Bayern have set themselves the task of replacing them with the clear efficiency that has been a trademark in recent years. Alphonso Davies came out of the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer last year. The signing of Benjamin Pavard was announced in January, but the French World Champion will not be admitted to the squad until the summer. Only Chelsea's stubbornness prevented Bayern from bringing Callum Hudson-Odoi, an 18-year-old English winger, who had never started a Premier League match last month. Bayern Munich has the atmosphere of a club that feels it has had enough time for emotions. A change was needed and it is imminent.
This Bayern team had not been to Anfield before: Of course, individual players had visited, but never in bulk. Since 1981, there was no competition event between these clubs. Lewandowski confirmed in the days before the game that he wanted to try it, to put another iconic stadium from the list. The German news media focused not a little on the (sometimes overdone) transmission of Liverpool's house, which was strengthened last year from the run of the host to the final of this competition.
And yet, a single Bayern player did not seem confused for a moment, unsettled or overwhelmed by the situation, by the opportunity. Even in the first few minutes, as Liverpool tried to gather steam, search for scratches and search for a single doubt, Bayern played with ease, serenity and control.
Liverpool carved a handful of openings. half chances and opportunities seized and insights into the gate, and the crowd grew and it was perceived possibilities, and the Bayern did not blink. Neuer played again and again contemptible passes on the edge of his box, unaffected by the risk. Thiago Alcantara glided around in midfield. James Rodriguez floated into space.
It is true that this Bayern team has passed its peak. It is also true that when this point is reached, the descent tends to be steep. However, it is not consistent and not immediate.
This is still a team that includes a variety of World Cup winners and Champions League winners and serial Bundesliga winners. It is still a team that was rated as one of the top four in Europe in this decade, with the exception of two seasons. Your problems, shortcomings and shortcomings are relative. If Bayern Munich falls, this falls from a great height. It can still carry people along the way.
At the end of Tuesday night, when the Liverpool players filled their fists and embraced their coach Jürgen Klopp – who rightly celebrates a hard-fought, highly competitive night – the Bavarians strolled to their fans, packed in a corner at the Anfield Road booth. They stood laconically as they took their applause and brought it back, as they had done hundreds of times. These are the stadiums these players belong to and have been for years. They will clear it soon enough, but they will do it in their own time.