Bundesliga: The new force of European football?
Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund comfortably beat Barcelona & Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first-legs
The first-legs of the Champions League semi-finals are behind us and it left the football world in shock as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund both scored four goals each as they destroyed their Spanish opponents.
It's surely a big moment in the history of German Football as there is a huge possibility for the first time ever of an all German Champions League final.
Bayern Munich was slight favourites going up against Barcelona as they are in great form and Barcelona has many problems with their team. The Catalans are short of options in central defence and they also have an injury to their talisman Lionel Messi.
On the other side Bayern have most of their players fully fit and rearing to go with only Toni Kroos the only noticeable absentee as Mario Mandzukic was out due to suspension.
The Bavarians showed their class as they totally outclassed the La Liga leaders and exposed their weaknesses at the back from set pieces and well as their inability to handle pace. The width provided by Robben and Franck Ribery was too much for Barcelona to handle as play was switched from one side to the next very quickly and this hurt the Barcelona defence.
Bayern played high up the pitch closing the space so that the Blaugrana was unable to find the pockets of spaces they normally enjoyed with their neat, slick short passes. It was a team effort by the German Champions which was epitomised by the work done in defence by Ribery and Robben. Even Mario Gomez tracked back and was booked for a foul on Messi.
At the end of the match it was Thomas Muller who enjoyed a great night bagging a brace and was a constant threat to the Barcelona defence. He also worked tirelessly to help out in defense was they shut down the spaces on Barcelona which allowed Manuel Neuer to be a spectator for most of the match as Barcelona struggled to create any significant chance that troubled the Bayern defence.
In the other semifinal Borussia Dortmund once again got the better of Real Madrid at the Signal Iduna Park. It was Polish striker Robert Lewandowski who stole the show as he scored four goals for the BVB. To make it even more special he scored three of his four goals in front of the famous 'Yellow Wall.' It was a display of great touches and clinical finishing from the 24-year-old which shows the reason he is being watched by many top European Clubs.
Real Madrid had struggled to contain the hard working Dortmund team in the group stages and it was much of the same again. The BVB has an incredible work rate as they run their socks off from the kick-off until the final whistle.
They combine their work rate with some slick, neat passing in midfield and like Bayern Munich use the width of the pitch very well. Madrid was fortunate to pick up an away goal after Mats Hummels made an error in defence which allowed Gonzalo Higuain to play in Cristiano Ronaldo for an easy tap-in.
The star of the show was no doubt Lewandowski but the battle may have been won in midfield by Ilkay Gundogan. The German starlet dictated the game for the most part spraying passes all over the pitch, dribbling at the Madrid defence and breaking up play in midfield. he is an excellent player on both sides of the ball and with him dictating play then Madrid surely would have problems containing the BVB.
The decision to focus on youth development is surely paying off for German Football. They have developed and nurtured some great talent and this has been shown throughout the Champions League this season.
German Football is surely on the rise and with the core of talented young player they have produced, German Football may well dominate Europe in the years to come starting with this 8-1 Germany lead over Spain.
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