Bayern Muenchen's Serge Gnabry celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Tottenham Hotspur. Picture: TF-IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
Bayern Muenchen's Serge Gnabry celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Tottenham Hotspur. Picture: TF-IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Berlin — After his four-goal haul, Serge Gnabry says Bayern Munich’s 7-2 gala romp at Tottenham Hotspur has sent a “big message” to their Champions League rivals.

Gnabry dazzled in London on Tuesday as Bayern handed their hosts the highest-yet home defeat suffered by an English team in European competition.

The former Arsenal winger netted his four goals in a devastating second-half spell while Poland striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice as Spurs’ defence capitulated.

“I think [the other teams know] we are not stopping,” Gnabry told reporters after his first Champions League goals in his 12th appearance at this level. “After going 3-1 or 4-2 up we could have stopped but we wanted more. I think it’s a big message for everyone else.”

Germany legend and Sky pundit Lothar Matthaeus agreed that Bayern “set an example to their international competition as far as the Champions League title is concerned”.

“I don’t want to say that they are title candidates, but this result will give them self-confidence,” he said.

Something special

Gnabry is no stranger to claiming goals in high-score wins after a hat-trick on his Germany debut three years ago in an 8-0 romp at minnows San Marino in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

However, the 24-year-old admits his four-goal haul is something special.

“I think the last time I scored four goals was when I was a child,” he laughed. “I’m very happy with my performance of course and glad I could help the team to such a big win,” he said. “It was a great performance — one of the best we’ve had so far.”

Spurs’ early lead by Son Heung-min was wiped out 194 seconds later by Joshua Kimmich as Bayern led 2-1 at halftime after a superb Lewandowski finish just before the whistle.

The second half belonged to Gnabry as the he broke down the left after the break, burst into the box and drilled into the bottom corner. He struck again two minutes later, firing home after Spurs’ Harry Winks lost possession.

The hosts pulled back to 4-2 on the hour mark when Harry Kane converted a penalty after a foul on Danny Rose, but it was all Bayern from then on.

Gnabry sealed his hat-trick on 83 minutes after getting behind Spurs’ defence, yet there was still time for Lewandowski to slide home a sixth for the Germans.

The result is Bayern’s second-highest away victory in the Champions League’s group phase, bettered only by their 7-1 thrashing of Roma in October 2014.

Bayern now have 10 goals from two group games to sit top of group B having seen off Red Star Belgrade 3-0 and on present form are steaming towards the last 16.

Gnabry was born in Stuttgart, but joined Arsenal’s academy as a teenager before moving back to Germany for spells at Werder Bremen, Hoffenheim and then Bayern recruited him as replacement for Arjen Robben in 2017.

He said knowing his family were watching in London urged him on. “I believe the pressure helped a bit. My dad said I had to play well,” but Gnabry insisted the German league leaders must stay focused.

“Seven goals don’t happen often, but we have to keep our feet on the ground,” he said. “If we do that then performances like that can come more often. It was a great night and we’re in a good place now in the Champions League.”

Germany’s media swooned over his four-star performance with football magazine Kicker full of praise for “Gala Gnabry”, while daily Bild enthused “Blimey Bayern”.

AFP