They know the road to go all the way: Bayern Munich and Liverpool, European champions in 2020 and 2019 respectively, qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, eliminating Salzburg and Austria on Tuesday March 8. Inter.
Bayern in demonstration
Always beware of the wounded beast. At the Allianz Arena in Munich, Bayern showed a completely different face than that displayed during the first leg in Austria against RB Salzburg (1-1), where Kingsley Coman had snatched the equalizer at the last minute of regulation time . The show of force of the evening, concluded with the river score of 7 goals to 1, bears the seal of Robert Lewandowski, whose “hat trick” (12e21e and 23e) in eleven minutes stunned the visitors and paved the way for an easy success, in which Serge Gnabry also participated (31e), Thomas Muller (54e83e) and Leroy Sané (85e).
The attackers quickly chased away the doubts that have been able to escort the Bavarians in recent days, with a sometimes feverish defense and manhandled three weeks ago by the eight-time reigning Austrian champions.
“Everyone knew what this match meant for us and for the success of our season”recalled Müller after his double. “We had this chance tonight, which we did not have on the way to Salzburg. »
As often, the main role therefore went to the Polish striker now at the top of the ranking of top scorers, ahead of the Ivorian of Ajax Sébastien Haller (11 goals), with twelve units in eight European games this season.
Mute on the way out, he made up for it by transforming two penalties on Tuesday, which he himself obtained in front of Maximilian Wöber before his combativeness was again rewarded: on a pass from Müller, he countered the goalkeeper who came to meet him and push back the ball which was first pushed back by a post. By the way, the 33-year-old center-forward scored the fastest hat-trick after the kick-off of a Champions League meeting, twenty-three minutes after Clément Turpin’s whistle, ahead of one minute Marco Simone’s former record with AC Milan, against Rosenborg in 1996.
“When we show this desire and this energy, it is difficult to stop us”, admitted Bavarian coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Without the reduction of the gap of the very young entrant Maurits Kjaergaard (18 years old) at the 70e minute, Bayern could have achieved the biggest victory in history in the final phase of C1. The Germans still equaled the record gap they themselves had established against FC Barcelona (8-2) in the quarter-finals of the 2019-20 edition.
“It’s painful for our guys, we had imagined something else, could only concede Salzburg coach Matthias Jaissle. The lesson tonight is that against a very high level team like Bayern, you have to play at your best level, otherwise it doesn’t work. And we didn’t tonight. But we played a superb Champions League season. »
Liverpool in pain
On the other hand, it goes through the back door for Liverpool beaten, in its lair of Anfield Road, by the Italians of Inter (1-0). The Reds suffered against the reigning Italian champions, but they once again joined the European Top 8 thanks to the success (2-0) acquired late three weeks ago in the Milanese stadium of San Siro.
“Overall the two games, it’s fair enough that they won one game and we won the other, but for us to qualify is, I think, a logical result”analyzed the German coach of Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp.
The success was clearly not on the side of the English club. A header from Virgil van Dijk was blocked (31e), two attempts by Mohamed Salah failed on a post (52e76e), and another golden chance signed Luis Diaz (90+2) was thwarted by an Italian save.
The Interists for their part played the blow thoroughly and took the best thanks to Lautaro Martinez (61e), scorer in front of van Dijk too passive and goalkeeper Alisson overwhelmed. The first European goal this season from the 24-year-old Argentinian, who already scored a hat-trick on Friday in the league, was not enough.
“It’s a blow for us, because we made two matches, at San Siro and today, at a very high level.admitted the internal striker of the evening. Liverpool are a quality team with great players, but we did our job. »
The team led by Simone Inzaghi suffered from the expulsion in the second half of Alexis Sanchez (63e), for a second yellow card. However, she offered a conquering face for her return after ten years of absence in the final stages of C1.