Conceivably the Best 2-Nil Lead in Fußball
Important Disclosure: I (and many, many other fans) were unable to watch and/or record the Bayern Munich v. Arsenal game yesterday because it was not featured on Fox Soccer, but rather on Fox Sports 2. This channel, unfortunately, is pay-per-view. It’s one thing for a Bundesliga match to be pay-per-view, but a Champions League clash between two giant clubs when past tournament matches have been shown for free?
Not cool Fox Soccer…not cool.
A question was asked in “The Relentless Journey of a Champion” regarding whether or not remaining on 4th and even 5th gear would be sustainable and ultimately rewarding for Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich squad heading into its Champions League clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium? This game also came after a German Cup match and a Bundesliga match (both solid victories with its top talent) just this past week.
It appears to be just that simple.
Even without the dynamic services of the injured Franck Ribéry and Xherdan Shaqiri, plus the recovering manager in the middle Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern Munich did not miss a beat as they handled a flurry of dangerous offensive opportunities from the Gunners throughout the first half and then absolutely dominated Arsenal in the second half for a convincing 2-nil victory with stunning goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller (or so I read).
This win was also the first for Pep in Emirates Stadium.
A relieved and joyful check for the Munich manager.
It does need to be stated that there was a shockingly surreal occurrence with two missed penalties by a devastated player from each team in Mesut Özil and David Alaba (a fast right arm and a pesky left post), a red card for the Arsenal goalkeeper minutes before halftime, a few yellow cards and a sidewinder beauty tucked inside the top near post from Bayern’s Toni Kroos.
(Fortunately, somebody posted a free highlight video on YouTube yesterday evening)
What does this all prove?
It’s validation that “Pep’s Boys” (just made that up!) are intelligently and relentlessly preparing, working and reacting the right way in their weekly training sessions and during the all-important games. The team’s that think too much on-and-off the field tend to think a lot after the game about what went wrong.
When you can trust everything you’re doing, that’s one hell of an advantage over any opponent, regardless of the venue. Bayern Munich is playing its brand of fußballing chess and are moving themselves and their opponents with direct force, as well as with a passive aggressive nature that is paying big dividends at the right moments.
Plus, they are quite good at imitating the checkers move of jumping their opponent’s back line with an overwhelming effect when that moment presents itself.
Some could argue that’s a championship advantage.
When Arsenal travels to Allianz Arena in Munich on March 11th for the second leg, expect nothing short of a top-shelf lineup and effort from “Pep’s Boys.”
Anything less wouldn’t qualify as a championship effort.
Posted on February 20, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged 2-nil, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, Champions League, championship style, Emirates Stadium, England, entertainment, football, fox soccer, Fox Soccer Channel, Fußball, Germany, London, Munich, Pep Guardiola, popular culture, soccer, sports, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller, UEFA Champions League. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.