Bayern Munich defeat Besiktas, confirm place in UCL quarter-finals

FC Bayern Munich celebrate the goal of Sandro Wagner of FC Bayern Munich during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Besiktas AS and Bayern Munchen at the Vodafone Arena on March 14, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
FC Bayern Munich celebrate the goal of Sandro Wagner of FC Bayern Munich during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Besiktas AS and Bayern Munchen at the Vodafone Arena on March 14, 2018 in Istanbul, Turkey(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich traveled away to Istanbul to meet their opponents, Besiktas, and the Bavarian contingent came away as 3-1 victors on the day.

Things went largely according to plan for Jupp Heynckes and his squad. While the tie was all but secured in Munich, the Bavarians must keep up appearances throughout the competition. In the end, Bayern Munich got the job done and pushed aside a Besiktas squad playing solely for pride.

But things weren’t entirely smooth sailing for the Reds. While everything was taken care of in the end, the away side were sloppy for spells. Besiktas wouldn’t want to go out of the Champions League with a whimper if they could help it. However, pride is all the home team could hope for on the day.

Bayern mostly in control during the first half

The first half opened business as usual for the visitors. Bayern Munich largely kept firm control over their hosts and gradually picked up chances on goal. Eventually, this effort paid off on Bayern’s end. Less than 20 minutes into the match, Thiago made his mark on the scoreline.

Arturo Vidal received a pass in space in midfield. The Chilean quickly turned the ball over wide, just behind Thomas Muller. The Bayern Munich vice-captain then whipped in an early cross to the penalty box. The Besiktas defense was caught off-guard and was forced to back-pedal in an emergency situation toward their own goal.

Thomas Muller’s ball came in exquisitely toward an oncoming Thiago. The Brazilian-Spaniard followed suit with a beautifully-timed one-touch finish behind Tolga Zengin who could only claw hopelessly at the air. Muller has been on impressive form as of late, seeing a resurgence under Jupp Heynckes. Heynckes has even found a way to keep Muller efficient playing as a right-winger in a three-man forward line in a 4-3-3 formation.

Muller has managed to regain that same style of space invasion all over the pitch. This was something the German struggled under Carlo Ancelotti, and even still when played in his primary position as a central-attacking-midfielder just behind the striker.

Thiago has recently seen a return to the pitch after returning from injury. Heynckes has been gradually working him back onto the pitch as to not risk him. As a sort of cruel irony, this level of precaution wasn’t enough for Thiago. Later in the match, Thiago cmae off with another apparent injury.

(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images) /

James Rodriguez then substituted in for the Spaniard with just over 30 minutes gone. On  the bright side, this looks like a true embarrassment of riches for Heynckes.

Complacency sets in a bit in the second half

With the aggregate scoreline indicating that Bayern Munich are well through into the quarter-finals, some complacency started to settle in the Bayern contingent. This was mainly true with the back-line. However, the match would still open up with another reap of fortunes for Bayern.

Shortly after the start of the half, Rafinha found himself in space to streak down the right flank.  The veteran Brazilian launched in a cross that once again caused mayhem for the Besiktas defensive line. The ball streamed its way into the penalty area, causing some confusion among Tolga Zengin and his defenders.

Finally, the ball bounced off Besiktas left-back Gokhan Gonul and into his own net. Barely a minute into the second half, Bayern had doubled their advantage and brought the aggregate score to a whopping 7-0. However, it was after this point that Bayern started to take their foot off the gas.

Just shy of an hour into the match, Besiktas would claw at least one consolation back for the home fans. With poor man-marking happening just in front of the Bayern penalty area, Vagner Love was handed a gift toward the Bayern goal. Arturo Vidal and Javi Martinez were caught out of position in the middle of the pitch, and the Chilean arrived too late on the scene to stop Love.

Sven Ulreich tried to go down quick enough to the ball, but Love’s shot slipped under his hands. Jerome Boateng was found almost in slow motion trying to catch the rolling ball to no avail.

Bayern Munich’s defensive end became too casual in their play in the back during the second 45.

The match wouldn’t end on a sour note, however. With less than 10 minutes to play, Sandro Wagner once again tallied himself a goal in a Bayern jersey. David Alaba made an overlapping run to make a cross. While deflected, the ball looped over for an incoming Wagner to chest into the goal for the 3-1 final score.

Next: Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness meets with Thomas Tuchel

Bayern through to the quarter-finals

With that, Bayern convincingly wrapped up a dominating 8-1 aggregate score over their Turkish opponents. Bayern Munich now await their draw into the quarter-final legs and focus on the weekend ahead. Another tough ask faces Bayern Munich, as they play RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.