Bayern rout Shakhtar to advance to quarter-finals
Bayern Munich qualified for the Champions League quarter-finals with a 7-0 rout of 10-man Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
After playing out a drab goalless draw in the first leg in Ukraine, Bayern made no such mistake against a Shakhtar side reduced to 10 men in just the third minute.
Shaktar’s horrendous start to the match saw Olexsandr Kucher bring down Mario Goetze as he was played into the box with a chance of a shot on goal.
Scottish referee William Collum had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for a straight penalty and handing Kucher a red card, his dismissal beating the previous fastest Champions League red card of 5min 52sec for Werder Bremen’s Valerien Ismael against Inter Milan in September 2004.
Thomas Mueller stepped up and made no mistake with a well-hit penalty.
Arjen Robben should have made it two just minutes later, the Dutchman just failing to latch on to a Robert Lewandowski cross, leaving coach Pep Guardiola clutching his head in despair.
Robben crashed the ball high over the upright from a slick corner move with the Ukrainian side on the backfoot, striker Taison sacrificed for defender Serhiy Kryvstov in a bid to cope with Bayern’s fast-paced passing game.
ROBBEN INJURY SCARE
The Germans were also forced into a change as Stefan Rode came on for Robben, suffering with a trapped nerve, in the 19th minute.
Shakhtar’s goal uprights were next tested, Lewandowski’s forceful header coming back off the post as Bayern dominated possession, with the Ukrainians barely making a foray beyond their own halfway line.
Goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov was forced into two quick saves, first fending off a Franck Ribery shot before snuffling out a close-range Mueller header.
The second goal finally came in the 34th minute through Jerome Boateng, the centre-back tapping in after Pyatov had palmed away Lewandowski’s shot. And it could easily have been three as the latter’s curled shot went narrowly wide of the target.
Bayern started the second-half just as they wished, Ribery finishing brilliantly after a one-two with Boateng.
No sooner had the game re-started then Mueller scored after Ribery showed great determination to pull back the ball from the byline. Deflected, it fell into the path of the Germany striker, who drilled home with Pyatov stranded.
The ‘keeper could do nothing as Bayern ran riot, Holder Badstuber next on target with an unchallenged header.
With Bayern monopolising the game, and slowing down its pace, Lewandowski got his reward for a bright evening’s football, showing great control to take a Bastian Schweinsteiger long ball on his chest and slide it past Pyatov.
Mueller should have bagged his hat-trick minutes later as Shakhtar fought to batten down their hatches and avoid a complete humiliation.
But Goetze was on hand with a sublime finish at the near post to make it 7-0, sending out a warning that Bayern will be a very dangerous prospect in the last eight of European club football’s showcase tournament.