A compelling case against Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich reign
Thirteen minutes of Lionel-Messi magic turned what was an even Champions League semi-final into a foregone one, as Barcelona stung Bayern Munich with three late goals to give Pep Guardiola an unpleasant homecoming.
While the locals toasted their game-changing genius, Guardiola was left a broken man in the aftermath of defeat, speaking at his post-match press conference like a man resigned to the fact that there is nothing left to play for.
Having taken over a team that had won the treble the campaign before, the Spaniard has left many questioning whether his arrival has actually taken the German giants, who are now 11/1 to qualify for the final, backwards.
There are certainly a number of damning stats that suggest Guardiola is failing in his attempts to live up to Bayern’s expectations, especially where the Champions League is concerned.
In the three semi-final ties the Bavarians have played under the former Barcelona icon, they have lost by a collective 0-8 scoreline.
Their latest stinging loss comes after the club suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the second leg at this stage last season, after managing to keep the tie finely balanced with a 1-0 loss in the first leg.
Although Guardiola is winning the Bundesliga at a canter, sealing glory with seven games to go last term and four this season, it could be argued that finding their domestic assignment so easy is actually harming Der FCB.
The club have now lost the first three games after sealing the Bundesliga for the second consecutive season, as the squad struggle for fluency as Guardiola tinkers with his starting XI and the players relax.
A lack of immediate candidates to replace him perhaps saves the former Blaugrana midfielder his job, but he’ll have to find a winning Champions League formula if he is to keep it for the foreseeable future.