Robert Lewandowski was once again on target for Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League curtain-raiser against Red Star Belgrade. - © AFP/Getty Images
Robert Lewandowski was once again on target for Bayern Munich in their UEFA Champions League curtain-raiser against Red Star Belgrade. - © AFP/Getty Images
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Bayern Munich break Red Star Belgrade's resistance in UEFA Champions League opener

Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller got the goals as Bayern Munich finally broke the resistance of a stubborn Red Star Belgrade side to kick off their UEFA Champions League campaign with victory and go top of Group B.

Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade
Goals: 1-0 Coman (34'), 2-0 Lewandowski (80'), 3-0 Müller (90'+1)

Bayern came out all guns blazing at the Allianz Arena, with Philippe Coutinho and Corentin Tolisso both getting shots away inside three minutes, before the Brazilian rifled a thunderous effort inches over the crossbar. Red Star were limited to only occasional counter-attacks, although Benjamin Pavard had to produce a brilliant tackle to deny Milan Pavkov, while Manuel Neuer almost got into trouble dribbling out from the back before Jander fired into the side netting. From the half hour on it was all Bayern, and they deservedly broke the deadlock when Coman nodded in Ivan Perisic's inch-perfect cross from close range. Coutinho then had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, but Niko Kovac's men could easily have extended their lead before the break, with the Brazilian and Lewandowski both going close.

The five-time European champions picked up where they left off in the second half, with Coutinho whistling a long-range effort just over the bar. The Bayern attack took it in turns to try to get a second goal, with Lewandowski, Tolisso and Perisic all going close. The Croatian came within a whisker on 65 minutes as his brilliantly-attempted lob came back off the crossbar, with Lewandowski's acrobatic follow-up bouncing over the bar. A ripple of panic went around the Allianz Arena as Red Star captain Marin then fizzed an effort just wide, but Lewandowski finally settled Bayern nerves as he scrambled in a long-awaited second goal on 80 minutes. Müller even came off the bench to give the scoreline a more realistic feel, volleying home Thiago's brilliantly-executed free-kick in injury time. With Olympiacos and Tottenham Hotspur drawing 2-2 in Greece earlier on Wednesday, Bayern are the early Group B leaders.

Match stats

  • Bayern won their opening Champions League group game for the 16th consecutive time, a run stretching back to the 2003/04 campaign.
  • Lewandowski has now scored nine goals in his last six games for Bayern in all competitions.
  • Müller scored his first Bayern goal since 24 April, when he was on target in the DFB Cup semi-final win over Werder Bremen. It was his 43rd in 106 Champions League appearances.
  • Coman scored his sixth Champions League goal, having netted twice in 2015/16, twice in 2017/18 and once in 2018/19.
  • Bayern had a whopping 35 shots on goal - 10 of which were on target - while Red Star mustered only seven and failed to hit the target once.
  • The German champions now boast a positive head-to-head record against their Serbian counterparts, having won three, drawn one and lost two of their six meetings in UEFA competition.

Watch: Robert Lewandowski under the tactical microscope

Line-ups

Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Pavard, Süle, Hernandez – Tolisso (Martinez 65'), Thiago – Perisic (Gnabry 66'), Coutinho (Müller 83'), Coman – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Cuisance, Boateng, Davies
Out:
 Alaba (groin), Goretzka (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac

Red Star: Borjan – Gobeljic, Milunovic, Degenek, Jander – Canas, Jovancic (Vulic 62') – Garcia (Vukanovic 83'), Marin (c), Van la Parra – Pavkov (Boakye 70')
Unused subs: Popovic, Pankov, Babic, Petrovic
Out: Tomane (suspended)
Coach: Vladan Milojevic

As it happened

FULL-TIME

Bayern huffed and puffed for a long time in that second half before finally blowing Red Star's house down, and getting the three points their performance richly deserved. For the 16th consecutive time, the German giants have won their opening Champions League group game.

90'+1' - GOAL! BAYERN 3-0 RED STAR (MÜLLER)

Training ground magic! Bayern have a free-kick about 25 yards out, and Thiago caresses the ball over the wall for the waiting Thomas Müller, who swivels and volleys it past Borjan for 3-0. Game over.

90' - LEWY OFF THE LINE!

Müller combines brilliantly with Lewandowski, heading into the path of his strike partner, but there's a defender there again to clear the danger.

87' - NEARLY AN OWN GOAL

Milunovic tries to clear a dangerous ball at the near post and almost - inadvertently - scores Bayern's third, but his mishit clearance comes off the crossbar and is headed out for a corner. The mood is much more relaxed at the Allianz Arena since that Lewy goal.

83' - COUTINHO OFF

The Brazilian didn't get the goal he wanted tonight but showed real flashes of brilliance, and comes off to warm applause as Thomas Müller takes his place. Bayern may well have done one of the savviest bits of business of the summer transfer window bringing him in on loan from Barcelona.

