Title Aspiration Alive
The UEFA Champions League round of 16 decided the winners for the quarter-final after series of extraordinary duels on the Wednesday night with two most fascinating of those matches witnessed some drama and heart-breaking scenarios at the end. Barcelona and Bayern Munich booked their passage through the next round, Spanish champions confirmed their superiority against Arsenal at home following their crucial first leg win at Emirate three weeks ago and only replicated another brilliant show to stamp their traditional authority to seek European glory. but Bayern journey against Juventus in particular evidence, appeared to be extremely roller-coaster and highly problematic tactical puzzle to cruise past their opponent rather than dominating the contest with their usual attacking trademark. the vision everyone thought of Bayern could have produced prior to the match surprisingly replaced with constant fear and problematic challenge the entire night . carrying a 2-2 draw from pulsating first leg in Turin, the host side seemed to be in control from the very beginning, but Juventus instead emphasized a crucially rejuvenated tactical reaction and boosted highly ambitious collective effort to underestimate Bayern in both attack and defense. Juve implied Piercing defensive approach with versatile central holding partnership of Sami Khadira and Paul Pogba coordinating the transition movements out of their back line in the midfield with energetic runs and ample passing vision for mainly pushing their press game higher on Bayern’s vital initiating possession over the line and it rapidly destabilized German rhythm. the two midfielders eager anticipation to win spaces off the ball, while opening up effective passing options provided intelligent understanding and timing play between midfield and their back line when pressing deep and going forward with more control on the ball in significantly reliable evidence, which seeing their two wingers Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado perfectly adapting to provide balance of tracking back to help their full backs and sparking delightful pace to push further wide to create chances in counter-attack.
Hernans deployment in the midfield offering Juve with single holding deep player in reliance of Pogba and Khadira ability to orchestrate attack transition and joining three strikers up front, he would shielding in front of defense to cover spaces behind Midfield. the combative effort of Juve Midfield largely limited Thomas Muller and Arturo Vidal from dictating the essential pace to build-up crafty moves in the midfield and struggling to link with Ribery and Robben mostly duo to Juve energetic pressing game. visitors scored the first goal, Khadira dink a diagnol ball over Bayern exposed defense for on run Alvaro Morata and Alaba’s desperate clearance along with Neuer left ball into path of Pagba and he finished into an empty net. the sight of fear appeared to spread in Alianz Arena and it was intensified surely after the second goal which underlined a brilliant counter-attack style. Douglas Costa attempted exchange pass was intercepted by Juve defense into path of Alvaro Morata as Spaniard bursting forward out of back by outracing Douglas into midfield before splitting inside Xabi Alonso and delightfully turning over Kimmich to fully exploit Bayern defensive line and slicing a neat pass for on run Cuadrado wide, the striker crafty touch beaten Philip Lahm challenge and firing an excellent shot into the far post to double visitor’s advantage in sending tears into Bayern bench suddenly. from combative pressing effort to deny Bayern crucial change of pace had offered inch of space to Morata and he produced artwork with his skill to ignite penetrative run behind Bayern midfield while combining perfectly with Cuadrado excellent touch and finishing, Italian seemed to dictate game-winning strategy out of expectation. after interval Pep Guardiola remained highly encouraged to guide his side to orchestrate play with patient, relaying with continuously overplaying short range of passes through his three midfield men to gain possession and it witnessed eventual end-product when Thiago Alcantra replaced Frank Ribery and Kingsley Coman came for Xabi Alonso to ignite efficient high play and vita flair to put the game back on the track. five minutes into the second half, Costa curled a fine inswing cross which Robert Lewandowski headed into near post with his timely position. the sign of hope returned immediately when fluid interchanging play from Robben with Thiago Alcantra and Arturo Vidal to control spaces behind Lewandowski offered more pace for the striker to play and link with Muller high up the pitch inspired dynamic rhythm that Bayern characteristically adapt to play with and they equalize soon after. Vidal switched to Alaba for his overlap and his precise cross this time flicked into the net by Muller beautiful header to put the entire back on the track. the high tempo attack of Bayern defined the momentum in remaining of regular and surely extra time as Italian side apparently struggle to react to increasingly sequence of physical pressure. another cross from the left caused Juve defense to poor clearance and Alcantra quick play in the rebound formed a neat combination with Muller inside the box with Spaniard finishing a fine low range strike to break Juve resiliency. the star of the match after coming as a sub, Coman killed the game when scoring the host side’s fourth. flying high on the right with plenty spaces he sprinting freely into the box before cutting inside Chielini and smashing his fantastic left-footed shot into the far post and sealed Bayern a dramatic but graceful win against well crafted and impressive Juventus side.
verdict Juventus: they started the game with highly enthusiastic effort of midfield pressing with mobility and energetic transition play in attack, relying in Morata-Cuadrado brilliant combination up front while Pogba explosive movements with support of Khadira in deep areas provided Juve with efficacy to control good spaces while offering some quality to go forward. their purposeful and highly strategic game plan however; was collapsed eventually against a top team with superb attacking quality to create and whom adapted to apply incredible tactical flexibility to change and dictate the pace proved a bit too much for Italian side, but they pulled the triggers to battle out this one over course of two legs in very outstanding fashion and nothing it to take away from them. they lost to tournament’s arguably favorite and being little unlucky in losing gear in the very last minute of having the win split away from them and losing in extra time.
Verdict Bayern: they inexplicably underestimated by their intelligent and balanced opponent at home in the first half, being denied to generate dynamic movements for needed space in the final third and forcibly overplaying across the flanks to stretch out Italian sharp pressing almost reminded the terrible sequences of 2014 semi-final exit in the hands of Real Madrid, but Pep sheer coaching decision and vitally tactical deft applied by him and in trust of his players capabilities to change and win the match ultimately indicated to inspirational characteristic of Bayern style and productivity as a top flight contender to win this competition. the Spanish coach experimented a very touch challenge to be distablized as he surely undermined the best approach to choose the respond to them, while at the same time facing this particular spontaneous duels would seriously embraces his opportunity to dedicate his renovating tactical decision abilities and by applying unique leadership specialist to seal such dramatic victories, the promising road to accomplish yet another global legacy in recording historic European glory with Bayern Munich in his last season as their coach is an ultimate aspiration remains to be achieved. the transition of his Barcelona pure heritage of football philosophy from a most glorious chapter of history to crystalize a symbolic development of highly prestigious brand of modern Bayern is seemingly a mission to be proud in the future.