Two second-half goals in less than three minutes from Serge Gnabry and another from Robert Lewandowski earned Bayern Munich a thumping 3-0 victory at Chelsea in their Champions League round-of-16, first-leg at Stamford Bridge.
All eyes were on Bayern striker Lewandowski prematch, but rather than score the vital goals he set them up for teammate and former Arsenal player Gnabry to score twice early in the second-half.
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A Cesar Azpilicueta slip let Lewandowski in on 51 minutes and he squared across the face of goal for Gnabry to score from close range.
And three minutes later the pair combined to devastating effect again for Gnabry’s 17th goal of the season and his sixth Champions League goal in London this season.
By the time Lewandowski got his own name on the scoresheet with 15 minutes to play, thanks to great play by Canada international Alphonso Davies who registered the assist, the tie was as good as over due to Bayern’s three away goals.
“It was a really good result for us,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said. “The team performed exactly how we planned and we were very focused how we played.”
A smiling Flick said he was very happy Gnabry was now plying his trade in Germany rather than England.
“I saw how he played at Arsenal and I followed his career intently,” Flick said.
“You could tell what he could do for the first Champions League match I saw him… he really impressed me and with Bayern Munich he’s really developing well. So I’m very happy that he’s playing with us.”
Burley: Chelsea were absolutely taken apart by BayernCraig Burley reacts to Bayern Munich’s thumping 3-0 win at Chelsea in the Champions League.
Bayern had been on top for much of the first-half as well with Blues keeper Willy Caballero, making his first Champions League appearance in almost three years, saving from Lewandowski on more than one occasion and Thomas Muller hitting the bar with a back-header.
By contrast Chelsea, who were reduced to 10 men when Marcos Alonso was shown a red card for a foul on Lewandowski, could only muster half-chances in their heaviest home defeat in European football.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who throughout his career relished Champions League football and played in two finals, said the result was sobering for his young team.
“That’s football at this level — the level of Bayern Munich.
“Unless we were getting everything bang on and right we were not going to get a result and we didn’t get everything bang on,” Lampard said. “It was a harsh lesson in the realities of Champions League football.”
Lampard, clearly disappointed in the performance of some of his side, said each member of the team had to look at how he could improve in the second leg in Munich on March 18.
“We have to go and play with pride and not consider the scoreline,” he said. “We have to show character.”
As well as having to play the return leg without Alonso, Chelsea will also be without Jorginho after the midfielder was booked for dissent.