Champions League Quarterfinals Final Thoughts #1446

Why Bayern came up short and how to fix it

The Yellow Submarine of Villarreal sends the Champions League favorite out in Munich. Bayern Munich captured the Champions League with their treble-winning season in 2020 behind the leadership of Hans flick. He brought a certain level to Bayern Munich that we haven’t seen in many years. He Still Remains one of the best managers in the world even if he is no longer in club football and is now in charge of the German national team. It looks like a team that had the potential to create a dynasty of Champions League titles. Not necessarily to the level of Ajax or Real Madrid, but it looked like they had everything in place to win several Champions League titles. Last season, there was still reason to believe that Bayern Munich would have won the Champions League; they were knocked out when Robert Lewandowski went down. I still believe they would still have won the Champions League at full strength, which is why they’ve been the favorites the entire way. However, they’ve been upstaged by Villarreal Unai Emery. Beating Juventus and now taking down Bayern is nothing to sneeze at. In the 180 minutes against Bayern Munich, they only had eight shots over the two legs. They made their chances count as Emery pulled off another Master Class. One of the best managers at the moment. He is built for European success, winning 5 Europa League trophies with Sevilla and winning the Europa League with Villarreal; their La Liga form may not reflect everything, but Villarreal is trending in trending the right direction. Emery is a true master of his craft in European football; that much is clear. However, even though Villarreal dictated the Quarterfinals perfectly and ultimately knocked out Bayern Munich, there are questions to be asked of the German Giants. Bayern Munich was stunned; the reasons why are clear. Let’s start with the obvious Bayern Munich need better depth. Man City fans may not agree, but Bayern Munich has the best starting 11 in world football. However, they do not have a lot of rotation because they do not have the weapons required From the Bench to make them a complete Squad. Jamal Musiala and Marcel Sabitzer certainly have the quality and are critical pieces; however, that’s pretty much all they have off the bench. Their depths are not strong enough; they need more critical pieces to make a difference. When they won the Champions League, they had Philippe Coutinho and Ivan perisic, true difference makers that can come off the bench and make waves. They just don’t have enough, though they need probably three signings for their bench that can come in and make the difference. My recommendations would be Tanguy Colubaily (Strutgartt), Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg), Okugwa (Armina bfl), Dachi Kamada (Frankfurt); these are just a few ideas of the type of players they could bring in to help with the depth problem. All good enough to play for Bayern, yet there are no superstars that need to play every game. That is the only thing that is lacking right now; with a better bench, nothing would stand in their way of making the Champions League final. The Bundesliga is the best league in the world in my opinion. However, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund have struggled to put the necessary pressure on Bayern Munich. With a well-balanced contender, they would be more prepared for these types of situations. Bayern Munich is so Superior to everyone in German Football that doesn’t mean the league doesn’t have quality because, top to bottom it is one of the most fascinating leagues in all of Europe, but the problem is there isn’t a team that really can push Bayern around. It is not an indictment on the Bundesliga; it is an indictment on the structure and stability of Bayern Munich. RB Leipzig is interesting; if they’re able to keep their squad together and add another couple of pieces, they could be right there to battle with Bayern Munich for the title that could change the circumstances immediately. Then finally, Julian nagelsmann is a top 8 manager globally; he has proven himself with Leipzig and Hoffenheim. There will be a time when he will be the best manager in the world. That is where his potential is heading, but Bayern Munich is a job with a lot of pressure to deliver the Champions League trophy; typically speaking, winning the Bundesliga is just a mere requirement for the pressure that exists in Munich. One day soon, he will be on top of the pile when it comes to Elite coaches in World football. The appointment long-term will have been worth it, but at the same time, it was slightly premature; he just wasn’t ready yet for this particular job. He plays a high level of attacking and attractive football; his team has played extremely well together; he’s handled himself from a management perspective for Bayern Munich, but in terms of being ready to handle the pressure and expectation of winning the Champions League, he could have used a year or two a continuation at RB Leipzig before making the jump it was just slightly premature. He’s going right to the top of European football, there’s no doubt about that but it might have happened a little too soon. Bayern Munich will have all the resources to assess the issues and avoid disasters in Champions League exits going forward. There’s one final thing that they need to be concerned about. Robert Lewandowski is the best player globally, but he has an expiring contract soon, and Barcelona is incredibly interested in making it happen. According to rumors, he has a mild interest in that proposition if Robert Lewandowski departs and goes to Barcelona. The Bundesliga season at the top will become much more competitive, but also Bayern Munich will have a lot of work to do to find a way to fill his shoes; it’s all speculation at the moment, and Bayern Munich are a good enough team where they could find a solution to that problem, but you can’t really replace the best player in the world. It’s unclear whether it’s smoke and mirrors or if there’s actual validity to this alleged situation. One thing is clear, though, to me to do have the resources to fix the problems that led to this exit. I suspect they will be able to turn this around but considering how they were eliminated, Bayern Munich going into next season’s Bayern Munich, are Contenders, not favorites, until the problems are solved.

