Bayern Munich produced a scintillating second-half display to beat UEFA Champions League Group C rivals Barcelona on Robert Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Barcelona
Goals: 1-0 Hernandez 50' (assist: Kimmich), 2-0 Sane 54' (assist: Müller)
Bayern faced 10 goal attempts in the first half, including a handful from returning striker Lewandowski, who left the record champions for Barcelona over the summer. Pedri was the first to try his luck, but could not squeeze his shot past Manuel Neuer’s outstretched boot. Lewandowski sent a volley from inside the area over, before having a point-blank header thwarted by his spread-eagle former captain. After shooting wide from 18 yards, Raphinha was denied a shot at goal by the incendiary Alphonso Davies's sensational recovery challenge. Substitute Noussair Mazraoui then put his body on the line to prevent Lewandowski getting a shot off from inside the area. Bayern’s best chance fell moments earlier, but Thomas Müller and Sadio Mane got in a muddle as they both went to apply the finishing touch to Jamal Musiala’s low cross from the right.
Julian Nagelsmann sought to redress the balance with the introduction of midfielder Leon Goreztka for Marcel Sabitzer. The move had the desired effect as Bayern forged ahead within five minutes of the restart. Marc-Andre ter Stegen punched a Goretzka piledriver wide for Bayern’s first corner, which Joshua Kimmich dinked towards the near post for the unmarked Lucas Hernandez to head home. Leroy Sane added a second barely four minutes later, the in-form Bayern winger racing onto Müller through-ball and calmly rolling past the advancing ter Stegen. Pedri clipped the outside of Neuer’s right-hand post after being played in by Lewandowski, before Musiala chanced his arm with a shot from distance following a mazy run. Bayern proceeded to show all their experience to see out the game and move outright top of Group C on six points from two games.
- Bayern have won nine of their 12 Champions League games against Barcelona (D1 L2), including each of the last five in a row.
- The six-time winners have also won their last 12 group games at home, and have equalled Real Madrid's record of 30 straight group wins.
- Sane scored his sixth competitive goal of the season, and second in as many Champions League games.
- Müller, celebrating his 33th birthday on the day of the game, has scored eight goals in eight Champions League appearances against Barcelona, which is three more than anyone has ever scored against the Catalans in the competition.
- Lewandowski scored 312 goals in the Bundesliga to sit second in the all-time chart and won the title 10 times (eight for Bayern, two for Borussia Dortmund).
- Barcelona’s nine Champions League defeats to Bayern are more than twice as many as they have lost against any other opponent (four vs. AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea).
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Pavard (Mazraoui 21'), Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies – Kimmich, Sabitzer (Goretzka 46') – Sane (Tel 80'), Müller, Musiala (Gravenberch 80') – Mane (Gnabry 69')
Unused subs: Ulreich, de Ligt, Choupo-Moting, Stanisic
Out: Coman (hamstring), Sarr (patella tendon)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Barcelona: ter Stegen – Kounde, Araujo, Christensen (Garcia 70'), Alba – Pedri, Busquets (c) (Kessie 80'), Gavi (de Jong 61') – Raphinha (Ferran Torres 61'), Lewandowski, Dembele (Fati 80')
Unused subs: Inaki, Tenas, Bellerin, Pique, Depay, Jordi Alba, Balde
Out: Roberto (hamstring)
As it happened
WHAT A WIN!
Bayern rode their luck in the first half, but were brilliant after the restart. Leon Goretzka's introduction change the game, ahead of Hernandez and Sane goals. They go top of Group C on maximum points after two matches. It just wasn't Lewandowski's night - thankfully!
Hernandez is off the pitch receiving treatment. Looks like it could be his groin...
TIME ADDED ON
Three minutes for Bayern to get a hard-fought win over the line...
THE STUFF OF CHAMPIONS
Bayern are still under 50 percent for possession and have had fewer shots - yet lead 2-0. Europe, take note!
Sane gets a standing ovation as he makes way - he's been brilliant again tonight. Seventeen-year-old Mathys Tel, who became Bayern's youngest scorer at the weekend, is on. Gravenberch also enters the fray to beef up the midfield, with Musiala heading off. Messrs Fati and Kessie are on for Barcelona.
Bayern are on course for a 12th straight home win in the Champions League groups.
Bayern get very lucky as Lewandowski clips a pass through to Pedri, who only has Neuer to beat from about six yards out. He does that, but his clipped shot hits the outside of the upright and goes wide.
Bayern in their groove now as Musiala exchanges passes with Sane, before blazing over.
