Bayern have won six titles in the last nine months, but after returning from Qatar with the World Club Championship two weeks ago, their incredible year looked like it was catching up on them.
In their last two league games, Bayern were sloppy while being held to a 3-3 draw at home by Arminia Bielefeld, before losing at Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend.
Bayern have been simply relentless since Hansi Flick took over, so they could have been forgiven for feeling the effects of blitzing past everyone who dared stand in their way.
Fine Calhanoglu strike gives Inter statement win over Barcelona
But in 45 minutes on Tuesday night Bayern quickly quashed any suggestion they had taken their foot off the gas. It has been 21 years since Lazio were in the Champions League knockout stages, but after the lesson they were taught by Bayern in the first half at the Stadio Olimpico as they went into the interval trailing 3-0, they might not mind if it is 21 more until the next one.
- Bayern put four past Lazio in first leg
- Opinion: Simeone way has been successful, but against Chelsea it was unnecessary
Lewandowski - Lazio-Bayern Monaco - Champions League 2020/2021 - Getty Images
Image credit: Getty Images
What the very best teams do after they win titles is they look at ways they can get even better, and with top football clubs, that means which players can a winning side bring in to reach even greater heights.
What Bayern have done, rather than splash the cash, is to look within their academy, and they have unearthed a player who spent much of his youth in England, is eligible to play for both England and Germany, and one, who at just 17, already looks at home in this well-oiled supreme unit.
Jamal Musiala is not just a bit-part player, or one who is likely to be embedded slowly into the Bayern team, but one who is already keeping established, trophy-laden names out of the team.
Against Lazio, Musiala was given a free role behind Robert Lewandowski, scorer of Bayern's first goal, entrusted to show what he can do on the grandest stage of all - the Champions League knockout round - and the teenager repaid Flick's faith, handsomely.
Aged 17 years and 363 days, Musiala became just the second 17-year-old to start a Champions League knockout game for Bayern, after David Alaba in March 2010 against Fiorentina.
And, with his fine finish to put Bayern 2-0 up after just 24 minutes in Rome, rifling home on the edge of the box with the confidence of a seasoned pro, Musiala became the second-youngest player to score in the knockout stages of the Champions League, after Bojan (17 years 217 days) netted for Barcelona against Schalke in the quarter-finals in 2007-08. He is now the youngest-ever English goalscorer in the competition, too.
The next generation is here, and the records continue to fall.
Musiala became the youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga for Bayern when he made his debut against Freiburg in June, aged just 17 years and 115 days. And Musiala then also chalked his name into the records book as Bayern's youngest scorer with a goal against Schalke after coming off the bench on the opening day of the season.
Then, on Musiala's second start in the Champions League and fourth appearance in the competition, he grabbed his first continental goal.
There has been an almighty scramble at international level for Musiala but the 17-year-old has declared for Germany. Musiala - in line with what we have seen before - took it all in his stride.
Lewandowski scores only goal as Barcelona overcome Mallorca
Vinicius Jr, Bellingham, Pedri - 10 best U23 players to look out for in Qatar
Share this article