Bayern Munich and Juventus may be two of the top teams in Europe, but on Tuesday it was the German side that looked truly elite.
Behind a bizarre David Alaba strike and a Thomas Muller goal in the second half to put things away, Bayern Munich earned a 2-0 victory. The German side will now head to Italy in a dominant position.
It wouldn't take Bayern Munich long to strike. In fact, it took just a minute, as David Alaba's optimistic try from 25 yards out would take a slight deflection off the foot of Juventus' Arturo Vidal and find its way into the goal.
It certainly was not the way Juventus wanted to start the match. Still, the Italian side would soon regain its composure and take control of possession. An injury to midfielder Toni Kroos would hurt Munich, and the team would bring in Arjen Robben to replace him.
Robben would nearly score minutes after entering the game, as a poorly cleared cross would land at his feet and he would have a shot on goal. It wasn't his finest effort, however, and keeper Gianluigi Buffon would make the save.
Robben would again miss on an opportunity he should have finished, this time blowing a golden opportunity set up by Thomas Muller, as Robben had a clear shot at the goal from 10 yards but sliced it wide.
Still, Bayern Munich was all over Juventus in the second half, and conceivably should have scored another goal or two and earned a penalty kick, as well. The Italian side would head into halftime dazed and needing to make adjustments to thwart Bayern's blitzkrieg.
Juventus would slow Bayern's attack early in the second half, but it would be the German side that would strike in the second half, doubling its lead.
This time, Luiz Gustavo's shot from distance was awkwardly saved by Buffon, but the rebound went straight to Mario Mandzukic, who calmly played a pass to Muller for the easy tap-in.
Juventus would press late, desperately trying to at least chip in one away goal, but it was not to be. A Bayern Munich goal in next week's tie would all but ensure that the German side advances to the semifinals, as it would force Juventus to win by three scores.
Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich: A
Few players were more threatening in this contest than Muller. He attacked from out wide, attacked centrally after Kroos was lost to injury, scored a goal and probably could have added another two. The German international was brilliant in this one, plain and simple.
Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal, Juventus: C
The best player on Juventus and one of the top midfielders in the world, Pirlo was mostly a non-factor in this game. That's a recipe for disaster for Juventus, and he'll need to be better in Italy.
Vidal struggled throughout as well and was probably lucky he wasn't called for several obvious fouls.
This midfield pair must be better if Juventus is to pull off the unlikely comeback in this tie.
Mario Mandzukic, Bayern Munich: A+
It's rare I give such a high grade for a player, but Mandzukic earned it. He spearheaded Bayern's pressure up the pitch that gave Juventus headaches all day long, and his calm assist on Muller's goal put the game away. This was one of Mandzukic's finest performances for Bayern on Europe's biggest stage.
Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus : C
The world-class keeper looked out of sorts in this contest. The first goal wasn't his fault, but he hardly looked confident throughout. Also, the awkward rebound on the second goal could have been avoided. Buffon won't be pleased with himself after this game.
Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich: C+
His pace and energy gave Juventus fits when he came on for the injured Kroos in the first half. His inability to finish two golden opportunities kept Juventus in the game far longer than it deserved to be. There's a reason Robben now comes off the bench.
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