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Thiago shines as Bayern Munich slaughters FC Porto 6-1

For Porto it was all good just a week ago. They defeated Bayern Munich 3-1 at home and had a very good chance of advancing to the semifinals of the Champions League. Unfortunately for the Dragons, Bayern were motivated by their loss and thrashed them 6-1.

The scoring began when left-back Juan Bernat, starting over the injured David Alaba, whipped a ball into the box and Thiago headed the ball in around the 14th minute. Following a corner kick eight minutes later, central defender Holger Badstuber connected with a cross that fell to defensive partner Jerome Boateng, who jumped high and generated enough power for his header squeeze past the goalkeeper and level the aggregate at 3-3. Both goals were reminiscent of the direct soccer the squad used to play under Jupp Heynckes but the third goal was inspired by Pep Guardiola’s philosophy. Thiago delivered a well-waited ball down the right flank for Philipp Lahm. The captain half volleyed the ball into the 18-yard box where Thomas Muller only needed one touch to gift Robert Lewandowski with the perfect ball to head into the net to effectively kill the tie at 3-0.

Porto barely had the ball during the first half, but manager Julen Lopetegui had to use a substitution early as full back Ricardo Pereira had to replace Diego Reyes in 33rd minute. Three minutes later, Die Bayern were moving the ball swiftly down the pitch for a counterattack and Thiago’s pass to Muller saw him shoot from 25 yards with a speculative shot, but somehow the ball found the back of the net. The ball deflected off Netherlands international and central defender Bruno Martins Indi before going through goalkeeper Fabiano’s legs for another goal. The last goal of the first half came from Lewandowski with the assist being provided by Muller. Heading into halftime leading the match 5-0 the result was basically written in stone. The celebrations for Bayern were so intense that at one point in the game, Guardiola ripped his well-tailored pants.

In the second half, the Dragons had more possession but their chances were limited to say the least. Guardiola brought on midfielder Sebastian Rode to replace right-back Rafinha on 72 minutes due to an injury. A minute later, Porto’s goal came from their captain Jackson Martinez, who was in an offside position, scoring a headed goal from midfielder Hector Herrera’s cross. With three minutes left in the game, defender Ivan Marcano received his second yellow card when he fouled Thiago and was ejected from the match. Midfielder Xabi Alonso scored off a beautiful free-kick in the 88th minute and Bayern Munich once again advance to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The soon-to-be 25-time Bundesliga champions are still missing imperious wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, but Thiago temporarily has taken the reigns of being the main orchestrator of the team. When Guardiola became Bayern’s manager two years ago, the only player he wanted was Thiago. The 24-year-old was deemed as surplus by fans and critics due to the squad being immensely talented already in the midfield. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t prove himself and struggled with injured most of the time but he’s finally healthy and showing his ability. The Spanish international uses his vision, work rate and expert passing to influence the game in many ways – his impact in this match was significant.

The five-time European champions head into the final four of the Champions League looking very strong and firing on all cylinders even though they’re missing marquee players. The depth is covering for its unavailable world-class players. Today’s match is a reminder to never count out Bayern as we witnessed the rise of Thiago.



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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Jeffrey Dibble

    April 22, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Even Bayern missing wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, they were strong in attack and scoring past six goals Porto. They’re unbeatable and i fear for other teams left in the tournament. Viva Bayern Munich.

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