When will this march of the Bavarian army end? They suffered their last defeat in the Champions League against Arsenal in the round of 16 in last season’s league, way back in March, but progressed on away goals. Before that, it was in October 2012, against BATE Borisov in the group stage when their progression as group leaders was already assured.
New manager Pep Guardiola took over a team that won the treble – the Bundesliga, the German Cup and the Champions League last season, and his first game in charge ended in defeat, the DFL Super Cup, that they lost to Borussia Dortmund 4-2.
However, since then, Guardiola has made his presence felt in the dressing room, with Bayern yet to lose a game since August. They defeated Chelsea on penalties to win the UEFA Super Cup, and currently sit at the top of both the Bundesliga and Group D of the Champions League. They are in great form, having won 7 of their 9 games and conceding only 4 goals so far. In the Champions League, they are doing even better, winning all 3 of their games and conceding just the 1 goal, scoring 11 in the process. The trio that feeds the lone forward, Mario Mandzukic, is frightening and awesome in its attack – between them, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller have scored 25 goals in the 16 games that Bayern have played so far. Mandzukic is no slouch either, adding 6 goals of his own.
On Wednesday night, Bayern swatted Viktoria Plzen aside in a 5-0 victory. The majesty of the goals was breathtaking. Robben was skipping past defenders in the first half when Plzen defender Roman Hubnik fouled him in the box, and Ribery converted the resultant penalty. From there on, it was all Bayern. David Alaba, who has made it a habit of scoring spectacular goals, added a second in the 37th minute, and then in the 2nd half, Ribery was fed by Mandzukic and then chipped the ball over Plzen ‘keeper Matus Kozacik to make it 3-0. Bayern fan-favourite Bastian Schweinstiger made it 4-0 and substitute Mario Gotze, whose debut season has been marred by injuries, hit the crossbar before making it 5-0 in a completely dominant display.
So great was Bayern dominance that they had 35 shots at goal, with 22 on target, while Plzen didn’t hit a single shot at goal. In fact, it was a stellar display by Plzen’s Kozacik that kept the score within single digits.