Bayern Munich have been Champions League title contenders since the season started but Tuesday’s 4-0 impressive victory over Olympiakos which secured a spot in the knockout stage will pose as a serious warning to any challengers, with the Germans in unbelievable form.
Bayern have scored a huge 17 goals in four of their five Group F games – more than four per game – as they sealed a spot in the round of 16 with a game to spare following their demolition of the Greek champions in Munich.
Three goals in the opening 20 minutes left Olympiakos dazed and Bayern rightfully dreaming of a sixth European crown, the first under coach Pep Guardiola.
Undefeated in the Bundesliga after 13 matches and with only one loss in all competitions this season, a defeat at Arsenal, club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had only praise to offer for the German champions’ consistency.
“What we have been experiencing here in the past three or four years is just an outstanding level of football,” Rummenigge, a former striker in the 1970s and 80s, told reporters.
“There has been no single game in that period that we have not gone in with full concentration and focus. I don’t think at my time or the time of Franz Beckenbauer we had that kind of consistency of such a period of time,” he said.
Five-time European champions Bayern, who have reached at least the Champions League semifinal four times in the past four seasons, are better than last season with new signings Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa in massive form and on target on Tuesday.
Arjen Robben limped off in the 33rd minute on Tuesday but the Dutchman, only recently back from injury, escaped any serious damage with the club saying his substitution was more of a precautionary measure.
“We now have the Champions League in the bag until February,” Guardiola told reporters. “I am very satisfied with the qualification. My player have a great mentality.”
With injured David Alaba, Juan Bernat, Franck Ribery, Thiago Alcantara and Mario Goetze all working on their own comebacks from injury, expect Guardiola’s team to be even stronger when the knockout stage gets underway in the new year with their relentless and lightning-quick attacking game an even more daunting challenge for their opponents.
“Obviously we want to win this title,” said scorer Thomas Mueller. “There is no point in talking around it. But we still have a long hard road ahead of us and there are also other candidates.”
“We are hungry, we have a team with a super character and we are enjoying the game, celebrating football,” said Mueller.