Bayern down and out
12 April 2022

Running on empty

Bayern München
Lucas Gebhardt

The time had come – the second leg at home to Villarreal. We were 1-0 down, but so often we have been able to turn it around at home, just as we had against Salzburg in the round of 16. Only this time, I had a bad feeling in my gut.

Not only because the level of our team had dropped in recent weeks, but also because of how well Villarreal had played all season in the Champions League. My nervousness did not abate after kick-off, or the first beer of the evening, largely because though we might have been the better team we really didn’t hit our stride. The first 45 minutes were in no way comparable to the commanding performance we had put in against Salzburg.

Same spot but contrasting emotions for Lucas this time

I was therefore all the more relieved when that changed at the start of the second half. The goal by – do I actually have to mention his name? Let's just call him the Polish goal factory – put Bayern on course. We finally looked like we could add another one or two. But that didn't happen.

Even before Samu Chukwueze equalised I feared the worst and unfortunately my instincts were proved right. The moment the Nigerian, who had only just come on as a substitute, drove the ball into the back of the net, I felt an incredible sense of emptiness, like the one I last felt in the 2012 final against Chelsea. Even if Bayern would have had no chance against Liverpool with this kind of performance, our Champions League season should not have ended like this. You never get used to moments like that; each time it is difficult to process the pain. 

Even the day after our elimination the emptiness was still there, no doubt tormenting every Bayern fan, not just me. This unique competition, which rarely forgives a mistake, was simply out of our league this year. Hopefully that will change again next season.

Our Champions Journalist fan reporter:
Lucas Gebhardt
About Champions Journalist fan reporters: These blogs have been written by winners of our annual Champions Journalist competition as well as a selection of editors from various fan page accounts. Together they offer their unique insights from the group stages all the way to the final.
Champions Journalist
With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Lucas Gebhardt
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.