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Bayern outclass 10-man … as Napoli, Barca share spoils

A majestic, dominant, intimidating performance from Bayern ended this tie as a contest; a bedraggled, outclassed, chastened Chelsea can only hope the second leg is kept social, because if the Bavarians fancy it, they could impose an even more painful evening.

Bayern had the better of an entertaining first half, controlling the majority of territory and possession while creating the better of the chances.

The closest they came was when Thomas Muller – by far the best player on the pitch – swivelled to plant a back-header against the bar, but Willy Caballero had to be alert on various occasions to deny Robert Lewandowski. Chelsea, though, also looked lively in attack, Mason Mount flitting about to good effect.

But Bayern stepped it up another level in the second half, constructing three simple yet glorious goals in just 15 minutes. The first two were made by Lewandowski for Serge Gnabry, who now has six in two visits to London this season, and the third put on a plate for Lewandowski by the wonderful Alphonso Davies.

As Chelsea lost their discipline, Macros Alonso was sent off for chucking first elbow and then hand at Lewandoswki, though perhaps he – and Jorginho, who was needlessly incurred a booking for dissent – knew what they were doing, getting themselves suspended for the ordeal that awaits them in Munich. As for Bayern, they looked a grooved, cohesive and easily good enough to threaten the favourites.

In the other game of the night, Antoine Griezmann rescued a 1-1 draw for Barcelona at Napoli in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Frenchman Griezmann struck just before the hour mark in Naples after Dries Mertens had put the hosts ahead in the 30th minute with his 121st Napoli goal, drawing level with Marek Hamsik as the club’s all-time top scorer.

Barcelona ended the game with 10 men after Arturo Vidal was sent off with two minutes to go after picking up two yellow cards, following an angry clash with Napoli defender Mario Rui.

“In the end it’s a draw that is a good result considering that we have another home game,” said Barcelona coach Quique Setien, with his side in a strong position ahead of the second leg at the Camp Nou on March 18. – Eurosport/ATP

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