Bayern score again! Mazraoui wins back possession and sends Müller rampaging through the Barca half. He threads through Sane who, with Barca attentions perhaps drawn to Mane, slaloms into the box and rolls a shot past the advancing ter Stegen. Incredible stuff since the restart!
Goretzka smashes an effort towards goal, forcing ter Stegen to beat the ball behind for Bayern's first corner. Kimmich drops his delivery in at the near post, where Lucas Hernandez arrives unmarked to head home!
GOAL!1 : 0
Goretzka is on in an attempt more control to the midfield, but Barca are on the attack immediately as Raphina arrows wide from distance. For a moment, it looked like that was going in.
GOALLESS AT THE BREAK
Superb entertainment for the neutral at the Allianz Arena, though Bayern can count themselves a touch fortunate to be level. Neuer's had to make two big saves, including one from Lewandowski, who might have had a couple of goals on another day. Food for thought for Nagelsmann, despite some promising counter-attacks led by the twinkle-toed Musiala.
It's on a plate for Lewandowski in the Bayern box. He pulls the trigger, only for Mazraoui to slide in and prevent a certain goal. Bayern on thin ice...
THE ROAD RUNNER
Davies uses his pace and power to stop Dembele, who goes to ground wanting a penalty. Hernandez launches a long pass up to Sane as the referee waves play on. He finds Musiala in the box, but his attempted square ball to Müller is cut out.
Musiala bamboozles the Barca defence with a quick turn of pace on the corner of the area. His cross is right on the money towards the penalty spot, but Müller doesn't realise Mane is better placed behind him and toes wide on the stretch with his left foot.
TALE OF THE TAPE
Bayern are at just under 50 percent for possession - an absolute rarity, particularly in front of their own fans. They've also had just the three goal attempts, compared to Barca's nine.
We all know Sabitzer can hit a ball, and that's not far away at all from the Austrian. Ter Stegen doesn't move as his 18-yard strike whistles past the upright.
END TO END!
Mazraoui tests ter Stegen with a tame shot from outside the area. Musiala then works his magic to create an opening, but Müller's attempt to help it on is cut out. Barcelona look long for Lewandowski, who runs at Hernandez and tries to find Raphina in the box. He's all alone, before Davies appears from nowhere to clear. Superb recovery challenge by the rapid Canadian!
Bayern enjoy a promising spell in the Barcelona half, but each time the ball into the box from out wide is steered clear. Barca break out at the third attempt with Raphina, who exchanges passes with Lewandowski and drives narrowly wide from 18 yards.
Pavard hasn't been able to shake off that earlier knock. Noussair Mazraoui, who made his full Bundesliga debut at the weekend, is on.
Raphinha delivers a cross towards the post. Lewandowski meets it from close range, but Neuer makes himself big to make the block.
BAYERN PAST MEETS PRESENT
Bayern almost pay the price for pushing too high. Dembele drives into the space left by Kimmich and Sabitzer, before finding Pedri. Upamecano and Hernandez are almost in the right-back position as the ball is shifted into the penalty box for Lewandowski. He controls well, but sends his volley over the crossbar. He used to bury chances like that at the Allianz Arena!
Neuer with a rare mistake, the Bayern skipper playing his attempted pass straight to Lewandowski. Luckily for Bayern, Upamecano is alert to the danger and uses his sizeable frame to force the Barca No.9 away from goal.
Bayern turn it over quickly as a Barca attack breaks down. Müller plays a ball over the top for Sane, who cuts inside and sees a shot charged down. Confident start by Nagelsmann's side.
Bayern are caught out in their own area. They don't stop Lewandowski, who squares to Pedri. He cuts inside and shoots low, forcing Neuer into a strong save with his right boot.
Bayern get the advantage as Pavard is bumped over in the Bayern half. Sane tries to thread a ball through to Mane, but Barca clear their lines.
A roar rings out as Dembele lose possession. Musiala's on the case, but Barca manage to get the ball back to ter Stegen, who miscues his attempted kick, much to the delight of the Bayern fans.
EYES ON UPAMECANO
There was a lot of debate in the German press prior to the game: de Ligt or Upamecano in defence? Nagelsmann has plumped for the latter, the Frenchman's experience in training and as a Leipzig player up against Lewandowski, as well as his pace, proving key.
Lewandowski heads down the line to exchange niceties with every single Bayern player in the tunnel. Classy stuff ahead of the traditional pre-match pomp.
UNBEATEN IN 2022/23
Bayern are unbeaten in nine competitive matches so far this term, winning six. Barca have won five in a row, since drawing their La Liga opener with Rayo Vallecano 0-0.
