Bayern: story so far, key players, why they can win

The Bundesliga champions made a slow start to the UEFA Champions League but, settled under Carlo Ancelotti, exploded into life in the last 16 by demolishing Arsenal.

Robert Lewandowski has been prolific for Bayern again this season
Robert Lewandowski has been prolific for Bayern again this season ©Getty Images

Story so far: Bayern
The German champions never really got out of second gear in the group stage, advancing with two games to spare despite a 1-0 loss at Atlético. A shock 3-2 defeat by Rostov had fans of bigger rivals sensing weakness, but a thumping 10-2 aggregate victory against Arsenal in the last 16 summarily banished such thoughts. Next up: Real Madrid.

Record this season: P8 W6 D0 L2 F24 A8

How Bayern cruised into last eight
How Bayern cruised into last eight

Pivotal moment
For all their success in recent years, Bayern's lacklustre performances on their travels in Europe have been an obvious weakness for others to exploit. They journeyed to Eindhoven in November without an away win in 11 months and that looked like being extended when they went behind. Two Robert Lewandowski goals broke the spell; a 5-1 victory at Arsenal made sure.

Why this is Bayern's year
There is a reason why Bayern, for all their problems on their travels, have reached the semi-finals three seasons running: in Munich they are formidable. It is three years since they last failed to win a home game in the UEFA Champions League, a competition record run of 16 triumphs. That, allied with improved away form, means they will be hard to beat.

Famous quarter-final moments
Famous quarter-final moments

Main attraction: Robert Lewandowski – The Poland striker scored 42 goals for Bayern last season and is on course to better that this. He has struck in 17 UEFA Champions League games for Bayern: the Bavarians won 16 of them.

Rising star: Joshua Kimmich – Earmarked as the long-term successor to Philipp Lahm for club and country, the 22-year-old is already integral for both, whether he is playing at right-back, centre-back or midfield.

Unsung hero: Thiago Alcántara – After three seasons in and out of the team at Bayern, the former Barcelona man has thrived under Carlo Ancelotti. A lot of moves go through him – only two players have made more passes in the competition, done with a 94% completion rate.

Top Fantasy points scorer: Robert Lewandowski (50)

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