Robert Lewandowski scored for the 18th competitive club game in a row as Bayern Munich opened their 2021/22 UEFA Champions League campaign with a surpremely polished win in Barcelona.
Barcelona 0-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Müller (34'), 0-2 Lewandowski (56'), 0-3 Lewandowski (85')
Bayern went into their Group B opener fresh off a demonstrative 4-1 win at RB Leipzig. The confidence continued to flow at Camp Nou as Leroy Sane sent a free-kick into the wall, before Leon Goretzka curled a deflected strike at Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Gerard Pique put in a goal-saving challenge to deny Jamal Musiala, but the Barca captain was only delaying the inevitable. After Ronald Araujo sent a header comfortably over Manuel Neuer’s goal with a rare moment of Barca promise, the record champions forged ahead. Thomas Müller took aim from 18 yards following a wonderful one-touch team move, with the ball landing in the back of the net via a deflection off Eric Garcia.
Bayern proceeded to keep Barca at arm’s length in the second half, whilst asking serious questions of the opposition defence. Sane was denied a fabulous solo goal by ter Stegen’s outstretched right foot, before Lewandowski gave Julian Nagelsmann’s dominant ensemble daylight. The Pole applied a routine finish into the empty net after Musiala had rattled the woodwork from range, to extend his record of scoring in every competitive game so far in 2021/22. Lewandowski added his second following another effort against the post - this time from substitute Serge Gnabry - as Bayern put down a serious marker for the European season ahead.
- Bayern have scored at least once in a European record 77 consecutive competitive fixtures.
- Lewandowski won the European Golden Shoe last season with 41 goals. He has scored seven goals in his last five Champions League appearances.
- Müller's now level with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on 217 Bayern goals, behind only Lewandowski (304) and Gerd Müller (523).
- Musiala made his 45th competitive appearance for the Bayern first team.
- In Alphonso Davies and Josip Stanisic, two of Bayern's most-used back four this season are still eligible for U21 football. A third, Dayot Upamecano, is still only 22.
- Ter Stegen - Manuel Neuer's understudy for Germany - kept 36 clean sheets in 108 Bundesliga appearances with Borussia Mönchengladbach before moving to Spain in 2014.
Barcelona: ter Stegen - Ronald Araujo, Garcia (Mingueza 66'), Pique - Roberto (Demir 59'), F. de Jong, Busquets (c) (Gavi 59'), Pedri, Alba (Balde 74') - L. De Jong (Coutinho 66'), Memphis
Unused subs: Neto, Inaki, Dest, Puig, Lenglet, Umtiti, Gonzalez
Out: Aguero (calf), Braithwaite (knee), Dembele (hamstring), Fati (knee), Wague (knee)
Coach: Ronald Koeman
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard (Hernandez 66'), Upamecano, Süle (Stanisic 82'), Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Sane (Coman 82'), Müller (Sabitzer 82'), Musiala (Gnabry 70') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, O. Richards, Choupo-Moting, Cuisance, Sarr, Roca, Nianzou
Out: Früchtl (collarbone), Tolisso (calf)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
As it happened!
Brilliant from Bayern. They'll take some beating in Europe, with assured away performances like this one.
GAME, SET AND MATCH!
Lewandowski makes sure of the points for Bayern! Gnabry fires against the post, with the ball coming back out to Lewy. He rolls Pique and fires in with the aid of a deflection from six yards.
Nagelsmann rings the changes, with new signing Marcel Sabitzer among them.
Musiala's put in another mature performance on this his 45th competitive outing with the Bayern pros. It was the 18-year-old's seventh Champions League game, and third start.
Substitute Philippe Countinho, who the 2019/20 season on loan at Bayern, fires high, wide and not so handsome. 'O Magico' scored eight goals and provided six assists in 23 Bundesliga appearances as Bayern stormed to an eighth straight league title. He had a hand in a goal every 101 minutes of action, during which he completed 85 per cent of his 781 passes, and was also involved in another three goals as the German champions recorded the best group stage in Champions League history.
BAYERN STRIKE AGAIN!
Barca have their backs to the wall as Davies pings in a shot from range. It's deflected out to Musiala, who thunders an effort against ter Stegen's left-hand post, with Lewandowski turning the loose ball into the empty net. So polished from Bayern, this display.
Leroy Sane toys with the Barcelona defence. The ball sticks to his twinkle toes like glue, before he bends low and hard towards goal. Ter Stegen sticks out his right leg to deny his Germany teammate a fabulous solo goal.
Barcelona work the ball up to roaming left-back Alba. His cross is deflected out to Busquets, whose stinging 20-yard strike spins behind off Müller for a corner.
BAYERN IN CONTROL
Utterly professional stuff from Bayern. They've controlled the game for large parts, looked solid defensively and a nuisance in front of the Barca goal.
