On-fire FC Bayern downed Besiktas 5-0 in Tuesday night's Champions League last sixteen first leg. The visitors went a man down early in the contest, when Domagoj Vida saw a red card for a last-man challenge. The Bavarians ensured it was one-way traffic for the rest of the first half, but it took an opportunistic Thomas Müller goal to make the dominance count shortly before half-time. Kingsley Coman, Müller again and two-goal Robert Lewandowski made sure the scoreline reflected the balance of play after the restart, handing the Reds a near-unassailable advantage in the tie. Javi Martinez was selected for the stariting line up and displayed an outstanding performance on midfield along the full game.
The German record champions started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in a back four. Javi Martínez and Arturo Vidal featured in a twin holding role behind Müller, James and Coman, with Lewandowski as an orthodox centre-forward.
Jupp Heynckes made no fewer than nine changes to the XI that saw off Wolfsburg on Saturday, with only Ulreich and Martínez surviving. James gave way to Arjen Robben before the interval after picking up a knock, Franck Ribéry and Corentin Tolisso taking over from Coman and Vidal in the closing stages.
- Müller breaks the deadlock
After referee Ovidiu Hategan whistled play underway on a cold evening in Munich, the sides spent the first ten minutes feeling each other out, but the Reds soon went onto the front foot. Efforts by Kimmich and Coman were blocked before Lewandowski was through on goal after a stray pass, Besiktas' Vida earning his marching orders for bringing down the striker. James' fine curler from the ensuing free-kick drifted just wide of the post.
Vágner Love rifled an effort over the bar before Heynckes' men camped out in their opponents' half. Visiting netminder Fabri made a fine save to deny a Hummels header before a Vidal shot was blocked. Ricardo Quaresma warmed Ulreich's gloves before Pepe hammered a belter over the bar. Just when it looked as if the Turkish champions could relieve the pressure by going on the attack, Coman shone when he wriggled clear on the left and squared into the box, Müller making the most of a mix-up to poke the ball past Fabri.
- Thrashing after half-time
Proceedings were similar after the interval, but the Bavarians were even more dominant and made it count. Lewandowski's fine free-kick crashed off the post before the Pole invited Coman to hammer home and double the lead. Müller rounded off his brace after the hour mark when he tapped in Alaba's cross. The native Bavarian almost bagged a hat-trick but glanced a header just over the bar.
Heynckes' men had plenty more salt to rub into the away side's wounds as their superior fitness began to tell in the closing stages. Fabri pushed away a Hummels daisy-cutter, but Lewandowski was on hand to mop up. Things got more awkward for the Turkish champions when the Pole converted Müller's pinpoint pass from point-blank range, before referee Hategan put the visitors out of their misery.
The Reds are back in action on Saturday, when they entertain Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga. Bayern and Besiktas will meet again on 14 March, and the Bavarians will surely be buoyed by Tuesday's impressive performance as they look to reach the last eight for yet another year.
- Match stats:
FC Bayern: Ulreich - Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba - Martínez - Müller, Vidal (83´, Tolisso), James (44´, Robben), Coman (81´, Ribéry) - Lewandowski
Fabri – Adriano, Pepe, Vida, Erkin (69´, Gönül) – Hutchinson, Medel (85´, Arslan) – Quaresma, Talisca, Babel – Vágner Love (57´, Tosic)
Referee: Ovidiu Hategan (Rumania)
Attendance: 70.000 espectadores
Goals: 1-0 Müller (43´), 2-0 Coman (53´), 3-0 Müller (66´), 4-0 Lewandowski (79´), 5-0 Lewandowski (88´)
Yellow cards: Lewandowski / Quaresma, Pepe
Red cards: Vida (16´, roja directa)
- Match report by fcbayern.de (Greg Salmen)