MUNICH (AP) Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski both scored twice as Bayern Munich defeated 10-man Besiktas 5-0 Tuesday to all but secure progress to the Champions League quarterfinals for the seventh straight season.
Bayern played with an extra man after Domagoj Vida was sent off early for bringing down Lewandowski as the last defender, but didn’t open the scoring until the 43rd minute when Mueller netted from close range. The floodgates opened after the break, though, as Kingsley Coman doubled the lead and Mueller grabbed his second midway through the second half.
Lewandowski polished off the win with two late goals to give Bayern a seemingly insurmountable five-goal cushion ahead of the second leg of the last-16 tie in Istanbul on March 14.
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”The red card definitely played into our hands,” Mueller said after the biggest home first-leg win in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
It was Bayern’s 14th straight win across all competitions – a record for Jupp Heynckes as coach, who was spoiled for choice with all his outfield players fit.
”The keys to the win were the sending off, and then, later, the first goal before the break,” said Heynckes, whose side leads the Bundesliga by a huge margin. ”The Champions League is another competition. I think we still need to improve.”
Besiktas didn’t take up its allocation of away tickets for the game for fear of a ban following fan-trouble at Lyon in the Europa League last season, but many visiting supporters nevertheless managed to get tickets to cheer on their side.
After a promising start, Besiktas’ hopes took a blow when Vida was sent off in the 16th minute. Lewandowski was free after a mistake from Besiktas captain Atiba Hutchinson and Vida mistimed his challenge to bring him down.
Vagner Love fired a great chance over for the visitors, but Bayern dominated chances thereafter. David Alaba’s effort was blocked, then Mats Hummels headed straight at goalkeeper Fabri after a brilliant cross from James Rodriguez.
Just when it looked like Besiktas weathered the storm, Mueller got the breakthrough for Bayern before the break, scoring from close range after good work from Coman.
Lewandowski pulled the ball back for Coman to score early in the second half, and Mueller grabbed his second a quarter-hour later, prodding Joshua Kimmich’s cross in from close range.
Bayern kept pushing for more and Lewandowski was quickest to the rebound when Fabri saved Hummels’ effort late on, before Mueller set him up for his 16th Champions League goal in as many games.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness ruled out any talk of Bayern repeating its 2013 treble from Heynckes’ previous stint.
”No. That’s crazy. We have to take it from one round to the next,” said Hoeness, later contradicted by Mueller, who said the treble was ”possible.”
Chelsea drew 1-1 with Barcelona in Tuesday’s other Champions League last-16 game.
More AP Champions League coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/ChampionsLeague