Bayern Munich recorded an historic 7-0 victory against Shakthar Donetsk on Wednesday. The Bavarians equalled their three-year-old record when they beat Basel with the same result in March 2012.
Ahead of the match, Bayern warned that Shakthar would be a real test on their way to Berlin, where Munich hope to win back the title they lost to Real Madrid last season. But, the Ukraines were nothing but a sparring partner, especially following the early red card for Olexandr Kucher and the penalty and goal which resulted from his foul.
Thomas Muller converted from the spot, and contributed another goal. The Bavarian now has 26 goals in Champions League, as many as his former teammate Mario Gomez. No Germans have scored more goals in the history of the competition.
The Bayern midfielder did not want to read too much into the result. "The situation before the match was more exciting than the game itself. But, yes, if you are allowed a wish, you certainly wish for a match like that," Muller said on ZDF TV following the win.
Centre-back Holger Badstuber on Wednesday returned to the main stage of European club football for the first time after going through a seemingly endless period of knee injuries. He made his last Champions League appearance as a starter in Bayern's 1-1 draw at Valencia on November 20, 2012.
On Wednesday, he also struck his first goal since his return to the Bayern team earlier this season. "I want to help the team, and it feels better all the time. I try to improve and return to my old form. I learn from the coach and from my teammates," Badstuber said when asked about his goal.
Prior to the match, Badstuber was one of many players to warn that it will be "a do-or-die match" against Donetsk. "It was clear right from the start that it can only turn to be a great night, and the red card played into our cards," he said.
"It wasn't an easy match. But we had a super start. And it got easier. We wanted to score the second goal, and so we did," said Jerome Boateng, who not only scored that second goal but was seen storming over the right wing to set up Mario Gotze for the final goal of the night.
The Berlin-born defender already looked ahead to the draw in over a week's time. "I don't care about our opponent in the quarterfinals. We want to reach the final in Berlin," Boateng said.