The biggest criticism of Barcelona over the past few years has been how toothless their attack is without Lionel Messi and how they sometimes spend large chunks of the game looking like they are passing with no actual passing intent. However, Pep Guardiola has taken the tiki-taka “pass-first” mentality that he really created with Barcelona to the German powerhouse that is Bayern Munich and it looks like it is quickly becoming a perfect fit. What’s the scariest aspects of this? Bayern are already defending European Champions and they look even better now combined with the fact that Munich has more true attacking options than Barcelona ever had.
Sadly, Manchester City stepped in front of moving freight train that seems destined to crush any opponent that is presented before them. Bayern Munich may have seemed slightly nervy in the last moments of the game, but for about 86 minutes they made Manchester City look like an absolutely mediocre level club/squad. Clichy was unable to get forward on the left wing because of the havoc that Arjen Robben was wreaking down that wing, Joe Hart looked completely downtrodden, and some of City’s big signings looked out of their depth. Yaya Toure was not allowed to go on any of his typical massive, game-changing runs, Aguero looked too frustrated to compete, Dzeko looked like a pedestrian that had accidentally wandered onto the field, and if Jesus Navas was not playing, there would not have been a single worthwhile attack for almost the entirety of the game.
For Bayern, Philip Lahm looks like he has been a defensive midfielder his entire life! Kroos is finally starting to look like an elite midfielder, Muller looks willing to run himself ragged for 90 minutes for Bayern, Ribery creates so much from the left wing, and that defense has (possibly) the best two-way set-up in the entire world! Robben has grown into an elite player that can somehow create space for a left-footed shot against an elite defense even when the entirety of the other squad knows that he wants to shift onto his left foot. Neur is rock solid, Dante is a beast, Alaba is the best left-back in the world (yeah, I said it), and Schweinsteiger finally has a team where he can shine and a team that can actually match his level of play.
For a team that is still undefeated in their domestic league. For a team that made the biggest manager signing of the last year. For a team that was already coming off of a treble winning season, there is actually improvement in the squad and this team looks BETTER than what they looked like last year. For every other club in Europe, Germany, and any player unlucky enough to have to play against Bayern in the next year…good luck. The favorites just went and reminded everyone that even the best have the ability to get better. Bayern rolls on…