While Bayern were busy winning their 10th straight Bundesliga title last season, Barca finished some 13 points behind La Liga champions Real Madrid. They also went out of the Champions League at the group stage, before losing their Europa League quarter-final tie to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
MÜLLER - THE SCOURGE OF BARCA
Thomas Müller celebrates his 33th birthday day. He has quite the record against Barca: eight goals and two assists in seven games - six wins among them!
GROUP CLeroy Sane scored one and made the other as Bayern won 2-0 away to Inter Milan on Matchday 1. Lewandowski scored a hat-trick, meanwhile, as Barca thumped Viktoria Plzen 5-1 on home soil. The Czech side are currently 2-0 down to Inter in Group C's other Matchday 2 fixture.
DON'T GIVE LEWY THE BALL
It's simple enough, but plenty of Bundesliga teams stopped Lewandowski scoring down the years. "I don't know if Lewy is their most dangerous player, but I'm sure he's their biggest goal threat," Nagelsmann warned of Lewandowski, who has nine goals in six games as a Barca player. "But if he doesn't get the ball, it will be difficult for him to score."
'HOUSE OF HORRORS'
"I wouldn't call it the house of horrors - it's just Bayern's ground," commented Barca head coach Xavi in his pre-match press conference. "We've never won at the Allianz and that shows how difficult a place it is to go. They're one of the best teams in the world."
WE 8-2 DO THIS TO YOU, BARCA
Remember when Bayern beat Barca 8-2 in their one-legged 2019/20 Champions League quarter-final. Ex-Barca right-back Nelson Semedo won't be able to forget it, as much as he'd like to!
Bayern have won six of their last seven against Barcelona - including a pair of 3-0 group triumphs last term - while Barca have come out on top in just two of their last eight fixtures with Bundesliga opposition on German soil (D4, L2) - and never in Munich (D1, L3).
MORE ON THOSE TEAMS
After making six changes for the 2-2 draw with Stuttgart, Nagelsmann recalls Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Marcel Sabitzer, Leroy Sane and Sadio Mane. Xavi also rotatated pretty heavily for the 4-0 win over Cadiz. Lewandowski and ex-Borussia Dortmund winger Ousmane Dembele are among the players to be recalled. Jules Kounde lines up at right-back, in the absence of Sergi Roberto.
BAYERN STARTING LINE-UP
Neuer (c) – Pavard, Upamecano, Hernandez, Davies – Kimmich, Sabitzer – Sane, Müller, Musiala – Mane
Ulreich, de Ligt, Gnabry, Goretzka, Choupo-Moting, Gravenberch, Tel, Mazraoui, Stanisic
BARCA STARTING LINE-UP
ter Stegen – Kounde, Araujo, Christensen, Alba – Pedri, Busquets (c), Gavi – Raphinha, Lewandowski, Dembele
Inaki, Tenas, Bellerin, Pique, Fati, Ferran Torres, Depay, Jordi Alba, Kessie, de Jong, Garcia, Balde
NAGELSMANN WARNS OF REVAMPED BARCA
"We know Barcelona. They've got a number of new signings. Some of them have immediately taken on a key role, like Robert Lewandowski. They have a whole new spirit. You can forget about the recent wins against Barcelona. They're very active, their Gegenpressing reminds you of the days when Xavi himself played. They've developed well and have a number of very interesting players like Pedri and Gavi. They want to attack again. They're a tough opponent."
LIFE AFTER LEWANDOWSKI...
... is pretty rosy for Bayern. The record champions have scored 31 times in their first nine competitive matches of 2022/23, with Sadio Mane hitting five and having as many chalked off. Leroy Sane, who orchestrated the 2-0 win over Inter Milan on Champions League Matchday 1, has four goals and three assists; Jamal Musiala has scored six and set up another; Serge Gnabry's had a direct hand in seven; and Thomas Müller's contributed four. The closest fit to a Lewandowski-style No.9, 17-year-old Mathys Tel has already made history as Bayern's youngest scorer with his goals in the DFB Cup and Bundesliga.
WATCH: THE GREAT LEGENDOWSKILewandowski scored 344 goals in 375 appearances for Bayern between 2014 and 2022, before joining Barca in the summer. The Poland striker broke all manner of individual, club and Bundesliga records, whilst contributing to some of the record champions' greatest triumphs. Will the Bayern fans give him a warm Bundesliga welcome?
HOLD ONTO YOUR HATS!
Do games get much bigger than this? Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona, with a splash of a certain Robert Lewandowski - you do not want to miss this!