From a Bayern bar in Bavaria, Champions Journalist fan reporter Lucas Gebhardt watched his side spreading the joy
The Treffpunkt (“Meeting Point”) bar in Munich’s lively district of Schwabing has always been a popular spot for Bayern fans. All of the German giant’s games are broadcast here of course, but the pub’s pool tables and dart boards – as well as its traditional and quaint Bavarian charm – also play their part in attracting fans on game day. In addition, the owner of the place has been a dyed-in-the-wool Bavarian since childhood. Fortunately we know him well – and that’s the reason a few tables were specially reserved for us regulars on this important night.
After the shaky draw in the first leg against Salzburg, the tension was palpable – would our latest Champions League adventure be coming to an end today? (Robert Lewandowski had a rather special answer to that question, but more on that later.) What I find fascinating about the composition of the group of friends I was there with is the different attitudes before every Bayern match. In addition to the optimists, who saw our team in the quarter-finals even before kick-off despite the mixed performances of recent weeks, there were also many doubters – among whom I definitely counted myself.
Thanks to the aforementioned Lewandowski, it was clear pretty early on that there was little reason to worry; that hat-trick in just under ten minutes decided the game before half-time. It was one of those dominant Champions League performances at our home ground, after having struggled away from home in the first leg. Think 7-0 against Basel, 7-0 against Donetsk, 6-1 against Porto: as in past years, Bayern suddenly turned up with an incomparable dominance.
Naturally the atmosphere in the bar was correspondingly exuberant. Because such venues in Bavaria were only allowed to reopen a few weeks ago, all the pent-up excitement that had been building up for so long was finally released on this Tuesday evening at the Treffpunkt. The ecstasy and magic of a Champions League night was yet again tangible, raising hopes for a successful quarter-final.