A Thiago Alcantara strike and Sandro Wagner’s first Champions League goal capped Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win at Besiktas on Wednesday as the German giants cruised into the quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row.
Bayern completed a comprehensive 8-1 aggregate victory in Istanbul, having effectively clinched the last-16 tie following a 5-0 rout last month in the first leg in Munich.
For Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti in October, this was his 11th straight win in the Champions League which set a new competition record.
After Thiago fired home early on, an own goal by Besiktas right-back Gokhan Gonul put Bayern 2-0 up right at the start of the second half.
With their team 7-0 down overall, Besiktas finally came to life, grabbing a consolation goal by Vagner Love.
But Bayern notched their third of the evening when backup striker Sandro Wagner came off the bench to mark his Champions League debut with his first goal at this level.
Having resisted the urge to name a weakened team after their first-leg romp, Bayern wasted little time taking the lead against the Turkish champions.
Top scorer Robert Lewandowski surprisingly started up front, leaving Wagner waiting for his elite European debut until the last 20 minutes.
It was a surprise move by Heynckes with tough Bundesliga games against RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund to come this month.
Nevertheless, Lewandowski played until the 67th minute but failed to add to his 32 goals this season in all competitions.
Thiago, back after injury, celebrated his first Champions League goal since netting in the 3-0 win at home to Anderlecht last September.
With 18 minutes gone, Bayern captain Thomas Mueller swung in a cross and the Spain international thumped the ball home from close range.
After claiming Bayern’s 100th goal this season, Thiago was forced off on 35 minutes — attacking midfielder James Rodriguez replaced him as the Colombian made his return from a calf injury.
Mats Hummels, who along Jerome Boateng was booked in the first half, was replaced by Niklas Suele at the break before Bayern extended their lead thanks to a Besiktas own goal.
Right-back Rafinha whipped in a cross, but with the Besiktas defence focused on preventing the ball reaching the lurking Lewandowski, Gonul turned the ball into his own net.
Besiktas pulled a goal back on 59 minutes when David Alaba lost possession deep in his own half, allowing Gonul to supply Love who did just enough to roll the ball over the line.
Alaba atoned with a crucial block to deny Besiktas forward Mustafa Pektemek soon after, and the Austrian setup Wagner on 84 minutes as his deflected cross was chested over the line by the substitute.
Thomas Mueller says Bayern Munich could repeat their 2013 treble after crushing 10-man Besiktas 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 ties.
Bayern have one foot in the quarter-finals with Besiktas facing a nearly impossible task for the return leg in Istanbul on March 14.
Both Mueller and Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Bayern ran riot in the second half in Germany.
“Everything is possible,” Mueller said when asked whether Bayern can repeat their 2013 haul of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.
However head coach Jupp Heynckes, 72, who oversaw the treble five years ago, insists Bayern must do better if they want all three titles again.
“Any talk like that is the job of journalists, the Champions League is a different competition and we must improve,” said Heynckes.
“Everyone in the stadium saw that we found it hard in the first half.
“We didn’t find our rhythm and we were nervous — I don’t know my team like that.
“In the first half there wasn’t any tempo to our game, our passing was off and it allowed Besiktas to attack us more.
“The opener before the break gave us a psychological advantage and in the second half we saw a different Bayern team.
“We scored some great goals and played some good football.”
– Costly red card –
Disaster struck for Besiktas after just 16 minutes at the Allianz Arena when Croatian defender Domagoj Vida was sent off for hauling down Lewandowski as he was through on goal.
Mueller broke the deadlock just before half-time when he scored his first from close range.
The floodgates then opened after the break as Kingsley Coman struck before Mueller poached his second.
Lewandowski then scored two late goals to leave him with 29 goals in all competitions this season, as Bayern — 19 points clear in the league and through to the German Cup semi-finals — claimed their 14th straight victory.
Mueller said the introduction of veteran wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery off the bench made the difference.
“It’s been five years since all our outfield players were fit and the trainer doesn’t have it easy, but everyone who came on did a good job,” said Mueller.
