Bayern Are So Good That Even Guardiola May Not Improve Them

Pep Guardiola will take over Bayern Munich in the summer, but will the ex-Barcelona manager be able to improve a side that swatted aside a strong Juve side? Plus verdicts on Chiellini, Schweinsteiger and Müller...
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Pep Guardiola will take over Bayern Munich in the summer, but will the ex-Barcelona manager be able to improve a side that swatted aside a strong Juve side? Plus verdicts on Chiellini, Schweinsteiger and Müller...

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It has been a fine week for Bayern Munich. Not only did they secure their 23rd league title with a record six games remaining at the weekend, but they also eased past Serie A leaders Juventus on Wednesday evening to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Bavarians have been in outrageous form this season. Not only do they sit 20 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with the trophy already in hand, conceding just 13 goals to date, but they have carried their performances into Europe.

Their 2-0 victory over Juventus in Turin, coupled with their win at the Allianz-Arena of the same scoreline, Bayern now progress into the final four with fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund and the El Clasico pairing of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Schweinsteiger is the pigs bollo*ks

There has been one man at the centre of the action throughout the season, both domestically and in Europe, that has glued Jupp Heynecks' team together. That man is Bastian Schweinsteiger. The 28-year-old is arguably one of the most complete central midfielders on the European stage and is a real maestro in the middle of the field.

It was Schweinsteiger who grabbed the goal on Saturday to ensure the Bundesliga trophy returned to the club, and he was again the man-of-the-match in last night's clash with Italy's Old Lady. The Germany international completed the 90 minutes with more touches of the ball (103) than any other on the pitch, and by some margin as well.

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To say he pulled the strings in the game is an understatement. And that is some achievement considering he was sharing the midriff on the pitch with Andrea Pirlo and the domineering Paul Pogba.

Schweinsteiger displayed his incredible passing facility by providing the whipped cross for Mario Mandzukic's opener just after the hour mark, and also slipped the ball through to Claudio Pizarro in the dying embers of the game for the Peruvian to conclude the scoring.

Müller Lacking Substance

Despite Bayern forward Thomas Müller averaging a goal every other game in the Bundesliga this season, he failed to get a foothold in last night's game. His feet seemed to repel the ball whenever it came close, and he was dispossessed four times when he did manage to get it under control - twice as many times as any other player on the pitch.

The 23-year-old was also disgustingly wasteful in front on goal. For a frontman with an average shooting accuracy of 63% in the German topflight this season, you'd be surprised that from his five efforts at goal in Turin he failed to hit the target once.

Müller was also joint top of the fouls committed list for the visitors, which is perhaps an indication of his increasing frustration at the way his individual performance was panning out.

Chiellini's fine form not enough

There was one man who stood out for the hosts - Giorgio Chiellini. The 28-year-old Italian is a giant in every sense of the word. It looked for a long time that the centre-back would deny Bayern stretching the lead they carried over from the first-leg, and he was also proactive in starting attacks of his own from the backline. Chiellini ended the game as Juventus' most involved player with 72 touches, and can also boast a remarkable 90% passing accuracy, completing just two passes fewer than the pass-master himself, Andrea Pirlo.

It wasn't just with the ball at feet that Juve's vice-captain impressed. No, Chiellini also restricted Bayern's attacking prowess with an incredible 10 interceptions - almost treble anyone else in a black and white shirt, made four clearances, and threw his body on the line to block a strong shot.

Leading from the back is a phrase very apt for describing the three-time Serie A defender of the year.

Pep Talk

It is difficult to see how Pep Guardiola is going to improve this rampant Bayern side when he takes over next season. It is almost a lose-lose situation for the man widely recognised as one of the best coaches in world football.

A vast change in playing style could curb the team's high-tempo, fluid style of play and also detach the likes of Arjen Robben, who hasn't passed the ball to a teammate since he slipped into his first pair of boots as a young boy.

I suppose the former Barcelona boss could win the Bundesliga with seven games remaining, whilst also winning the Champions League and the DFB Pokal - both of which they currently sit in the semi-final of.

It is that easy, Pep.