Football

Mueller starts treble talk as Bayern rout Besiktas

Thomas Mueller said that Bayern Munich could repeat their 2013 treble after crushing 10-man Besiktas 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Bavarian giants have one foot in the quarter-finals with Besiktas facing a near impossible task for the return leg in Istanbul on March 15.

"Everything is possible," Mueller said when asked whether Bayern can repeat their 2013 haul of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles.

However, manager Jupp Heynckes, 72, who oversaw the treble five years ago, insisted Bayern must do better if they want all three titles again.

"The Champions League is a different competition and we must improve," said Heynckes.

"Everyone saw that we found it hard in the first half. We didn't find our rhythm, there wasn't any tempo to our game, our passing was off and we were nervous. It allowed Besiktas to attack us more.

"The opener before the break gave us a psychological advantage and, in the second half, we saw a different Bayern team.

"We scored some great goals and played some good football."

Disaster struck for Besiktas after just 16 minutes at the Allianz Arena when Croatian defender Domagoj Vida was sent off for hauling down Poland striker Robert Lewandowski as he was through on goal.

Mueller broke the deadlock just before half-time when he scored his first from close range.

The floodgates then opened after the break as Kingsley Coman struck before Mueller poached his second.

Lewandowski then scored two late goals to leave him with 29 goals in all competitions this season, as Bayern - 19 points clear in the league and through to the German Cup semi-finals - claimed their 14th straight victory.

Besiktas were making their debut in the knockout stages of the Champions League and head coach Senol Gunes said that his side learnt a harsh lesson.

"Tonight the opponents were better," he said glumly.

"After the sending-off, it became too difficult for us. We suffered mentally and physically, they took advantage.

"We tried to limit the damage and focus on the second half...We are an attacking team, but we had to defend and we couldn't play our football because the opponents were too strong." - AFP

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