Bayern expose United's areas of weakness
Manchester United led for twenty-two precious seconds. The substitutes and coaching staff spilled out on the touch-line to celebrate Patrice Evra's stunning strike. Yet, this all-conquering Bayern side bore the look of a sleeping bear, waiting to be poked. And when it was, it awoke to destructive effect.
Bayern are indisputably a formidable side, powered by Jupp Heynckes last season and further enhanced by the wisdom of Pep Guardiola. When Evra shot United into the ascendency with the away goal, Dante urged his colleagues to up their game, which had been conservative and lacking any urgency for 57 minutes. Mario Mandzukic, attracting potential suitors in the Premier League, took advantage of Evra's high adrenaline to head home before Thomas Muller and the incredible Arjen Robben dumped David Moyes out.
That itself was widely expected, given the quality at Guardiola's fortunate disposal. With Bastian Schweinstiger suspended in controversial fashion, Guardiola simply inserted Toni Kroos in the deeper role to efficient effect. Moyes could do with Kroos's services in the summer and a host of others.
Moyes will be given £200m to spend this summer in a unprecedented overhaul of personnel. Skipper Vidic's departure, to Italian club Inter Milan, is a certainty with the likes of Evra and Rio Ferdinand in line to follow him out of Old Trafford. Evra was culpable for Bayern's second and third while Michael Carrick once again disappeared in the midst of a big European night - it's not rocket science to ascertain the 32 year-old's lack of quick feet, an attribute required at this high level. He was overrun by the mastery of Kroos and the trickery of Mario Gotze. Kroos would be a substantial upgrade in United's depleted midfield department with Luke Shaw or Everton's Leighton Baines certain to replace Evra in the summer.
Moyes too was out-witted and tactically out-classed. Guardiola's unpredictable nature regarding tactics is a great trait, instructing Alaba and Lahm to play centrally either side of the assertive Kroos to aid ball retention, a contrast to Moyes's perplexing substitutions. Chasing the game, the Scotsman sent on Adnan Januzaj in a deep role and left Hernandez isolated in attack. Bewildering.
Yet, it is not the first time in which the former Everton boss's tactics have been doubted. It has epitomized his reign at Old Trafford, one of sceptiscm and criticism. Now, the protection of the Champions League has disappeared - he is exposed to the elements more than ever. Bayern exposed his side's areas of weakness more than ever.
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