Thomas Muller inspired Bayern Munich to a commanding lead in their Champions League round of 16 tie with Besiktas, as they took full advantage of Domagoj Vida's early red card to run out comprehensive 5-0 winners in the first leg at the Allianz Arena.
Besiktas' first ever knockout match in the competition looked like being a frustration occasion as soon as Vida was dismissed and, while they were not punished immediately, Bayern ultimately had little difficulty in Munich as a Muller double helped them take a huge leap towards the quarter-finals.
The Turkish side's positive start was wrecked after just 16 minutes when Vida, played into a hopeless situation by Atiba Hutchinson, was sent off for a mistimed tackle as the last man.
A Bayern breakthrough always looked like a formality and Muller was the man to deliver it four minutes before half-time.
Bayern's lead was doubled soon after the interval – Kingsley Coman neatly tucking into the bottom-left corner to make the task facing Besiktas even more daunting.
2 - Kingsley Coman has scored 2 goals in his last 3 Champions League games, as many as in his first 15. Fire. pic.twitter.com/ho2KlFp38X— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 20, 2018
Muller doubled his tally for the day just after the hour mark and a Robert Lewandowski brace rounded things off late on, putting Jupp Heynckes' men within touching distance of the last eight.
After a laboured start, Bayern tested Fabri for the first time in the ninth minute – Coman cutting in from the left and seeing his curling effort pushed away by the Spaniard.
The visitors' chances were then dealt a massive blow seven minutes later, as Hutchinson's woeful back pass fed Lewandowski and Vida hauled him down as the last man, unsurprisingly earning a straight red.
Although Bayern became dominant as a result, Besiktas managed to trouble them on the break – Vagner Love shooting just over from the edge of the box, while Ricardo Quaresma tested Sven Ulreich from a tight angle.
But Bayern's persistence paid off just before half-time, as Muller scuffed in from close range after David Alaba nudged Coman's cut-back to the Germany international.
James Rodriguez was forced off in the aftermath having appeared to succumb to a blow to the head received earlier in the game.
But that did not appear to have any great impact on their performance, as they started the second half looking just as imperious as before, with Lewandowski striking the top of the right-hand post with a free-kick.
Besiktas were not so lucky soon after, though, as the Poland international did well to pick out Coman with a cut-back and the young Frenchman finished well.
The away side could muster no response as Bayern's pressure suffocated them.
And Muller got his second 24 minutes from time, diverting Joshua Kimmich's right-wing cross into the net despite Fabri's best efforts.
But there was still plenty of time for Lewandowski to get in on the act.
His first came in the 79th minute, Lewandowski pouncing after Fabri parried Mats Hummels' deflected strike, before he capped off an immensely productive day for the German champions by tapping in Muller's low cross late on.
Key Opta stats:
- Bayern have won 14 consecutive matches in all competitions, equalling their longest winning streak of all time (previously winning 14 in a row under Pal Csernai in 1980).
- At the Allianz Arena, Bayern Munich have won 20 of their last 21 Champions League games, the only exception coming against Real Madrid in last season's quarter-final (1-2).
- Besiktas' starting 11 had an average age of 31 years, 151 days, the oldest side they have named in the competition and the oldest to be named in the Champions League since APOEL on March 3, 2012 v Lyon (31 years 262 days).
- The two earliest red cards in the Champions League this season have both come away against Bayern Munich for fouls on Robert Lewandowski - Sven Kums for Anderlecht in September (11th minute) & Domagoj Vida tonight (16th minute).
- Bayern Munich are unbeaten in their last 62 competitive matches in which Thomas Muller has scored in (81 goals in total: W59 D3).
- Only Cristiano Ronaldo (56) and Lionel Messi (38) have score more goals in the Champions League knockout phase than Thomas Muller (21).
13. Dezember 2018
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