80' - GOAL! BAYERN 2-0 RED STAR (LEWANDOWSKI)

And finally Bayern notch that all-important second goal! Lewandowski gets more than a helping hand from Red Star, with his low ball into the area pinballing off Jander and Gobeljic before he scrambles it home. His incredible scoring run continues - that's now nine in his last six outings.

78' - MARIN!

A great hit from the Red Star captain which whistles inches wide of Neuer's post. That caused a ripple of panic at the Allianz Arena - Bayern may have totally dominated this game, but the three points aren't in the bag just yet.

75' - GNABRY GOES CLOSE

The game has rather settled down since those changes were made, but Serge Gnabry - sporting a natty haircut - cuts inside and curls an effort slightly high and wide. Bayern appear to be caught in two minds at the moment, between going for the jugular and defending their 1-0 lead.

66' - DOUBLE CHANGE FOR BAYERN

Kovac has decided to twist, with Serge Gnabry and Javi Martinez on for Perisic and Tolisso. Bayern are up to 27 - TWENTY-SEVEN - shots on goal.

65' - SO CLOSE!

How is it not 2-0?! Perisic shows wonderful technique to control a long ball forward, which he then chips over the onrushing Borjan. It comes back off the crossbar, and Lewandowski attempts an acrobatic follow-up from six yards out - the ball bounces off the ground and over the bar! Improbable scenes.

61' - JANDER INTO ROW Z

A rare chance for Red Star after a brilliant through ball - Jander manages to get away from Kimmich on the edge of the area, but a rush of blood to the head sees him send the ball into orbit. Visiting coach Vladan Milojevic can't believe it. That was a real opportunity for the Serbian champions.

58' - LEWY OFF THE LINE

It's more or less a chance every two minutes for Bayern at the moment. Lewandowski gets to the byline and with Borjan slightly stranded, he attempts a cheeky lob from a tight angle - unfortunately there's a Red Star defender there to head off the line.

55' - AND NOW PERISIC

The Bayern attack are taking it in turns to try to get this second goal. Kimmich whips in a cross from the right, and Perisic's attempted header takes a deflection which gives him a second bite of the cherry - but his low drive is gathered by Borjan. The Canada keeper is having an excellent game.

53' - TOLISSO!

Coman comes striding forward and holds up play nicely before slipping right to Tolisso - the former Lyon man tries to squeeze his effort in at the near post, but Borjan pushes it behind for a corner. Bayern are knocking on the door...

52' - LEWY OVER THE BAR

Lewandowski scored a gorgeous free-kick against Schalke this month, but the Bayern No.9 doesn't get quite enough dip on this set piece effort, and it's out for a goal kick.

47' - COUTINHO...

... picks up where he left off! After a slick team move from Bayern, the Brazilian unleashes from 25 yards out. It's just over the bar.

46' - KICK-OFF

Marin gets the second half underway by kicking the ball straight to Bayern. How nice of him.

HALF-TIME!

It's been a lively 45 minutes at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern playing some high-octane attacking football. Coman, Coutinho and Perisic have dovetailed very nicely indeed, with Lewandowski also playing his part against a compact Red Star defence. The Bundesliga champions have had 69% of possession and 17 attempts on goal, six on target. With a little more cutting edge, Kovac's men should be able to put this one to bed in the second half.

45'+1 - LEWY GOES CLOSE

Smart footwork from the Polish goal-getter as he carves out a few yards of space in the area and fires low on goal - Borjan anticipates well and gets down to make the stop.

44' - COUTINHO AGAIN!

The Bayern No.10 looks determined to get on the scoresheet tonight. He shimmies inside from about 25 yards out and rifles an effort just wide of Borjan's left-hand post. One minute of time added on at the end of this first half.

COMAN THE BARBARIAN

The Frenchman is now up to six goals in the Champions League, after getting Bayern up and running in 2019/20. He was on target twice last term, with goals against Celtic in the group stage and Besiktas in the last 16.

40' - COUTINHO GOAL DISALLOWED

There's almost a Champions League debut goal for the Brazilian with Bayern Munich, but his close-range tap-in from Coman's pass is correctly ruled out for offside.

34' - GOAL! BAYERN 1-0 RED STAR (COMAN)

And the hosts finally break the deadlock! Fantastic work from Perisic down the left flank - a bit of fancy footwork and an inch-perfect cross for Kingsley Coman, who powers in a head from six yards out. It has been coming.

27' - SIDE NETTING FOR RED STAR

Jander comes galloping down the left flank for Red Star and the Brazilian gets a fierce drive away, but luckily for Bayern and Neuer it's into the side netting. The visitors are looking a little more ambitious on the counter, but Bayern are still in firm control.

26' - HERNANDEZ JUST WIDE

Lewandowski is holding up play brilliantly so far. He manages to roll the ball to Tolisso on the edge of the area, and the Frenchman squares for his compatriot Hernandez. The Bayern left-back is caught in two minds and his shot-cum-cross sails wide of the post.

21' - COUTINHO!

The Brazilian looks really up for it tonight, as he absolutely thunders an effort about six inches over the crossbar. If that had been a tad lower there's no way Borjan would have kept it out.

