Dominant Bayern trounce Chelsea; Napoli and Barca all square

Berlin, Serge Gnabry struck twice as Bayern Munich enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at Chelsea while Dries Mertens became Napoli’s joint all-time scorer in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Bayern were in command in their last 16 first-leg match at Stamford Bridge in another impressive display in London following their 7-2 victory at Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage when Gnabry bagged four, dpa reported.

Gnabry twice combined with Robert Lewandowski to put Hansi Flick’s side in complete control, and the Poland striker notched the third for Bayern to be confident of place in the quarter-finals.

To make matters worse for Chelsea, Marco Alonso was sent off with seven minutes remaining following a video review for an arm in the face of Lewandowski. Midfielder Jorinho will also be suspended for the second leg after picking up a booking.

Gnabry started the move which led to the 51st-minute opener for the German champions, feeding Lewandowski and taking the striker’s cutback to finish emphatically in front of goal.

The two combined again following a Manuel Neuer clearance for Gnabry to stroke the ball wide of Willy Cabellero in goal in the 54th.

Lewandowski then finished in front of goal in the 76th after a surge down the left by Alphonso Davies for Chelsea’s heaviest defeat in a European home game.

It’s always good to return to London, former Arsenal player Gnabry told Sky TV. We put a lot of pressure on them and are of course delighted with this result.

Bayern had enjoyed the better of the first 45 minutes but went into the break goalless after Thomas Mueller had a backheader hit the bar, while Caballero twice foiled Lewandowski.

Chelsea did fire a warning when Mason Mount’s cross went dangerously across goal, and a second chance followed when Neuer had to save from Alonso on the break.

Chasing two goals, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, who was a player when the Blues beat Bayern in the 2012 final, sent on Tammy Abraham and Willian just after the hour and later winger Pedro for full-back Cesar Azpilicueta, but Lewandowski’s third goal put Bayern firmly in charge for the return leg on March 18.

The performance was poor and sometimes you have to be brutally honest. They outclassed us in every department and it’s quite sobering, Lampard told BT Sport.

The level of team they are is why they challenge in the Bundesliga and Europe year in year out. I’m disappointed we couldn’t do more against them. We have to take it on the chin and work towards getting back to the levels we want to be at.

Flick meanwhile told Sky TV: The team was very concentrated over the whole 90 minutes. We controlled the game and are very happy and satisfied.

The Champions League game in Naples in southern Italy was not affected by the coronavirus outbreak which has affected some parts of northern Italy.

Mertens put the Serie A side ahead on the half hour with a well-placed shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.

It was the Belgium international’s 121st goal for Napoli, putting him level as club top scorer with Marek Hamsik.

Barca levelled in the 57th when Antoine Griezmann met a cross from Nelson Semedo to finish with the visitors’ first shot on target for a result which keeps both sides unbeaten in the Champions League this season.

Barca though ended with 10 men after midfielder Arturo Vidal was shown two quick yellow cards by German referee Felix Brych, officiating a record 57th Champions League game, after first fouling and then touching heads with Mario Rui.

On Wednesday, Olympique Lyon play Juventus, while Real Madrid host Manchester City.

Last week’s last-16 ties saw wins for Atletico Madrid (1-0 at home to holders Liverpool), Borussia Dortmund (2-1 at home to Paris Saint-Germain), Atalanta (4-1 at home to Valencia) and RB Leipzig (1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur).

Source: Bahrain News Agency