But not just yet, it seems, after a dominant first-leg display from Jupp Heynckes's wonderfully mobile and muscular team brought a 2-0 defeat – as close to a 2-0 thrashing as one is likely to see at this stage – of a disappointing Juventus. This was a hotly anticipated meeting of the trophy clubs of Italy and Germany but by the end goals from David Alaba and Thomas Müller barely did justice to the host's superiority.
Afterwards Antonio Conte was rather gloomily defiant, pointing to his team's misfortune in going behind after 27 seconds to a deflected long-range strike and warning of greater efforts in the second leg. In truth it will take an improbably dramatic turnaround in the balance of this tie to prevent Bayern reaching the semi-finals.
Bayern arrived here on the back of a 9-2 swatting aside of Hamburg and there was much talk in Munich of the need to avoid self-immolating complacency. Indeed, there is the sense in these parts that it is only really Bayern that ever beat Bayern, though there can be a brittleness to the Bavarian swagger at times, not least when facing Italian teams, known in these parts as Angstgegner: a most feared opponent.
If there were nerves here they will have been banished by Bayern's sensational, if slightly fortunate, start. Picking the ball up in a central area 35 yards from goal the Austrian left-back Alaba let fly with a hopeful drive that skimmed, bounced and ultimately dribbled inside Gianluigi Buffon's left-hand post, sent there with the help of a cruel and decisive deflection off Arturo Vidal. Alaba celebrated like a lottery winner by the touchline as the Allianz Arena erupted with a sense of glorious disbelief.
Bayern's home ground remains one of Europe's more arresting out-of-town super-stadia, befitting one of Europe's powerhouses. It was a boisterous home crowd throughout, the noise in the opening exchanges rising a notch whenever Andrea Pirlo had the ball as Juve's playmaker drew the whistles and jeers befitting one of German football's recent bogeyman.
Conte had promised before kick-off that his team would play with no fear and Juve's collection of hard-running black and white soldier ants did respond with some brio, two archly flighted Pirlo corners in the first 10 minutes hinting at Bayern's surprising weakness at set pieces,
With 13 minutes gone Toni Kroos left the field with a tweaked groin muscle, no great hardship as his replacement was Arjen Robben, who hit the turf running on the right side of midfield, with Müller shifting adeptly to the centre. Robben stilled Juve's momentum with a series of surges down the flank, on one occasion drawing a fine low save from Buffon after fine work from Phillip Lahm.
Lahm and Robben were proving a horribly mobile threat for Juventus, with Pirlo forced to drop back and double up in defence at times alongside Giorgio Chiellini, and it was from that side that Müller created a wonderful chance for Robben with a neat cut back on 32 minutes. Steadying himself, the Dutchman shot wide from 10 yards to howls of head-clasping disbelief from the home support.
If Conte was relieved to welcome his team just a goal behind at the break, the visitors emerged entrenched into ever deeper defence at the start of the second half. Mario Mandzukic drew another save from Buffon after a galloping run and drive and for a while the match settled into a cagey affair of Bayern pressure and deep, swarming Juventus defence, with Müller scrambling around Pirlo whenever the ball arrived in his favoured holding-playmaker zone and Franck Ribéry roaming potently across the Bayern front line.
With Juve all but completely hemmed in, the second goal duly arrived on 63 minutes. Gustavo's shot from distance bounced awkwardly in front of Buffon, whose parry fell into Mandzukic's path. The Croat's cut-back found Müller, who as ever was in the perfect pocket of space to tap home.
Conte responded aggressively, replacing Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella, invisible here, with Mirko Vucinic and Sebastian Giovinco and almost immediately Vukinic fed Stephan Lichtsteiner for a shot that Manuel Neuer batted away, the Bayern goalkeeper's first proper save of the night.
The hosts continued to press, though, and by the end might have had three or four goals. The Allianz Arena erupted at the final whistle, not so much with overt triumphalism as the sense of a job resoundingly half done.
"Juventus is a top team and they will play with great motivation at home," Heynckes warned, but he will know that Bayern's fate is once again in their own hands.
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image: © jiazi