20' - FRENCH FLAIR

Bayern have all three of their reigning world champions - Pavard, Hernandez and Tolisso - on the pitch tonight, plus Kingsley Coman, who might have gone to Russia but for a serious ankle injury in early 2018. It's the latter who has Bayern's latest effort, firing just wide.

16' - WHAT A TACKLE!

Red Star finally make their first real foray into Bayern territory, with Marin trying his luck from the edge of the area - a fortunate deflection sees it fall to Pavkov about 10 yards out, but Pavard makes a brilliant intervention to snuff out the danger. World-class from the World Cup winner.

13' - CAREFUL MANUEL!

We've seen plenty of Manuel Neuer's sweeper-keeper skills down the years, but the Bayern captain almost gets himself into trouble here after miscontrolling a backpass... in the end he's forced to lump the ball out for a Red Star corner,  which comes to nothing.

10' - ALL BAYERN SO FAR

I haven't seen any possession stats flash up yet, but Bayern must be close to 80% at the moment - Red Star have barely got out of their half. The hosts are looking to use the entire width of the pitch, with Kimmich and Hernandez essentially operating as wingers.

7' - KIMMICH SHAKES IT OFF

The Germany international is back on the pitch, even if he is moving a little gingerly. He appeared to get his left foot stuck in the Allianz Arena turf and twist his ankle slightly, but apparently it's nothing too serious. In the meantime Bayern are still bossing possession...

5' - KIMMICH INJURED?

Kimmich is down in the far corner of the pitch, clutching his left ankle. Is Niko Kovac going to be forced into an early change here? Jerome Boateng has been sent for an express warm-up...

3' - EARLY CHANCES FOR BAYERN

The first shot of the game comes courtesy of Coutinho, but it's deflected off a defender and Borjan gathers comfortably. Bayern are pressing well; Perisic wins the ball back high, and feeds Lewandowski who squares for Tolisso - the Frenchman's shot is also blocked, but the hosts are off to a high-tempo start.

1' - KICK-OFF

Coutinho gets the ball rolling at the Allianz Arena!

SHOWTIME!

The players are on the pitch, the anthem is playing, we're only a few minutes away from kick-off at the Allianz Arena. Can Bayern make it a record 16 straight wins in their opening group game of the Champions League?

BAYERN'S 12TH STRAIGHT KNOCKOUT ROUND?

As you would expect from one of Europe's biggest clubs, Bayern Munich are regulars in the knockout stage of the Champions League, having reached it 11 consecutive times since 2008/09. This is how far they got in each of those campaigns...

08/09 - Quarter-finals
09/10 - Final
10/11 – Round of 16
11/12 – Final
12/13 – Winners
13/14 – Semi-finals
14/15 – Semi-finals
15/16 – Semi-finals
16/17 – Quarter-finals
17/18 – Semi-finals
18/19 – Round of 16
19/20 - ?

COUTINHO STARTS

Philippe Coutinho will indeed make his Champions League bow with Bayern tonight, joining Ivan Perisic, Kingsley Coman and Robert Lewandowski in attack. Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry are both on the bench for the record Bundesliga champions. Meanwhile Joshua Kimmich will start at right-back, with Benjamin Pavard partnering Niklas Süle in central defence and Lucas Hernandez replacing the injured David Alaba at left-back.

LINE-UPS IMMINENT!

We're 75 minutes away from kick-off at the Allianz Arena, and the team news should be filtering through in the next 15 minutes or so. Will there be a start for Coutinho? Hernandez or Davies at left-back? Find out very shortly.

LEWY ON CLOUD 9?

Robert Lewandowski has scored eight goals in his last five outings for Bayern in all competitions, including a hat-trick against Schalke on Bundesliga Matchday 2. If current form is anything to go on, the Polish goal machine is likely to get number nine tonight, and perhaps even number 10, 11, 12...

FORTRESS ALLIANZ

Bayern have a useful knack of winning most of their games at the Allianz Arena whatever the competition, but they're on a particularly handy run in the Champions League group stage, with 14 wins and a draw in their last 15 home games. The Bavarians haven't tasted defeat here since December 2013, against Manchester City, when they had already qualified for the knockout stage.

ELSEWHERE IN GROUP B...

Bayern's other two opponents in Group B are Olympiacos and Tottenham Hotspur, who are about to kick off in Greece (6.55pm CEST). The German champions will face both teams away next month, travelling to London on 1 October and Piraeus on 22 October.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the sixth competitive meeting between the clubs. The most recent was in the UEFA Cup (the precursor to the Europa League) in 2007, when a brace from Miroslav Klose and a late strike from Toni Kroos gave Bayern a 3-2 victory in Belgrade.

Prior to that, they faced each other in 1991 and 1979. Overall, both teams have two wins and a draw.

WELCOME!

Yesterday was a positive evening for Bundesliga clubs in Europe, with RB Leipzig beating Benfica 2-1 away and Borussia Dortmund drawing at home to Barcelona. Bayern will be looking to continue that trend today with three points on home turf.