Bayern Munich vs. Juventus, 2013 UEFA Champions League: Final score 2-0, Bayern cruise past lacklustre Bianconeri

Dennis Grombkowski

Bayern Munich thoroughly outplayed a disappointing Juventus at the Allianz Arena, with David Alaba and Thomas Muller giving them a comfortable 2-0 lead to take into the second leg.

Bayern Munich got off to a great start as they put themselves in the lead inside a minute after taking advantage of two errors from Juventus' veterans. After Andrea Pirlo surrendered possession in midfield, Bayern pounced. David Alaba tried his luck from range, and as Arturo Vidal tried to block the shot, the ball spun first off his thigh and then off the turf, with the spin sending Gianluigi Buffon the wrong way and undoing Juventus' gameplan immediately.


Juventus attempted to get themselves back into the game but were struggling to get on the ball, with Pirlo appearing their best bet of scoring through set-pieces. A 30-yard free-kick from the maestro was curled just over the bar to serve as a warning shot to their hosts.

Bayern were on top, but they were to suffer a setback when they lost Toni Kroos to injury. The young midfielder pulled up with an injury to his groin, and was replaced by Arjen Robben, who took over from Thomas Muller on the right wing, with the young German moving into the centre behind Mario Mandzukic.

Robben's introduction had an immediate effect as he wasted no time getting into some good positions. He was well-placed in the area to take advantage of a shocking clearance from Leonardo Bonucci, but his touch and finishing let him down as he directed his effort straight at Buffon. Another fine chance was wasted not long afterwards as he got into the area to give himself an excellent chance, but dragged a woeful effort wide of the near post.

Juventus were riding their luck with regard to Bayern's finishing, but they were soon to have a different (and familiar) slice of fortune as Franck Ribery tore them apart down the left wing. The Bianconeri's marking was hopeless in the face of the Frenchman's trickery, and when he danced down the left to cut in a cross to the centre for Mandzukic, Chiellini could only haul him to the turf to prevent the inevitable goal. Fortunately for the visitors, the referee saw nothing wrong with the challenged and Bayern were left cursing the decision.

After half-time, Buffon was called into action again to keep his side in the game almost straight from kick-off, but Juventus appeared to improve defensively after then and began to appear as though they could exert some control over the game. It was an illusion which did not last for long.

An earlier booking for Chiellini had provoked a chorus of cheers from the crowd in response to the perceived favouring of the visitors from the officials, but it was Juventus who were furious with the referee for the second goal. Luiz Gustavo was left free from goal 30 yards out and hammered in a decent effort which was spilled by Buffon, only for the Mandzukic, who appeared to be offside, to square it to Muller for a simple finish. The flag stayed down regardless, and Juventus were left staring at defeat.

Antonio Conte's reaction might have been expected to be the introduction of Paul Pogba to reinstate their recent 3-5-1-1 development, but instead the Juventus boss simply replaced his two strikers, Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic coming on for Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella. The visitors then suffered a further setback, as Arturo Vidal received a yellow card for a poor challenge which will see him suspended for the second leg. The Chilean's reaction was to almost score just two minutes afterwards, as his fierce drive from Stephan Lichtsteiner's cutback was just kept out by Manuel Neuer, before a brief scramble saw Bayern eventually clear their lines after Vidal went close again at the near post.

Juventus then suffered another suspension, although were unfortunate to see it - Lichtsteiner picked up a harsh yellow card for simulation after he ran into Dante. Juventus tried to string some moves together in order to salvage something from the game, but despite the introduction of their two fresh strikers and Pogba, they were unable to make any progress against Bayern's defensive ranks.

Things almost got even worse for Juventus when Vidal, already on a booking, was penalised for a poor tackle on Franck Ribery, but referee Mark Clattenburg chose not to brandish a second yellow despite the howls from the home fans. Juventus probed when they could, but Bayern were even sniffing for a third goal, but Buffon made a big save late on to keep Juventus in with a chance, tipping the ball over the bar from Mullers half-volley.

In the end, Bayern Munich were fairly comfortable in playing out the victory, and have a very favourable result to take into the second leg in Turin. Juventus simply couldn't get going all game, with their play rarely reaching their forwards and set-pieces looking their only real hope of scoring. It was a well-deserved victory for Bayern, who will be very clear favourites to progress as a result.

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