Winning Time: Benzema and Modric

Karim Benzema continuously proves to be a Champions League difference-maker. In the first leg against Chelsea in the quarterfinals at Stamford Bridge, he bagged a hat-trick becoming the first player to have back-to-back hat-tricks in Champions League games since the great Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s creating quite a bit of Legacy following the departure of Cristiano. He is on the verge of capturing his second league title in 3 years, being as big of a difference in Champions League games as anyone, and proves to be one of the best players in the world. Truly only Robert Lewandowski can compete with him; he is the second-best player in the world, and there’s true separation from himself and everybody else. He is the fourth-highest scorer in champions league history and is a problem for anyone, regardless of the team. Real Madrid got the Revenge in that first leg and managed to finish the job even though Chelsea nearly turned the entire thing around. Chelsea ran wild in Madrid, earning a 3–0 lead. Not only bringing it even but leading after a 3–1 deficit from the first leg. The complexion of what was one of the most thrilling quarterfinals was determined by two specific moments. Karim Benzema will get the plaudits, but Luka Modric changed the outcome 36 years old yet still one of the most productive midfielders in World football. Chelsea had the lead until Luka Modric pinged a ball into the box, finding Rodrygo setting up the goal to push the game into extra-time ultimately. That signature motion dictated the entire game, and if Real Madrid goes on to win the Champions League this season, it will be brought back to the pass applied by Luka Modric. An extra-time winner from Karim Benzema had a quiet game until that point delivered when all the cards were in the middle of the table with a header scoring the winner in stoppage time. Real Madrid deservingly goes through the reason being the hat-trick at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea performed admirably and battled back, showing true character even in defeat. Everyone thought it was all but over after the first leg; they battled back and showed their true colors even if they’re not going to progress forward, and even if Real Madrid gets their Revenge, you have to admire the way Chelsea approached Real Madrid in Madrid. Thomas Tuchel is building something special there; this isn’t the last time we will see them on the stage like this. The top of English football has the best collection of top teams in Europe; they’re all going to be back here every year until something changes. Chelsea will upgrade their squad and be more dangerous than ever next season, but this Champions League season, they could not contend with Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, who supplied the game’s most significant moment. We’re going to have to get out of the gauntlet for the semi-final between Real Madrid and Manchester City. Will Manchester City be able to deal with Karim Benzema any better? It’s unclear, but that will be a tall task; he has 7 Champion League goals in his last three games historical from the Benzema as Madrid looks to make a Champions League final absence of CR7.

English Powerhouse

The English Powerhouses Liverpool and Manchester City are on the brink of another Champions League final. Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are widely considered the best managers in the world. They are both currently undergoing a battle for the premier league title with only one point of separation. Both Manchester City and Liverpool have some incredible weapons at their disposal. From Back to Front, they are loaded in all panels of their team; it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that both of these English sides are on a crash course towards the Champions League final yet again. Pep Guardiola made last year’s final but came up short; he has learned from his mistakes and is ready to capture that elusive Champions League trophy that has always eluded Manchester City. On the other hand, Jurgen Klopp has been to two Champions League finals, winning one and losing one. Getting to a third final and potentially winning it put him in an exclusive company with Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, Zinedine Zidane, and Sachi. There are certain levels of concern, and it’s not exactly a done deal with Karim Benzema as Real Madrid. It would be foolish to underestimate the Yellow Submarine of Villarreal. However, both Manchester City and Liverpool are the top three teams in the world in the quarterfinals; they were tested and could prepare them for the intensity of a Champions League semi-final. Mohamed Salah is largely considered the third-best player in the world, the best player in the Premier League, yet he was slowed down and not as effective as usual against both Inter Milan and Benfica. That’s the scary part about this Liverpool team; they were outplayed in Portugal against Benfica, but individual brilliance captured the victory. At Anfield, they were tested as Darwin Nunez. Benfica showed why they were a dark horse managing a very incredible six-goal draw at Anfield; they could not get through and take them down but showed their qualities and also displayed that Liverpool can be dealt with and challenged. The performance they’ve had at home against Inter Milan and Benfica has proven that even though it’s still a fortress, they can be neutralized. On the other hand, Manchester City underwent a vicious Exchange against Reining La Liga Champions Atletico Madrid and psychopath Diego Simeone. A true defensive brilliance against an attacking mentality of Pep. Only one goal by Kevin De bruyne set them apart in what was an incredibly physical battle that frustrated Manchester City. However, the mental strength of holding on at the Wanda Metropolitano highlights they can handle themselves in difficult situations. It’s hard to say what will go on to happen the Villarreal will have a chance of doing the impossible against Liverpool, and Karim Benzema and Real Madrid know what it takes to win European trophies, something Manchester city is never done; the question will be whether winning mentality and Karim Benzema be enough to separate a well-tuned machine Guardiola has put together. There’s a lot of energy and vibe surrounding the English game. While the Premier League is not the best league in the world, they have the best collection of top teams Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are the cream of the crop and have what it takes to win the Champions League; you never know this could be the Champions League final, but one thing has shown true English football are still Kings in Europe. Liverpool and Manchester City have set the standard.

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