20 Feb Bayern Munich thrash 10-man Besiktas to close in on Champions League last eight
Bayern Munich look assured of a Champions League quarter-final spot for a seventh straight season after thrashing 10-man Besiktas 5-0 in Germany.
The Turkish club had a one-man disadvantage from the 16th minute when last man Domagoj Vida brought down Robert Lewandowski and Bayern made their visitors pay with an emphatic round of 16 first-leg victory.
Thomas Muller and Lewandowski both netted braces while Kingsley Coman also scored for the five-time European Cup winners.
Besiktas’ team was packed full of experience but it was 35-year-old Atiba Hutchinson who played the loose pass that got Vida into trouble early on.
Lewandowski latched onto it and headed towards goal only for Vida to slide in before the Pole reached the box with a challenge that got nowhere near the ball and upended the striker.
Referee Ovidiu Hategan dismissed Vida for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and Besiktas were fortunate their misery was not compounded by James Rodriguez’s subsequent free-kick, which was curled just wide.
And the visitors had a great chance to go ahead through Vagner Love, who beat Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng only to poke harmlessly over when through.
It looked like it might not be Muller’s night when he miscued an attempt into the side of Rodriguez’s face, while Hummels’ header was brilliantly saved by Fabri at close range.
Lewandowski teed himself up for an overhead kick that he fired over and in catching midfielder Gary Medel, the Bayern forward also earned himself a caution.
Besiktas had deployed an attacking line-up and were threatening as Ricardo Quaresma left Hummels for dead before firing at Sven Ulreich and Pepe blasted over.
Yet two minutes before the interval the hosts struck through Muller.
Coman fashioned space down the left by turning Adriano inside-out and though intended target David Alaba was unable to bring the ball under his spell, an onside Muller was typically in the right place to swivel and finish.
Rodriguez came off for Arjen Robben shortly afterwards, possibly due to the blow he received from Muller’s earlier shot, but Bayern turned the screw at the start of the second half.
A free-kick Lewandowski appeared fortunate to win off Adriano was fired onto the post by Bayern’s number nine, who nevertheless provided his team’s second in the 52nd minute.
It was an unmarked Coman who stepped onto Lewandowski’s pull back and swept past Fabri to make it 2-0.
That was the cue for Besiktas to take off striker Love and replace him with defender Dusko Tosic, though the Germans did not ease off.
Coman and Joshua Kimmich were regularly threatening down either flank and the latter’s 66th-minute near-post delivery was turned home via a Muller volley.
Besiktas looked increasingly tired and when Hummels fired in an attempt that Fabri pushed out 11 minutes from time, it was Lewandowski who reacted quickest to add a fourth.
Bayern showed no mercy as Hummels and Javi Martinez both came close and they would add their fifth in the 88th minute when Muller unselfishly squared for Lewandowski to apply the finish.