There it is - the opener! Bayern play cat and mouse with Barca, some lovely one-touch stuff leaving Pique and Co. chasing shadows. The space opens up for Thomas Müller on the edge of the area, and he takes full advantage with a curling effort that sails in off Eric Garcia. It had been coming.
Bayern with another quick turnover up to Müller. He tries to clip a ball into the six-yard box, but Barca got bodies in the way as Sane and Kimmich go for goal. Lewandowski was offside, in any case.
Depay whips a free-kick over from the right. It finds the head of Araujo, who sends a powerful effort over.
Bayern win the ball back and break with Müller. He feeds Musiala, who beats his man and drives goalwards from inside the box. Ter Stegen dives low, but it's a sliding Gerard Pique who makes the block. The six-time winners look a real threat every time they get into the final third!
Bayern come again with Thomas Müller, who drives at the Barca defence. He lays the ball off to Goretzka, before continuing his run. The return pass is a bit tame, though, and it's hoofed clear.
Bayern with the move of the contest so far. Leroy Sane picks up possession and has a crack from 12 yards, but ter Stegen is down well to beat it away.
OVER AND OUT
Barca work the ball well down their left-hand side with Jordi Alba. His cross finds Roberto, who balloons over.
Leon Goretzka shows his marker a few step-overs on the edge of the area, before attempting a shot through the legs. A deflection takes the sting out of the effort, and former Gladbach keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is able to gather.
A ball's clipped into the feet of Lewandowski on the edge of the Barca box. He digs it out and turns to goal, before going to ground following an apparent push from Araujo. Referee Michael Oliver is unmoved, though.
Busquets is involved as Barca win the game's first corner. It doesn't come to anything as Bayern break. Lewandowsku wins a free-kick, which Leroy Sane plants into the opposition wall. Lively start.
Kimmich drags back Frenkie De Jong on halfway, The Bayern general will have to watch his step now...
Bayern are pushing high into the Barca half - not quite Hansi Flick high, but effective all the same.
The ball's rolling in the Catalan capital, where temperatures are hovering around the 25C mark.
LIFE AFTER MESSI
Barcelona have won two and drawn one of their three La Liga games since Lionel Messi's move to Paris Saint-Germain. Their scheduled fixture with Sevilla over the weekend was postponed due to the number of players who'd be arriving back late from international duty.
THE NAGELSMANN WAY
Bayern are unbeaten in six competitive matches under Julian Nagelsmann, winning five. The 33-year-old is dipping his toes in the Champions League group stage for the fourth time, having steered Hoffenheim into the competition against all odds and overseen back-to-back UCL campaigns whilst in charge of Leipzig, reaching the semi-finals in 2019/20.
MAN FOR THE OCCASION
Thomas Müller grabbed a brace on that famous night in Lisbon. He rocks up at Camp Nou tonight with six goals in five matches against Barcelona to his name.
THE DAY BAYERN SUNK BARCA'S BATTLESHIP - AGAIN!Bayern had enjoyed themselves against Barcelona before, thumping them 7-0 on aggregate on the way to completing a Bundesliga, DFB Cup, and Champions League treble in 2012/13. A statement win in the 2019/20 quarter-finals seemed even more special. Bayern came from a goal down to lead 4-1 at half-time in the one-legged tie in Lisbon. The second period witnessed the same scoreline as the record champions ran out 8-2 winners. Five days later, Serge Gnabry scored twice and Robert Lewandowski once in a 3-0 semi-final victory over Lyon. And on 23 August 2020 Flick’s team finished what they had started. Joshua Kimmich set up Kingsley Coman for the only goal in the final against Paris Saint-Germain.That win completed a treble that would later become a sextuple of trophies. It was rich reward for a stylish Bayern team who had shown against Barcelona how devastating they could be.
© getty images
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
Julian Nagelsmann makes two changes to the Bayern team that won 4-1 in Leipzig at the weekend. Jamal Musiala, who grabbed a goal and assist from the bench in that game, replaces the injured Serge Gnabry. Niklas Süle returns at centre-back, at the expense of Lucas Hernandez. Perhaps with their 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern in the 2019/20 quarter-finals still fresh on their minds, Barca opt for a three-man backline.
BAYERN STARTING LINE-UP
Neuer (c) - Pavard, Upamecano, Süle, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka - Sane, Müller, Musiala - Lewandowski
Ulreich, O. Richards, Gnabry, Coman, Choupo-Moting, Cuisance, Sabitzer, Sarr, Hernandez, Roca, Nianzou, Stanisic
BARCA STARTING LINE-UP
ter Stegen - Garcia, Pique, Ronald Araujo - Roberto, F. de Jong, Busquets (c), Pedri, Alba - L. de Jong, Memphis
Neto, Inaki, Dest, Puig, Demir, Coutinho, Lenglet, Mingueza, Umtiti, Gonzalez, Gavi, Balde