It was 55 minutes on the stadium clock and an expression of sheer confusion on the faces of Tottenham's defenders. Serge Gnabry, FC Bayern Munich's former arsenal winger, had just shredded it for the second time in three minutes, and although they had led the fight to Bundesliga champions, they faced an irreparable 4-1 deficit.
Remarkably For manager Mauricio Pochettino and his team, this was just the beginning of the pain of a night in which serious questions about their character could be asked. So far, it has been a difficult season for them, with problems outside the field, ranging from the summer to the opening weeks. Pochettino has repeatedly given the impression that he fought with one hand behind his back. Here he could do nothing to stop the attack, as Gnabry and Bayern turned the knife.
This was Gnabrys night and he ended it with a four-goal move when Spurs wilted shamefully in the closing stages. For his hat-trick, he ran away from Jan Vertonghen to collect a long ball from substitute Thiago Alcântara. It only took him two strokes before he passed Hugo Lloris, and after Robert Lewandowski had added sixth place for Bayern – the second of the evening – Gnabry Lloris struck again.
It is unbelievable that Gnabry once spent an unfortunate loan spell at West Bromwich Albion in the 2015/16 season under Tony Pulis. He has become a world star since leaving the Premier League, lighting up a throbbing night with his pace and precision. For the first time, he sent shock waves through the stadium as he accelerated, separating him halfway from Serge Aurier's slide tackle. In a blink of an eye he had reached the edge of the Spurs area before he entered Toby Alderweireld and buried a shot in the far corner.
The result strengthened the position of Bayern at the top of Group B and left Spurs after the 2-2 draw at Olympiakos two weeks ago only one point from the two games. They have everything to do to reach the knockout round for a third season in a row, but the more immediate challenge is to come to terms with humiliation. The scars are deep for some time and the fear is that they could derail their season. In their 137-year history, Spurs have never conceded seven goals at home, and never has an English team been so badly beaten in Europe at home.
It felt like a trick of fantasy when Spurs had taken the lead through Son Heung -Mindest; that they were the better team in the first 30 minutes and that Pochettino did not owe too much exaggeration when he said he felt in his most optimistic mood of the season at half-time.
Spurs started to pace at the start, and it came as no surprise when Son put them ahead after narrowing twice in the early race. Both chances were awarded by Tanguy Ndombele, the first being clearer. Son should have met, but he would make amends. Dele Alli squeezed Corentin Tolisso and it was Moussa Sissoko who provided the cut. Manuel Neuer was too late for Son.
Gnabry had shot too close to Lloris in the second minute – the first sign of his threat – and although Bayern scored the balance from Joshua Kimmich's beauty from a distance, Spurs had their chances in the first half. Harry Kane rounded out New only for David Alaba, while Ndombele was rejected after Aurier's clever backslider from Neuer.
Lewandowski's goal at halftime was the turning point and not least underscored the thinness of margins at this level. Tolisso won the ball as he lay on the floor and Lewandowski took a touch, turned and shot a low shot from the edge of the area into the corner. Lewandowski has scored in every game of the Bayern season – apart from the defeat in the German Super Cup against Borussia Dortmund, which was their only defeat. He is synonymous with efficiency.
Niko Kovac, the Bayern manager, was compassionate in his victory and said that his team simply took an unusually high percentage of his chances -2, Sissoko and substitute Christian Eriksen narrowly went for Spurs. Strange as it may sound, the players of Pochettino believed they could fight back at this time.
But it was Pochettino's Soundbite that hung heavily in the air. It was about his players giving up when Gnabry finished his hat-trick. That was unacceptable. The boos from the local crowd sounded with emotion.