BY PAUL LAGAN
Chelsea’s Champions League campaign is in tatters as they were systematically opened up and ruthlessly eviscerated by a rampant Bayern Munch who won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge to make the second leg in Germany a formality in three weeks’ time.
The west Londoners held out for 0-0 in the opening 45 minutes, when they could have been 4-0 down, before the visitors went up a gear and ripped the heart out of the Chelsea back four – scoring two quick goals through Serge Gnabry before super striker Robert Lewandowski put the round of 16 1st leg to bed with a smart finish.
To add to the Blues’ misery Marcos Alonso was shown a red card for smacking Lewandowski in the face – well according to VAR.
Thomas Muller had the first chance of the game a minutes after the whistle was blown, Willy Caballero, dived to his right to snaffle the low drive from the edge of the Chelsea penalty area.
Kingsley Coman should have put the visitors 1-0 up on 10 minutes when Chelsea’s rearguard was exposed on the left. The winger zipped a daisy-cutter inches wide of Caballero’s left post.
Olivier Giroud attempted a downwards header from a corner on 19 minutes, but it wasn’t for the second time 27 minutes powerful enough to trouble Manuel Neuer.
Caballero was on the spot to thwart Lewandowski with a fine block when the hitman was put through. Earlier he got his body to a venomous shot. Muller tried his luck with a right-footed curler two mi notes later as the Germans looked ready to take a deserved lad.
When Chelsea get in and around the Bayern penalty area, there is a sniff of a chance – and on 32 minutes Mason Mount came close.
The Blues had a huge slice of luck on 35 minutes when Muller found himself free in the six-yard box. His backwards glancing header rebounded off Caballero’s crossbar and was cleared to safety.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
A double save by Neuer stopped Mount and Ross Barkley two minutes after the restart as the Blues went on the offensive.
But disaster struck on 51 minutes when Cesar Azpiliceueta slipped allowing the Germans to strike and Serge Gnabry slotted home from a Lewandowski byline cross.
It as a bad couple of minutes for Chelsea as seconds earlier Jorginho was booked for a foul and will now miss the second leg.
The Blues were torn apart three Minutes later and Gnabry tucked the ball home past Caballero to go 2-0 up.
Head coach Frank Lampard decided to bring on Brazil winger Willian and Tammy Abraham for Giroud and Barkley.
Lampard’s final throw of the dice saw Pedro come on for Azpilicueta on 74 minutes.
Lewandowski finally got his goal with 14 minutes left on the clock as the Blues were cut apart on their right again, Alphonso Davies slipped past Reece’s James, raced to te Blume before cutting back into the path of the nPolish hitman, who had the simplest of chances to smash home past Caballero.
Marcos Alonso was given a red card on 84 minutes for smacking Lewandowski in the face as the nightmare night for the home side increased.
Chelsea are next in action in the Premier League, on Saturday, away to Bournemouth.
Teams: Chelsea, Caballero, Rudiger, Alonso, Christensen, Jorginho, Barkley, Kovacic, Giroud, Mount, James, Azpilicueta
Subs: Kepa, Abraham, Willian, Pedro, Zouma, Emerson, Gilmour
B Munich: Neuer, Pavard, Alcantara, Lewandowski, Boateng, Davies, Gnabry, Muller, Alaba, Coman Kimmich
Subs: Ulreich, Odriozola, Coutinho, Goretzka, Hernandez, Tolisso, Zirkzee
Referee: Clement Turpin (France)
Please support your local paper by making a donation
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.