Bayern’s latest elite utility man is increasingly outgrowing one of the more imposing club shadows of recent times
After months of cliche and assumption, they’re finally getting their due credit. It may not have quite been Bayern Munich at their best, remarkably, but Friday’s 8-2 win over Barcelona was all about context, the seismic impact of the result and the stage forcing the world to recognise that they are not just the habitual Bundesliga behemoth.
Even Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, talking at the press conference to present the club’s annual financial results, was forced to refer to the current crop as “the best team ever to play for Bayern”. If Philippe Coutinho’s strangely inevitable cameo was the door hitting Barça hard on the backside as they slinked out of the Champions League doorway, the pinnacle of Bayern’s Estádio da Luz recital was goal No 5. Alphonso Davies to Joshua Kimmich, full-back to full-back, Bayern finishing the match, flexing their considerable muscles and showing that they are far closer to keeping the flame of perfect football burning than this current, wan reproduction of a Barcelona side.