Robert Lewandowski moved joint third in the all-time UEFA Champions League scoring charts with a goal in Bayern Munich’s 3-1 win over Red Bull Salzburg, as Hansi Flick’s side booked their place in the round of 16 with two games to spare.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Red Bull Salzburg
Goals: 1-0 Lewandowski (43’), 2-0 Wöber (o.g. 52’), 3-0 Sane (68’), 3-1 Berisha (73’)
Sent off: Roca (66’)
Salzburg went toe-to-toe with Bayern for 80 minutes when the teams met at the start of November, before collapsing late on to lose 6-2. They were once again bold in their approach at the Allianz Arena, unfazed by the reputations on the opposite side of the pitch. Still, the first real chance fell to Bayern when Leon Goretzka’s header sat up nicely for Serge Gnabry, whose rasping volley fizzed just wide of the target. The away side did create some presentable chances too though, and Bayern needed Manuel Neuer at his very best to keep out quickfire efforts from Mergim Berisha and Enock Mwepu on the follow-up, while Dominik Szoboszlai will not want to see replays of his glaring miss from 16 yards out with the goal at his mercy. Such wastefulness is invariably punished by Bayern, and Lewandowski gave Hansi Flick’s side a half-time lead when he prodded in the rebound after Thomas Müller’s shot from the edge of the area was saved by Cican Stankovic.
Bayern soon extended their advantage after the interval when Kingsley Coman jinked his way inside from the left, and his shot from the edge of the area was deflected in by Salzburg defender Maximilian Wöber. The home side needed that goal too, as they were reduced to 10 men a few minutes later when Marco Roca was sent off for a second bookable offence. Salzburg understandably tried to take advantage, but were picked off on the counter-attack when substitute Leroy Sane powered in a header from Coman’s precise cross. Neuer preserved the three-goal cushion moments later with another barely believable double save, first keeping out Berisha’s shot before frustrating Mwepu on the rebound. Berisha did net a consolation eventually though, tapping in from close range from Rasmus Kristensen’s right-wing cross, but the outcome was never seriously in any danger as Bayern held on for their fourth win from as many games to seal top spot in Group A.
- Lewandowski scored his third Champions League goal of the season and 71st overall to pull level with former Real Madrid and Schalke forward Raul in third place in the all-time standings.
- USA international Chris Richards made his Champions League debut in this game, starting in the unfamiliar position of left-back.
- Roca also made his first outing in the competition in what was just his second start for the Reds.
- Bayern have only lost one of their last 25 European fixtures (W20, D4).
- Flick oversaw his 12th match as a coach in the Champions League. His record reads: 12 wins, 45 goals scored and eight conceded.
- Salzburg’s Marsch was assistant to former RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick in 2018/19.
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard (Hernandez 62'), Boateng, Alaba, Richards (Martinez 79') - Roca, Goretzka - Gnabry (Sane 62'), Müller, Coman (Costa 78') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Nübel, Choupo-Moting, Zirkzee, Musiala, Arrey-Mbi
Out: Davies (ankle), Kimmich (knee), Sarr (muscular), Süle (fitness), Tolisso (muscular)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Salzburg: Stankovic - Kristensen, Ramalho, Wöber, Ulmer (c) - Mwepu (Ashimeru 71'), Camara, Junuzovic (Adeyemi 71'), Szoboszlai (Sucic 71') - Koita, Berisha
Unused subs: Coronel, Walke, Vallci, Onguene, Solet, Farkas
Out: Bernede (shin), Daka (hamstring), Diakite (knee), Diarra (knee), Okugawa (groin)
Coach: Jesse Marsch
As it happened!
End of second half
Bayern Munich march on into the knockout stages of the Champions League. In fact, with Atletico Madrid playing out a goalless draw at home to Lokomotiv Moscow tonight, Hansi Flick's holders are already guaranteed to progress as Group A winners. They are sitting pretty on 12 points, 7 clear of Atletico in second place.
