Last season’s Champions League finalists were hit for an embarrassing seven goals by a rampant Bayern Munich side on Tuesday night.
Serge Gnabry ran riot at Tottenham, scoring four second-half goals to complete an extraordinary 7-2 drubbing.
Son Heung-min had opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Joshua Kimmich restored parity three minutes later. Robert Lewandowski gave the away side the lead on the stroke of half-time only and quick-fire strikes from Gnabry after the restart gave Bayern a 4-1 lead.
A Harry Kane penalty pulled one back for Spurs but Lewandowski would find the net again and Gnabry added two more to round off the scoring.
The result puts Bayern in pole position in Group B.
BAYERN BLINDED BY FIRST-HALF SON
The German giants’ well-stocked defence is not accustomed to a thorough examination but were exposed repeatedly by Tottenham with Son in particular proving to be a nuisance they could barely cope with.
Bayern’s daunting central defence is made up of the man-mountain duo of Jerome Boateng and Niklas Sule but while their physicality is unparalleled, it was rendered useless against a the South Korean’s mobility.
The visiting centre-backs could hardly pick up on Son’s whereabouts, never mind impose themselves on him. Especially with Kane proving to be a handful through the middle and taking a defender with him when he dropped off while Dele Alli also drew attention in the final third, Son was able to buzz about across the back-line and play on the shoulder of the last defender, always ready to dart in behind.
His relentless prodding at the weak spots in Bayern’s defence created a few glorious opportunities and he gave Spurs the lead through one of them. Having engineered numerous openings and mustering five attempts at goal in the first half, it’s a shame for Spurs he wasn’t able to fully capitalise while his advantage lasted.
SERGE IS TOP GUN
As if being breached seven times wasn’t humiliating enough, the fact that a former Arsenal player took on the role of chief destroyer was insult to injury for a battered and bruised Spurs.
The ex-Gunner proved to be Bayern’s most effective weapon in a heavily-stocked arsenal. His pace and energy was a nightmare for Tottenham’s defence.
Crucially though, he had the poise to reward his excellent work through outstanding finished. It’s that sort of end product that he was deemed to be missing as a youngster at Arsenal.
On his return to north London, the 24-year-old made it a point to prove his worth and flaunt his progress.
Spurs may have bore the brunt of his rampage but Arsenal, who paid €79 million for Nicolas Pepe this summer, will shifting uncomfortably at the though of what might’ve been as well.
GOALS OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY
5 - Tottenham’s 2-7 defeat to Bayern Munich was the biggest ever margin of defeat by an English team at home in any European competition. Crushing. pic.twitter.com/LnUf8PKaWO— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 1, 2019
Yes, some of the defending was suspect and there were a couple of stray passes that proved costly. Such shortcomings are always going to be highlighted in a game that produced nine goals but they were only punished because of the extraordinary quality on show in attack.
Every goal came via a finish of the highest order. First, Son drilled in the opener low and hard from a tight angle so even Neuer’s outstretched arm couldn’t divert it wide. But that strike was upstaged only three minutes later when Joshua Kimmich, reputed for his crosses, whipped the ball inside the side-netting from outside the area as if it were shaped like an expectant Lewandowski.
Then, King Lewy himself would produce a moment of sheer class, turning on a sixpence to dispatch a half chance with aplomb before half-time. Gnabry’s double early in the second period was marvellous. After skipping past challenges and arrowing an effort into the bottom corner, he targeted the same area of the goal with a precision first-time finish that put Bayern 4-1 up.
Hope for Spurs was restored when the referee pointed to the spot and Kane emphatically converted in the face of a daunting Manuel Neuer who went the right way but couldn’t get a hand to the strike. Any optimism was quickly extinguished though when Gnabry completed his hat-trick, latching onto a Thiago Alcantara long ball and slotting away.
Lewandowski then drove the sword further through Tottenham’s heart with a pass into the far corner before Gnabry’s fourth – a thumping strike – was the final, merciful, nail in the coffin.
This was a game in which both sides came out to play and produced some tremendous football in the final third. Unfortunately for Spurs, in a straight shootout with the mighty Bavarians, they were always going to be second best.
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