Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola have reached a crossroads after Tuesday’s Champions League exit to Barcelona, with the team in need of renewal and the Spanish coach under growing pressure to deliver European silverware. Guardiola’s arrival two years ago was supposed to herald another great European era for the Bavarians after their 2013 treble. They had reached the Champions League final in 2010, 2012 and 2013 before signing him.
The 44-year-old has so far failed to take the side beyond the semi-final stage in his two seasons in charge, Tuesday’s 3-2 win not enough to give them a place in next month’s final. And while Bayern won the domestic double last season and the league this time around it was to capture a sixth elite European trophy that he was brought to the club. Bayern’s ambitious bosses wanted European glory and they wanted it fast.
They lost to Leverkusen in the league, crashed out of the German Cup, went down 3-0 to Barcelona and were beaten by Augsburg in the league last week to round off their first four-game losing streak since 1991. Guardiola won 14 titles in four seasons at Barcelona, including two Champions Leagues, but Bayern’s 5-3 loss on aggregate to the Spaniards has proved to everyone in Munich that he is no magician.