BERLIN – The atmosphere couldn’t be better in the noble hotel at 8 Northumberland Avenue in London in the early hours of Wednesday.
The ruling German Champion’s celebrations followed an unforgettable evening at Stamford Bridge. The enchanting 3-0 victory in the first leg of the last-16-round duel gave proof of a team that has found its way back to stability on the international stage.
The first victory of a German team at Stamford Bridge might only be the first significant step on the 2013 treble winners’ journey but indicates more can be expected.
The circle of favorites to win the 2020 Champions League needs to be completed by a new competitor: Bayern Munich.
FLICK NEW PEN
An unusual incident taking place during the banquet in the team’s hotel appears like a knightly accolade for Hansi Flick, who had turned 55 two days before.
Bayern’s chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge came up with a surprise in his traditional speech. The 64-year-old turned his head to the man fighting for an extension of his contract.
Rummenigge handed over a present wrapped in red paper. “For all of you that don’t know what is inside: It is a pen,” he announced.
“With pens like that, we use to sign papers at this club.”
Rummenigge praised Flick’s achievements after he had taken over the delicate job as the successor of Niko Kovac back in November 2019, leading the side back to happiness.
Flick smiled like a college student having passed his final exam.
Rummenigge said Flick’s work is reminding him of the times with the coaching icons Jupp Heynckes (2013 treble winner) and Pep Guardiola around.
“There is still some work to do, and we intend to do that step by step,” Flick said, knowing he is only a small step away from being rewarded with a new contract.
LEWANDOSKI’S COMMUNITY WORK
The Polish spearhead might be back to where he always wanted to be: at the top of Europe’s scorer list with 11 goals in this season’s Champions League campaign.
Aside from scoring, the 31-year-old’s performance tells the story of a striker caring for his team like a family-head.
Lewandowski isn’t just doing his job upfront. Heading back to until behind the centreline to help regain the ball, Bayern’s forward delivered two assists but turned into the side’s switching station in Chelsea’s half.
Aside from his contribution to the Bayern community, the forward has scored 39 goals in 33 games.
MUELLER’S INSIDE REPORT
The team is feeling “pretty well,” the former German international commented. “We know about our quality, but at the same time are aware of the fact, it always needs full commitment to gain success.”
The 31-year-old said team and coach are comfortable. Confidence is back, and a significant motivation boost has developed.
“No one better than us knows about how fragile all of this is after we have been through hard times this season.” It is the team’s obligation and determination to preserve the current high level.
MESSAGE FOR RIVALS
The statement like performance might force opponents to listen carefully. Bayern’s opponents such as Barcelona, Liverpool and Juventus might have witnessed the satisfying performance of a returning champion. Although it must be said that Bayern achieved their result against a young Chelsea side managed by a manager in Frank Lampard who looks increasingly out of his depth.
They might add the Bavarians name to their list of serve rivals in the race for the 2020 European football crown.
Despite not having coached a team on this level, the former German national team assistant has created a real team spirit.
While Flick has found a powerful first starting eleven, Bayern’s coach has to live with a threatening disadvantage. Compared to Europe’s top sides, Bayern is suffering from a second-row problem.
In case of injuries, out-of-shape performers such as on-loan-midfielder Coutinho have to fill the gap.
So far, Flick has entirely solved all of Bayern’s issues.