“Arjen made us a bit more aggressive, Franck also did well and we need that extra bit of power from the bench.”
Robben came on when James Rodriguez limped off with a calf injury on 44 minutes.
The Dutchman was heavily involved in Mueller and Lewandowski’s second goals but was unhappy at being left out of the starting side.
– ‘Speak my mind’ –
“Of course, I was disappointed, but I don’t want to say anymore because if I speak my mind, I will end up in front of ‘Brazzo’ (Bayern’s director of sports Hasan Salihamidizic),” said Robben.
Like Ribery, Robben, who scored Bayern’s winning goal in the 2013 Champions League final is out of contract in June.
However, Heynckes sees it as a positive to have so much experience on Bayern’s bench.
“I am very pleased to have a squad like this in case of injuries and illness in the future,” he said.
“Any top player like Arjen Robben wants to play from the start, but we have so many good players.
“Anyone who signs a contract for Bayern Munich has to accept that they won’t start every game.”
Besiktas were making their debut in the knock-out stages of the Champions League and their head coach Senol Gunes said his side learned a harsh lesson.
“We won or drew all our games in the group phase, but tonight the opponent was better,” he said glumly.
“After the sending off, it became too difficult for us.
“We suffered mentally and physically, they took advantage.”
Gunes swapped striker Vagner Love for defender Dusko Tosic in the second half, but it made little difference.
“We tried to limit the damage and focus on the second half, but we couldn’t manage it,” said the Besiktas boss.
“We are an attacking team, but we had to defend and we couldn’t play our football because the opponent was too strong.”
Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes opted to leave wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the bench for Tuesday’s Champions League clash at home to Besiktas, with Thomas Mueller and Kingsley Coman starting.
Heynckes, 72, also selected James Rodriguez to play alongside Javi Martinez and Arturo Vidal in midfield for the last-16 first leg, with Robert Lewandowski up front.
Ribery and Robben, veterans of Bayern’s last Champions League triumph in 2013, were left out as Heynckes switched captain Mueller to the right-hand side with French winger Coman on the left.
Ribery has only recently returned from a knee injury, but it is a surprise that Dutchman Robben, who scored the winner in the final five years ago, failed to make the starting XI.
Bayern are hoping to reach the quarter-finals for the seventh year in a row.
Besiktas coach Senol Gunes has brought winger Ricardo Quaresma, a Euro 2016 winnner with Portugal, and centre-back Domagoj Vida back into the starting line-up.
Defenders Dusko Tosic and Atinc Nukan, along with midfielders Veli Kavlak and Gokhan Tore, are all out injured for the visitors.
Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson captains the side, which is spearheaded by Brazilian forward Vagner Love.
Bayern Munich (4-1-4-1)
Sven Ulreich – Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, David Alaba – Javi Martinez – Thomas Mueller (capt), Arturo Vidal, James Rodriguez, Kingsley Coman – Robert Lewandowski
Coach: Jupp Heynckes (GER)
Fabri – Adriano, Pepe, Domagoj Vida, Caner Erkin – Atiba Hutchinson (capt), Gary Medel – Ricardo Quaresma, Talisca, Ryan Babel – Vagner Love
In the face of three games without victory, Barcelona have yet again truncated Pep Guardiola’s hope of victory, as Manchester City lost to the Spaniards on Wednesday night.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Lionel Messi netted the opener for the Spanish giants in a much expected tough UEFA Champions League showdown at the Camp Nou.
Efforts by the English side to balance the scoreboard in the first half proved abortive, but led to David Silva and Fernandinho getting a yellow card apiece.
As City’s Claudio Bravo bagged a straight red card, Messi showed his former coach that he was ready for the face-off, as he netted a brace in the second half (making it a hat-trick for the football legend).
Despite Guardiola’s familiarity with the hosts, Barcelona took their stand to maintain their home unbeaten record in the Champions League since 2013, as the match ended 4 – 0 with Neymar’s late goal.
The former Barcelona player and coach took the helm of the Sky Blues last summer.