So was it just a case of one great team giving another great team a good seeing to, or did it represent a changing of the guard in the hierarchy of European football?
Either way, Bayern Munich’s demolition of Barcelona at the Allianz Arena last week was as impressive a performance as we can remember since, well, Borussia Dortmund hammered Real Madrid the following night.
There have been enough people willing to put their head above the parapet and say that this Barcelona side, so dominant at home and abroad since Pep Guardiola (ably assisted by current manager Tito Vilanova) took over in the summer of 2008, have been in decline for some months now.
Some were even desperate for it to happen. You always get contrary philistines, don’t you?
Well for all those people, Christmas came early last week.
Munich’s 4-0 win was as complete and as dominant as you could imagine in a match of such magnitude (bringing back memories of Milan’s demolition of Barca in the 1994 final) and it has left people queuing up to proclaim the greatness of the Bundesliga and the end of an era for the best side seen in football over the last 25 years (at least).
While I’m not going to call the death knell on Barcelona, or, as it happens, the ‘tiki-taka’ style of football that they have invented and perfected, I am 100% certain that their involvement in this year’s Champions League is over, along with all other sane commentators.
Because there is no way that Munich are letting this slip and I must admit, I am surprised by how many people are surprised at how good Bayern are.
A traditional powerhouse of Europe, this is a side that has reached two of the last three finals and who should really be European champions as we speak.
But with the tie all but over, I find the three way market a tough one to call here. Barcelona are the favourites at 4/5, with the draw at 7/2 and Bayern at 12/5, and you can make a case for all three results.
The Catalans at just under evens for a match at the Camp Nou will understandably attract interest, and with good reason.
With the exception of Real Madrid, Hercules were the last team to beat Barcelona on their own patch in any competition, and that was way back in September 2010: that means their only defeats in 94 home games have been the two losses to their arch-rivals.
But if that case can be made, then Bayern’s form is almost too sensational to comprehend.
Jupp Heynckes’ side haven’t lost domestically since October, and since the winter break they have won 20 of their 21 matches – their only defeat being the return last-16 leg against Arsenal when, at 3-1 up, they were effectively through in any event.
But it is that match against the Gunners that is nagging away at me before I go in on the 12/5.
Bayern didn’t even get out of first gear that night and nearly paid the price: on Wednesday, in an even more commanding position, will history repeat itself?
I think the fact they are playing a far superior side than Arsenal will mean they are on their guard from the off, and it is for that reason my play is going to be the 9/5 that there are under 2.5 goals.
Now I realise that is going against the grain, but I think this could be cagier than people imagine and a price of 9/5 is absolutely massive – far too big to pass up.
The odds have been skewed towards over 2.5 goals purely because Barcelona need plenty of them – but does that mean they are likely to get them?
As hinted at above, Barcelona have not been the imperious, swashbuckling outfit we have come to expect since the turn of the year, and although one almighty effort can’t be dismissed out of hand, I see nothing in their performances to suggest the comeback to end all comebacks is on.
And even at their best, they would have their work cut out scoring against this Bayern side.
The Bundesliga champions have let in just three goals in their 15 league away games this season, keeping 12 clean sheets, with nine of those 15 games seeing under 2.5 goals.
Bayern don’t need to score, they need to make sure they don’t give Barca any encouragement with an early goal and I think the Germans will play a disciplined, containing game and with three consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League, they are more than capable of that.
Only twice in their last 18 Champions League matches have Bayern let in more than one goal and I think they can frustrate Barca enough to ensure they get the job done.
Only one team are actively trying to score – if Munich score early, the match is likely to peter out into nothingness – so the 9/5 that there are two goals or fewer could look massive come the end of 90 minutes.