What a night. This match really revived the football goddess in me.
FT: Bayern 6-4 Juventus (2-2, 4-2)
So instead of writing a match report, I’m just gonna write something else.
I think there were a few things that stood out tonight.
Both teams played comeback games, Juve in the last leg and Bayern this leg. Over the two legs, both proved that they had the versatility and players to change tactics over half time, (or 71′ for Bayern today), and come back from 2 goals down. I think that’s one sign of a really solid team. Juventus has been spectacular all this time and it is no surprise that their defence was really solid today, well, it was balanced, from front to back, Morata to Barzagli. Everything changed in the 71′ when Morata was taken off.
Today was a battle of the substitutions. Juve had Khedira come off in the 68′ min mark for Sturaro and later Mandzukic on the 71′ for Morata. To say that it was a senseless change would be an understatement. I think it was really a silly decision and it was an accelerating factor in the collapse of the Juve team under the newly boosted Bayern post Lewandowski’s 73′ goal. In comparison, Bayern brought on Kingsley Coman for a rather slow and lethargic Alonso. Coman has been in splendid form was brought on interestingly enough, to play against his home club Juve and BOY, what a difference that made. It was an attacking change that led to the first goal and Thomas Müller’s last minute life saver.
Just when I believed it was all over, almost going to sleep after half time because I could not bring myself to see Bayern thrashed in their own stadium by a really lively and attacking Juventus (exactly the opposite of what the home team was), I stayed on. What an experience it was. It is certainly a night to remember being a Bayern fan. I was nearly screaming because the crosses that should have come in were not coming in, and it was obvious that the only way to beat the really tight Juve defence was to send crosses in. Thank God for Coman cause he really made the crosses come in, together with Costa who later was moved to play on his other flank and together they made magic happen.
So Müller scores and everyone’s in rapturous madness. I cried. We go into extra time and I’m on my knees praying that we won’t have to go into penalties because I wouldn’t wanna go against Buffon. Speaking of which, today was really a goalkeeping battle as well. Neuer made a crucial save before the break that really literally saved us if not god knows how many more we would have conceded. Back to the game, extra time seems dull and after the first 15 minutes we get the crosses coming in. Suddenly Thiago scores and everything explodes. At this point, the scoreline is so tight, if Juve score one, they will go through on away goals. I’m near desperation.
One minute later (109′) and Coman scores, burying his home club deep in the ground and sending Bayern to the quarterfinals. I’m sorta half delirious by now and I’m holding my computer screen and quietly (okay not so quietly) screaming away and sorta crying at the same time.
It doesn’t really matter by this point what happens because I’m too busy celebrating.
I do have to give Juventus credit, they were really good. Pogba/Morata for Man of the Match. But as the saying goes, in football, anything can happen. And anything refers to games like this, where you feel every single emotion of the game, where one wrong sub (two, in this case) changes a game completely.
To end off, here’s a suitable quote for the match, “This was a game that affects your heart rate,” said Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. (Source)