Four Takeaways as Bayern Munich stun Chelsea at Bridge

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LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: Serge Gnabry FC Bayern Munich celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Chelsea FC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Stamford Bridge on February 25, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Harriet Lander/Copa/Getty Images)

Brilliant Individual Performances

One could make the argument for about half the team in this category, but there were three that earned recognition. The first is the midfield maestro, Thiago Alcantara. Placed in a midfield, next to Joshua Kimmich, Thiago was everywhere on the pitch, contributing to attack and defense. He made four tackles, completed 92 percent of his passes (Stats via WhoScored).

He bossed the midfield and dominated his counterparts. Although his performance wasn’t rewarded with a goal or assist, he was influential on the pitch. Anytime Chelsea tried to go through the middle of the pitch, Thiago was there waiting for them, forcing backward passes or out to the flanks, where the fullbacks could deal with them. It was a performance that proves Thiago is an undisputed starter in midfield for Bayern.

Arjen Robben is nicknamed Mr. Wembley for his performance in the 2013 Champions League final. So, at what point will Serge Gnabry be nicknamed Mr. London? In two matches this season in London, Gnabry has six goals against Tottenham and Chelsea. His first half left much to be desired, but he was brilliant in the second half.

Scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes after the break gave Bayern the lead they deserved after their performance in the first half. Gnabry continued to put pressure on the defense until the final whistle. His link-up play with Lewandowski is improving every match as he torched the right side of Chelsea’s defense. His pairing with Davies on the left is going to be a problem for opposing teams for years to come.

And lastly, Robert Lewandowski earned the man of the match award. One goal and two assists are the reason Bayern come away from London with the big win. Every aspect of his abilities was on full show this match. His ability to hold up play, play other players on, drag defenders to specific spots away from the point of attack, his willingness to come into the midfield and receive the ball and his ability to time runs into the box to score were in full effect. Lewandowski is so crucial to what Bayern wants to do and will be a pivotal piece in their title challenge.

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