Gut. Besser. Bayern.

Posted by Susie Schaaf

Unglaublich. Unfassbar. Incredible. Unbelievable. Bayern Munich throttles Barcelona 4-0 in Munich. A first-half goal by Thomas Mueller led to second-half goals by Mario Gomez, Arjen Robben and Mueller, again -- completing his brace. No team has ever come back from a 4-0 deficit to progress in Champions League history.

And the last time Barca got beat this bad? In 2007 against Getafe in the Copa del Rey.

While Barca fans on the U6 up to the stadium were chanting "Borussia Dortmund," Jupp Heynckes was keeping his game plan intact -- with no help from Pep Guardiola -- fielding an expected Startelf: Manuel Neuer in goal; a back four of Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Dante and David Alaba; Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in holding midfield; with the attack comprised of Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery and Mario Gomez up top.

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Gemuetlich, perhaps, by the groundskeepers at the Allianz Arena; getting the pitch nice and soggy where all quick passes went to die. It would take Bayern Munich a bit to adjust to conditions -- as well as Barcelona -- as balls stalled where they should not, and puddles erupted in the middle of the pitch when run across.

Robben got the first great chance for Bayern just two minutes in after Martinez back-heeled to the Dutchman; Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes saving inadvertently. But Barca would get their chances: Lionel Messi's first run was stopped by Dante. And a corner kick, after an Alaba clearance, saw (shockingly bald) Gerard Pique head just wide.

Heynckes was willing to concede possession -- which in the end went in favor 66 percent to Barcelona -- as long as they weren't able to truly break through and threaten Neuer in goal. But, Bayern Munich displayed a collective team defense with Ribery tracking back to dispossess Pedro Rodriguez.

Lahm took a rip at Barca's goal, which Pique would brush off with his forearm -- just one of several unnoticed transgressions by the towering defender -- but, on the corner given by Victor Kassai, Pique (bald) headed out of danger.

Barcelona were doing a decent job defending -- except not being able to get a handle on the mercurial Mueller -- they would pay in the 25th minute as young Thomas opened the scoring for the Bavarians. It was a header that Valdes could've saved after Robben chipped in to Dante, the Brazilian flicking across goal to Mueller.

Dani Alves would get away with another handball, Gomez saw yellow on a Marc Bartra tackle, while Bartra would see yellow as well -- taking down Mueller with his backside. Barca closed out the half pressing to their advantage with Messi's cross going past Lahm and Dante in front of goal.

Martinez saw yellow to open the second half, in a match that Tito Vilanova strangely thought he still had. Neuer did well to smother an offside Andreas Iniesta, before Bayern doubled the score on 49 minutes: Gomez volleying at the touchline from a Mueller header (after another Barca handball).

Mueller took another rip minutes later, and Robben would break -- drawing four defenders -- before laying off for Ribery who shot just wide. Schweinsteiger, too, was involved in the fun; with a free kick that Robben just narrowly missed.

Barcelona, while controlling the majority of possession, couldn't do anything with it -- garnering just one shot on goal in total for the match. Boateng and Dante were absolute rocks in central defense for die Roten.

Luis Gustavo came in for Gomez; Heynckes content to hold a two-goal lead into the Nou Camp next Wednesday. But, Bayern weren't done quite yet. Not willing to sit on their laurels, Robben got the third for Bayern on the day, with some lovely passing by Schweinsteiger and Ribery to set it up.

Minutes later Bartra whiffed Barca's most excellent chance after a free kick and a one-on-one with Neuer. And yet, Bayern would not be stopped. Mueller finished his brace -- and his excellent display of the day -- after another perfect interchange between Alaba, Ribery and Schweinsteiger.

In a tactical shocker, Vilanova would only bring in David Villa in the 83rd minute. Naive? Rigid? He would say, postmatch, that he thought he had players on the field that could still score. Hmmmmm ... Maybe he was a bit flummoxed to find out how good Bayern Munich actually are.

And now I know. Now I know how truly great this season can be. This was the benchmark. The test. The everything. And now the rest of the world knows as well. I have not been happier since 2001.

And, yeah. I cried once more.

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