The top two of the three remaining Bundesliga teams in this year’s UEFA Champions League played their Round of 16 second legs in Europe’s biggest club competition this week.
Both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund advanced emphatically to the quarterfinals.
On Tuesday, the Bavarian giants did not simply defend their 5-1 lead over Arsenal from the first leg, they doubled it.
Despite falling behind on the evening early through a goal by Theo Walcott, the German record champions scored five times in the second half, showing their true class.
That is not to say that they did not need some help from their opponents to start the demolition job.
Soon after the halftime break, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny knocked down Robert Lewandowski in the penalty area.
The referee pointed to the spot and meant to give Koscielny a yellow card, but an assistant corrected him and gave the signal to send the defender off. Lewandowski calmly converted the penalty kick, 1-1!
After that, the decimated Arsenal team had difficulties competing with Bayern. Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa scored once each, before a late brace by Arturo Vidal made the final score 5-1.
Despite the clear result, Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge warned his players to show humility and to resist the temptation of declaring themselves favorites for lifting the Champions League trophy, in his dinner speech broadcast on the club’s website.
As for Borussia Dortmund, they went into their Wednesday home fixture with Benfica Lisbon, knowing that they needed to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
Their talismanic striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored with one of his first touches to give his team the lead on the evening and the 1-1 equalizer overall.
Soon Benfica recovered from the early shock and participated in what seemed to be a hopeless stalemate, that may require extra time and possibly a penalty shootout to decide.
But around the hour mark, US Soccer star Christian Pulisic scored Dortmund’s second, before Aubameyang scored two more making it 4-0 on the evening and 4-1 in total.
Both Bayern and Dortmund will learn their Champions League quarterfinal fate during next Friday’s draw.