Bayern Munich are eager to accept a challenge, but they may have found their master in English side, Chelsea. In a Champions League quarterfinal tie, Felix Magath's club received a 4-2 thrashing at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea's Didier Drogba, left, leaves Olli Kahn without a chance
Even with coach Jose Mourinho banned from the bench, Chelsea showed they can perform without their talented but controversial leader. On Wednesday, they proved that at the moment, there is probably no other better team in Europe, winning handily against an overmatched Bayern Munich 4-2.
The game kicked off ominously for Felix Magath's Bayern when England midfielder Joe Cole's deflected shot got Chelsea off to a flying start four minutes in. Munich never truly threatened throughout the first half, their best chances coming off free-kicks. On the other end, Chelsea created pressure but nothing the Bayern defenders couldn't handle. England's national midfielder, Frank Lampard, came closest to bumping up the lead for Chelsea in the 34th minute when his shot from just outside of the mailbox sailed just past the right post.
Little was heard from Bayern Munich's striker Paolo Guerrero, left, who here battles for possession of the ball with Chelsea's Damien Duff
To start the second-half, Magath inserted midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and the 20-year-old who single-handedly led Bayern to a 3-0 victory against Wolfsburg on the weekend, equalized in the 52nd minute. Lampard then hit a left-footed double as the Bayern defense struggled to control Chelsea's long boots from their own end.
Last-second decision incenses Chelsea
Didier Drogba thought he had sealed affairs in the 80th minute, stabbing the ball in after a goalmouth scramble. But an injury-time Michael Ballack penalty gave Bayern hope for the second leg in Germany next Tuesday. After the game, Chelsea's John Terry was fuming over the referee's dubious decision to blow the whistle when Ballack was dropped in the box.
"We felt that the referee should have been onto Ballack as he was doing it all night," the English defender complained. "There's taking the mickey and there's taking the mickey and I think that's what he's done. It takes a shine not only off their performances but also off a big night."
The second goal has made a difference for Bayern. Be it manager Uli Hoeness, coach Felix Magath or players up and down the line, they are confident that they can pull off the necessary victory next week. "We can win 2-0 or 3-1," Uli Hoeness said with conviction. If so, they would win on aggregate goal difference.
Coach Felix Magath badly needs the services of some sorely missed players in London. "I hope that (striker Roy) Makaay, (striker Claudio) Pizarro and (defender Martin) Demichelis are available on Tuesday. Then I am optimistic that we can turn the deficit around."
Was he or wasn't he sending text messages? Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho is banned for the two Champions League fixtures against Bayern but he is also staying away from the stadium leading some to believe the wily Portuguese coach is sending secret messages
For the second leg, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho (photo) again will be absent -- the question of where he will be is still a mystery. He did not appear at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, leaving many to speculate he was sending text messages or calling from home to the stadium. After the clear success without him, Mourinho may want to keep some distance between himself and the bench more often.