Bayern München had suffered a great loss against FC Barcelona 4-0. Besides being outclassed, Bayern had suffered the tight match schedule and led the squad were not fit enough to match the world class team like Barcelona. You may wonder Barcelona also had such a harsh match schedule but why there were such a difference. So this is what my aim in this post.
Squad rotation system
In some extent squad rotation system can keep the players fit. Pep Guardiola definitely could do it right. Take Lionel Messi from Barcelona and Franck Ribery as an example. Guardiola did not put him in last Saturday's league match and keep him fit for Wednesday clash. So that was why he was so energetic and scored twice. Not only this time, Messi sometimes did not play at full match in league or cup matches. He might play for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes rather than full match. So Messi was always very fit in every match. Oppositely, Franck Ribery was very unlucky. He did not have a decent break since the season started. Every single time he played for full 90 minutes every match. So even he was very skillful and very speedy, when the season came to an end, his fitness started not to support his skills and speed. Recent two matches showed Ribery was really out of gas. As Bayern did believe in squad rotation system, it turned the starters were cooked and the bench players were raw.
This is the difference between these two as well. The squad was so deep that everybody can look each other's back. Last paragrah mentioned Messi was so fit because he didn't need to play every minute of the game, in fact it was also because the squad had cover. Even without Messi, Krkic Bojan and even Sergio Busquets were all ready to relieve him. Eidur Guojohnsen also a fit utility to relieve not only Messi, but also to Thierry Henry, or Samuel Eto'o. Even Andrea Iniesta and Xavi had a reliever such as Seydou Keita. They had 26 players in the squad and at least 20 of them were healthy and fit. However, Franck Ribery from Bayern did not have any reliever at all. He was required to play every single second of the match so no wonder he complained to upper management to require more helps or he left. Seriously there was nobody to cover his back so that was why when he was in trouble, the whole team was in trouble. On the other hand, after the winter transfer there were only 22 players in the squad. This definitely was not looking good. Now Bayern only had 5-6 players were healthy, but I am not saying they are fit. So there is a huge difference.
I can say if Barcelona keep playing like this, nobody can stop them. They are the hot favorite to be a treble winner since Manchester United in 1999. I believe Bayern will win maybe 1-0 or 2-1 in second leg as Bayern wants some respect back and Barcelona do not need to fight hard. I believe Bayern fans will not see Lionel Messi in Allianz Arena, as 4-0 is good enough for going to Semi Final.