Pep Guardiola returned to the Allianz Arena to find a shadow of the Bayern Munich team he coached years ago.
Manchester City drew 1 – 1 on the night to secure a 4 – 1 aggregate victory and passage to the Champions League semi finals against Real Madrid.
For so long, Bayern Munich have been intimidating, machine-like and dominant. However, only one team played like they had European pedigree on Wednesday night and that was City.
Guardiola’s team advance looking more ready to win the Champions League than they ever have done. Bayern Munich, meanwhile, have some questions to answer.
For the first time in years, Bayern still have work to do to secure the Bundesliga title as we approach May. So heinous was the fact they didn’t have it wrapped up already, the club decided to sack manager Julian Nagelsmann.
His replacement, Thomas Tuchel, hasn’t been able to paper over the cracks. They’re out of the German Cup and the Champions League and face competition from multiple teams for the Bundesliga.
The fact Erling Haaland lined up for their opponents on Wednesday is illustrative of their declining status, at least financially. There was a time Bayern were virtually guaranteed to sign the standout young star from Borussia Dortmund.
The financial might of the Premier League means they can’t rely on that and they haven’t replaced Robert Lewandoski. A half-fit Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting tried against City, but they need a proper striker.
New signing Sadio Mane hasn’t caught the eye in Munich, apart from punching teammate Leroy Sane in the face. Between them, Muller, Gnabry and Coman they haven’t been able to form a coherent attack.
They’re two points ahead of Dortmund in the league with six games left. At this point, German football craves a usurper, if only for one season.