combined to devastating effect: twice in the space of four minutes.
Cesar Azpilicueta's slip proved costly to gift an advancing Gnabry space in transition. He exchanged passes with Lewandowski, who was unselfish and spatially aware - slipping the ball back across the box. From seemingly nothing, suddenly they couldn't miss.
The same thing happened minutes later, as Lewandowski towered above Azpilicueta to head forwards near the centre-circle and accelerated forward on the counter-attack. Andreas Christensen dragged out wide and slipped through a subtle forward pass to Gnabry, who showed good composure to slot into the bottom corner with Caballero rooted to the spot.
A promising first-half soon turned into a nightmare second for Chelsea, but it wasn't over yet. Alphonso Davies made countless marauding runs forward but finally ended the game as a contest after 75 minutes. He left Christensen for dead down the left-hand side, teeing up Lewandowski and the Polish marksman made no mistake at Caballero's far post to score his 64th Champions League goal.
Marcos Alonso was sent off after Turpin's VAR pitchside review for violent conduct, landing a deliberate elbow and off-the-ball whack on Lewandowski. The challenge rather typified what had turned into a frustrating night for Lampard's men, who were taught a footballing lesson at times.
Without further ado, here's a look at five hits and flops from a memorable first-leg encounter at Stamford Bridge:
#5 Flop: Marcos Alonso
It was a frustrating game all-round from Chelsea's perspective: failure to create enough or retain possession effectively in the first-half, followed by a second-half blitz of counter-attacking brilliance from the visitors- were all responsible for the defeat.
However, for a player with Alonso's experience to be sent off late on, after a needless display of petulance, reiterates why Emerson had a staggering run in the side and further amplifies supporters longing for a better left-back.
Chelsea's defenders were all busy to varying degrees, depending on who exactly they were matching up against. Alonso did his bit defensively, with one notable diligent interception in the first-half to halt Coman near the byline.
He made three clearances and interceptions, completed two dribbles and a tackle too. However, the Spaniard won just 5 of 11 total duels while it felt typical the 29-year-old lost possession more times (11) than any other teammate. Sending Benjamin Pavard sliding across the turf, he proceeded to fire a promising effort straight at Manuel Neuer late in the first half, after great work by Mateo Kovacic. That was as good as it got, unfortunately.