FC Bayern München are well-placed to reach June's final in Berlin but, warns Andy James, they will not read too much into their 7-0 victory over ten-man FC Shakhtar Donetsk.
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It could hardly have gone any better for FC Bayern München. After three anxious weeks of conjecture off the back of their goalless first-leg draw with FC Shakhtar Donetsk, the German champions came through with flying colours.
An unequivocal 7-0 triumph took them into the quarter-finals, the Bundesliga giants' biggest UEFA Champions League victory since putting FC Basel 1893 to the sword in 2012. Spirits were understandably high post-match yet, reading between the lines, it is clear that nobody at Bayern was getting carried away with the margin of victory. So what did we learn?
The sending-off was crucial
In truth, a last-eight spot was Bayern's the moment Olexandr Kucher was shown red, the fastest in competition history, for a desperate third-minute slide on Mario Götze. "The red card and penalty were pretty decisive," admitted Bastian Schweinsteiger. "The game would have finished a little differently had it been 11 v 11." Manuel Neuer agreed: "Obviously the penalty and the red card played into our hands; we were happy to oblige."
Bayern can pass teams into submission
If 11 v 10 was the key statistic, a few other figures caught the eye. Bayern almost always dominate possession, but the numerical advantage gave them even more of the ball and they used it, too. A pass completion rate of 93% is right up there, despite Mircea Lucescu attempted to stem the tide by sacrificing Taison for defender Serhiy Kryvtsov shortly after the opener.
Badstuber is back
Bayern racked up 13 shots on target in the end, and their seven goals included a first in the UEFA Champions League for Holger Badstuber in 33 appearances – another landmark after those two years lost to injury for a player still only 25. "It was a great cross," defender Badstuber said, crediting Rafinha. "I just had to get my head on it."
So is Lahm (almost)
It was one of those nights for Bayern, who also welcomed captain Philipp Lahm back into the matchday squad after three months out with a broken ankle. He did not feature – he was not needed – but the famous Südkurve acknowledged his presence loudly. Knocks to Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben were less appreciated, though the initial prognosis after the game was that neither are anything to worry about.
Berlin in June?
Shakhtar will lick their wounds after an unceremonious exit hardly befitting their European season as a whole, while Bayern can now look forward to learning their quarter-final opponents at next Friday's draw in Nyon. This year's final is, of course, in Berlin. "That suits us just fine," said two-goal Thomas Müller. On the evidence of Wednesday, he may be right.