Football | Serge Gnabry makes history against Spurs in London

"You could knock me over with a feather having worked with him at West Brom and seen him there to what he's done is absolutely amazing."
Tony Pulis
Sky Sports

Serge Gnabry made history last night in London.

The 24-year-old became the first player to score four goals in the second half of a Champions League game, and only the second German (after Mario Gomez in 2012) to score four in Europe’s elite competition.

Gnabry was the star of the show as Bayern Munich inflicted a humiliating 7-2 defeat on Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a result which goes down in the record books as the first time the North London club have ever concede seven goals at home.

Mauricio Pochettino’s hosts took the lead in the 12th minute, with Heung-Min Son firing past Manuel Neuer into the bottom corner after being picked out on the edge of the Bayern box.

Bayern hit back minutes later, however, with Joshua Kimmich producing a superb strike from 20 yards, which dipped past Hugo Lloris into the bottom corner.

Robert Lewandowski – continuing his rich vein of goalscoring form – gave the Bundesliga giants the lead on the stroke of half time, swiveling on the edge of the box and finding the bottom corner with an excellent low strike.

In scenes reminiscent of Gareth Bale’s decimation of Maicon at the San Siro in 2010, Gnabry tore Serge Aurier apart in the second period.

The Germany international scored Bayern’s third goal in the 53rd minute, and it was a thing of beauty.

Having played a neat one-two on the left wing, Gnabry left the sliding Aurier for dead before twisting inside past Toby Alderweireld and rifling a low shot into the far bottom corner.

Two minutes later, the former West Brom loanee made it 4-1 with another clinical finish.

Corentin Tolisso robbed the dawdling Harry Winks in a dangerous position before feeding Gnabry down the left channel.

The 24-year-old let the ball roll across his body before side-footing a low finish into the far corner, via the inside of the post.

Spurs hit back through a Harry Kane penalty just after the hour mark, but the second half belonged to Bayern. 

Gnabry grabbed his third goal in the 83rd minute, running on to a wonderful lofted through ball from the deep-lying Thiago.

The swift-footed winger left Jan Verthonghen and the out of position Aurier in his wake before tucking another perfect finish past Lloris into the bottom corner.

Lewandowski notched his second – and Bayern’s sixth – goal of the night with a beautiful side-footed finish from Philippe Coutinho’s delightful pass with the outside of his boot.

Gnabry’s historic fourth came in the 88th minute after more pedestrian defending from Spurs.

Alderweireld gave the ball away cheaply in his own half, and Gnabry fizzed a shot past Lloris from the right side of the box to seal an emphatic 7-2 victory for the visitors.

His devastating display condemned Spurs to the heaviest home defeat of any English team in European competition,  and boos rang around the stadium in the closing stages of the match.

After ultimately failing to make the grade at Arsenal and a subsequently unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom, Gnabry’s renaissance in Germany has been remarkable.

“Serge has come here to play games but he just hasn’t been for me, at the moment, at that level to play games,” Baggies boss Tony Pulis said in 2016 following Gnabry’s loan move to the Hawthorns.

He scored 11 goals in 27 appearances after joining Werder Bremen from Arsenal in a reported £5 million deal in August 2016, and joined Bayern Munich after one season with Bremen.

Gnabry was then immediately loaned to Hoffenheim, where he managed 10 goals in 26 appearances for the German club.

He returned to the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2018, and registered 13 goals last season, as well as impressing against Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League.

This season, Gnabry has plundered five goals in eight games for the Bundesliga champions.

The 24-year-old is also emerging as a key player at international level.

Since his 2016 debut, he has produce nine goals in 10 appearances for the German national team.

Not bad for a player Tony Pulis once deemed not good enough for West Brom.