By 90Min
November 28, 2018

Bayern Munich's old guard rolled back the years on Tuesday evening to thump Portuguese giants S.L. Benfica during the Champions League group stages, booking their place in the knockout stages alongside second-place Ajax.

Dutch legend Arjen Robben was the star of the show at the Allianz Arena, scoring two goals along with Robert Lewandowski before Franck Ribéry also got in on the act, leaving Gedson Fernandes' strike nothing more than a consolation.


It was a result which Bayern Munich desperately needed, and there was an underlying hope that reaching the knockout stages - despite being nothing more than a box ticking exercise in Bavaria - would relieve some of the pressure on the club. 

However, seeing Robben have promising full back Álex Grimaldo on toast has done very little to wipe the slate clean from last weekend's result against Fortuna Düsseldorf, or indeed most of this season.

The dressing room's biggest stars have supposedly met with Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to speak out against Niko Kovač following Düsseldorf's comeback at the Allianz Arena - where Watford-loanee Dodi Lukebakio scored a hat-trick.

The managerial position at Bayern Munich is gaining an awful reputation as somewhat of a poisoned chalice, largely because of some of the characters within the first team crying wolf every time something doesn't go their way.

Carlo Ancelotti had similar problems last year before he was booted out and eventually replaced by Jupp Heynckes, who increasingly looks like the only man capable of controlling this current crop of players.

Current manager Kovač has had a lot of problems with injuries in key areas this season too. 

That's seen the likes of Robben and Ribéry get more than their fair share of game time, but the two forward's haven't had any kind of fear factor for a number of years, even if once in a blue moon they single-handedly put teams to the sword, like what happened against Benfica.

Thiago Alcântara, Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman and James Rodríguez's impact this season has been almost non-existent for one reason or another, but only Bayern Munich's dressing room appears to be pointing the finger at their manager.

Some relief will come in the form of Alphonso Davies, but the Canadian international isn't expected to be drafted into the senior side for some time, even if Kovač has already earmarked the youngster as a first-team player.

Bayern Munich are currently sitting nine points off of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga, while RB Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach and even Kovač's former side Eintracht Frankfurt are all ahead of the Reds in the league's pecking order.


Things could get even worse for them this weekend too, as Florian Kohfeldt's overachieving Werder Bremen host Bayern knowing that a big win will see them leapfrog over the reigning champions in the standings.

All of Bayern Munich's efforts have to go into turning their league form around, but even returning to the top of the table before Christmas (which is just mathematically possible) will only mask over the problems which are currently holding them back.

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