Chelsea 0-3 Bayern Munich
It was always going to be a big Champions League ask for a Chelsea side missing key experience and lacking the savviness of their more recent predecessors when up against opponents jam packed with those attributes.
And so it proved as youth welcomed experience to Stamford Bridge.
The last times these sides had met was famously on Bayern turf when the English side were second best for 120 minutes only to end up being crowned champions of Europe.
While then they had the likes of current manager Frank Lampard, Dider Drogba and Petr Cech on the pitch, they now largely possess far less wily campaigners, even though they are full of potential.
That was evident here as Bayern created two of their own Champions League highlights in four minutes to all but render the tie over with the second leg still to come.
Highlights of the game
But any suggestions that the home side were capable of another win were quickly dispelled.
First Serge Gnabry hammered in a Robert Lewandowski cut-back, and no sooner had the Bavarian celebrations died down. He finished a slick move following a 1-2 with the Pole for two goals in four minutes.
The ruthless Gnabry must have made fans of his former club Arsenal question why he was sold.
Lewandowski, who else, completed the home embarrassment by taping the ball home after teenage Canadian Alphonso Davies surged forward and left the home defence catching their breath.
It will be interesting to see what his dad, a big Chelsea fan, has to say his son when they next speak!
The home side’s misery was deepened when Marcos Alonso saw red for an elbow on the Bayern number nine.
Men against boys.
Bayern are all but in the quarter-finals.
Only four players have scored more goals in London this season in the Premier League and Champions League combined than Gnabry (6).
The top four all play in London – Harry Kane (13), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Son Heung-min (both 10) and Tammy Abraham (7).
This was the first time Lewandowski had assisted two goals in a Champions League game.
Lewandowski is the top scorer in this season’s competition with 11 goals and the Polish frontman now has scored 43 goals in 39 games so far this term.
Bayern are the only team to score 10 away goals this season in the Champions League. They have 19.
Only Liverpool (2017-18) and Real Madrid (2013-14) – 20 each – have managed more in a campaign.
Munich are the third team in Champions League history to win their first seven games. The previous two – Barcelona in 2002-03 and Real Madrid in 2014-15 – did not reach the final.
Bayern are unbeaten in their last 13 European away games (W10, D3), scoring at least two goals in all but a goalless draw at Liverpool in last season’s round of 16 at this stage.
Alonso is the first Chelsea player to be sent off in a Champions League match since John Terry against Barcelona in the 2012 semi-finals.
This was only Chelsea’s second European reverse at Stamford Bridge in 15 matches (W8, D5).
This was the first time the Blues had lost at home to German visitors, winning six of the 10 fixtures.
Chelsea have lost eight matches at Stamford Bridge in all competitions this season, their most at home in a single campaign since 1985-86 (also 8).
This was their heaviest ever margin of defeat in a home game in European competition.
Bayern Munich have now scored at least three goals away from home at four separate English clubs in the Champions League – Arsenal twice, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea – all since 2013.
This is Bayern’s 23rd Champions League campaign, fewer only than Barcelona and Real Madrid (both 24). They have now won their section 16 times.
Their record in two-legged ties against English clubs is won 11, lost six. They had won five in a row before last season.
The SBOTOP Champions League betting odds strongly favour Bayern to progress but there is plenty of football for both sides before the second leg on March 18.
Chelsea go to Bournemouth next in the Premier League before hosting Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round a week after tonight (March 3).
Bayern are back in Bundesliga action at Hoffenheim on Saturday before travelling to Schalke in the German Cup quarter-finals, also a week after tonight.
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