By 90Min
October 02, 2019

Up until the 83rd minute at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, every scoreline the game went through was a conceivable one for full-time in the lead up to Tuesday's match. 

Spurs win 1-0? Sure. 1-1? Yeah, why not. Marginal away win? *Extremely Eddie Hearn voice* Oh go on, then2-5, 2-6, 2-7? Nope, never.

The thing with Tottenham is, under Mauricio Pochettino, they head into big games having one assurance: they won't get battered. Bayern Munich battered them. In their own back yard.

Spurs' collapse is the big story, but credit must be given to the Bavarians for their cliched German efficiency, scoring with nearly every chance they had. 

Serge Gnabry's brain looked like it was wired to knowing how to strike the ball into the far corner at any given moment; Robert Lewandowski is developing a Cristiano Ronaldo-like second wind of ruthlessness as he enters his 30s; even half-time substitute Thiago Alcantara showed why he's always in discussions as one of the world's best midfielders.


For the first 30 minutes, Tottenham were able to pick Bayern apart quite easily on the counter and press them into mistakes, with Tanguy Ndombele finding the electric Son Heung-min running in behind again and again. Dominating every side in the Bundesliga week after week and even more often than not in the Champions League, this was new territory for Bayern.

A mixture of Spurs retreating and the visitors just simply waking up from their footballing slumber saw Niko Kovac's side gain control as the half petered out, eventually taking the lead in the 45th minute through Lewandowski. 

From there on in, Tottenham had to come out and fight again, and Bayern could smell blood. Every loose ball was taken back, every 50/50 was won, both sides had veterans on the pitch but only one had serial winners. 

Bayern didn't make many clear-cut chances, but they didn't need to, because Spurs were gift-wrapping them goals for free. For a side whose won the Bundesliga 306,000,000 times, this became a training session of finishing, a test of muscle memory that they passed with flying colours.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

This raises two questions - How do Bayern Munich fare among Champions League contenders? And more intriguingly, did they ever really go away?

When you evaluate the frontrunners for this year's European Cup, there's fewer standouts than in previous seasons - the Spanish clubs are all undertaking a period of transition (though some more involuntary and others), Juventus don't look like they're ready to challenge under Maurizio Sarri, and Bayern are just simply better than Borussia Dortmund.

That leaves LiverpoolManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain - the latter two finally looking ready to take on all of Europe. Jurgen Klopp's side will no doubt be the most comfortable when playing at home this season, but City and PSG look like they have squads that can win the whole thing, particularly if key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Neymar can stay fit.

So then we come to Bayern - are they better these sides? 

Tuesday night's evidence suggests yes. 

Kovac won't be happy with how easily they were picked apart in the opening exchanges, but with Gnabry and Lewandowski leading the line, and maybe even Leroy Sane to still join, they'll be confident of outscoring any team.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

The opinion that Bayern's powers have somewhat waned, is suddenly looking rather reactionary. They were eliminated from the Champions League by eventual winners Liverpool last season, and they managed to overcome some early woes to leapfrog rivals Dortmund and retain the Bundesliga. Yes, the Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery era is over, but there is still obvious quality throughout the side.

It's easy to forget the brilliance of players like Lewandowski and Thiago if you don't watch them domestically, and that of Bayern as a whole - a side effect of living in the Lionel Messi and Ronaldo age is we overlook consistent success.

Bayern Munich are winners, it is second nature, maybe even first. Would anyone really be surprised if they win Europe's biggest club prize?

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