End of second half
ONE LAST HURRAH FOR NEUER!
The Bayern keeper has arguably been their man of the match tonight, and makes another brilliant stop to deny Adeyemi - even if the flag is now up for offside. That's that!
BAYERN NEARLY THERE
I've seen six minutes last for, like, 20 minutes in basketball before. That will not be the case here. Bayern just over a minute from victory.
THREE DOWN, THREE TO GO...
Nothing to report so far.
SIX MINUTES OF INJURY TIME
Most of that is down to the VAR check on Berisha's goal.
BERISHA FIRES OVER
Another free-kick for Salzburg in a promising position, but Berisha doesn't make the most of it. Bayern are closing on their spot in the Last 16!
GREAT CHANCE FOR SALZBURG!
So close to 3-2! Koita plays through to Sucic, who takes the ball around Neuer with a fine touch - but he loses his footing a little bit and when he tries to clip the ball towards goal it rolls past the far post. The stats have just flashed up and show that the visitors have had 18 shots tonight to Bayern's 10 - which tells you a bit about Neuer's performance, as well as the hosts' clinical finishing.
LEWY HAS A GO!
The Bayern No.9 finds himself in a yard of space on the edge of the Salzburg area, but he doesn't put enough power into the shot and it's easy for Stankovic. He could perhaps have slipped left to Costa instead.
TWO MORE CHANGES
Douglas Costa and Javi Martinez are on for Bayern, with Coman and Richards making way. Meanwhile Neuer makes yet another save to deny the visiting captain Ulmer.
BERISHA PULLS ONE BACK
Perhaps I spoke too soon. After a lengthy check by the VAR, the narrowly onside Berisha gets a goal for the visitors.
UNREAL FROM NEUER!
If Salzburg want to take anything from this game, they're going to have to find a way past Manuel Neuer! The 34-year-old produces another sensational double save, parrying an effort from Berisha before somehow keeping out Mwepu from point-blank range. Might as well give him the Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper award now lads, what's the point of waiting until 17 December?
SANE MAKES IT 3!
Who needs 10 men anyway? Just after having Roca dismissed, Bayern break with Lewandowski slipping the ball left to Coman. His cross into the middle is perfect, and Sane powers a header past Stankovic to surely put the game beyond Salzburg.
ROCA SENT OFF!
Oh no! Marc Roca was having a pretty solid Champions League debut, but the Spaniard is off for an early bath after a second bookable offence. Bayern will need to hold on with 10 men for the last 25 minutes or so.
FLICK RINGS THE CHANGES
Leroy Sane is on for Serge Gnabry - not sure how pleased Salzburg will be with that - while Hernandez replaces Pavard a few minutes after he took that knock.
A neat bit of interplay between Coman and Müller, but the ball is cut out by Junuzovic before the German can pull the trigger.
PAVARD TAKES A KNOCK
Benjamin Pavard's ankle looks to be in a little discomfort after a collision with Sekou Koita - who is booked for his troubles - but the Frenchman soldiers on. Flick already has a number of defensive injuries to deal with, so he may bring the 2018 World Cup winner off here.
COMAN DOUBLES UP!
Bayern make it 2-0 as Kingsley Coman cuts in from the left flank and unleashes a strike that takes a heavy deflection on its way past Stankovic. In fact, it has now gone down as a Maximilian Wöber own goal.
Maximilian Wöber (own goal)
SZOBOSZLAI OVER THE BAR
Salzburg win a free-kick just outside the Bayern penalty area, but Szoboszlai overcooks it and it's too high to trouble Neuer. The Hungarian recently scored the goal that will take his country to the Euro ahead of Iceland.
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
Bayern get the ball rolling again at the Allianz.
LEWY JOINS RAULThe Bayern goal machine is up to 71 Champions League goals, level with Spain legend Raul. One more and he will be into outright third on the all-time podium behind Cristiano Ronaldo (131) and Lionel Messi (118).
© Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
It wasn't vintage Bayern during a balanced first half, but one moment of magic was all Robert Lewandowski needed to put Hansi Flick's men in the driving seat. The Champions League holders are 45 minutes away from reaching the knockout stages yet again.
KOITA TESTS NEUER
But once again, the Bayern keeper comes out on top. One minute of additional time before the break.
Who else? The Bayern No.9 plays a cheeky backheel to Thomas Müller, who gets a shot off from just outside the area. Stankovic parries, but there is Lewy to stroke home the loose ball, and join Raul as the joint-third top scorer in Champions League history with 71 goals.
MWEPU FROM DISTANCE
But it's comfortably gathered by Manuel Neuer. The Bayern captain is dealing with everything Salzburg can throw at him for the time being.
GNABRY... NOT QUITE
Roca is picking out some lovely passes. This time he releases Gnabry inside the Salzburg penalty area, but once again the visiting defence deal with the cut-back. They're holding firm for the time being, which is more than you can say for a lot of teams who come to the Allianz...
SHOCKER FROM SZOBOSZLAI!
The Salzburg frontman is in acres of space with only Neuer to beat after a beautiful through ball from Berisha, but he loses his cool and blasts well over the bar! What a chance that was for the visitors!
ROCA FOR LEWY
Roca scoops a lovely ball up the middle for Lewandowski, but the Pole miscontrols it and can't get a shot away.
LEWY IN THE DANGER AREA!
And now Lewandowski sneaks his way to the byline just to the left of the Salzburg goal, but his cut-back is intercepted by a Salzburg defender. The men in red starting to slip through the gears again - a Goretzka effort is deflected out for another corner.
Marc Roca is growing into this game. The 23-year-old Spaniard has had some nice touches in midfield, and now wins a corner which Lewandowski heads just wide!
Neuer goes into the book for rather cheekily kicking the ball away after conceding a throw-in - and clambering over one of the Salzburg players in the process.
LEWY ON THE HUNT FOR HAALAND?Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in the Champions League last term, with 15 goals - but this term it's Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland who leads the way on six.
© CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images
THINGS SETTLING DOWN
After a brilliant spell for Bayern and a couple of chances for Salzburg, things have calmed down again at the Allianz Arena, with both sides stroking the ball around midfield.
Another chance for Mergim Berisha, who this time heads just wide from Szoboszlai's cross.
GREAT DOUBLE SAVE NEUER!
A rare mistake from Alaba allows Salzburg to pounce, but Berisha is unable to get the better of Neuer, who saves from Mwepu on the follow-up. A bit of a let-off for Bayern.
BUNDESLIGA TEAMS ENJOYING HOME ADVANTAGE
RB Leipzig may have lost in Paris yesterday, but otherwise the Bundesliga teams are enjoying themselves at home this week. We've had a 3-0 win for Borussia Dortmund and a 4-0 win for Borussia Mönchengladbach. 5-0 Bayern tonight? You wouldn't bet against it...
BAYERN UPPING THE TEMPO
The men in red are starting to motor now as they win the ball high up the pitch, and Lewandowski curls just over the bar. Getting closer!
GNABRY VOLLEYS WIDE!
What a goal that would have been! Goretzka gets up for a header in the Salzburg area and it loops out perfectly for Gnabry, whose first-time volley from the edge of the area whistles just wide of the post! The keeper was rooted to the spot.
HALF-CHANCE FOR MÜLLER!
Good work from Kingsley Coman down the Bayern right as he holds up play and feeds Thomas Müller in the centre. The local legend has plenty of time to think about it - perhaps too much - and it's easily charged down by the Salzburg defence.
RICHARDS AT LEFT-BACK
We wondered before the game whether Alaba might slot in at left-back, but the Austrian has stayed in central defence, and it's Champions League debutant Chris Richards playing on the left of Bayern's defence.
GNABRY FOR LEWY... NOT QUITE!
Bayern make their first foray into Salzburg territory and Gnabry looks to sneak a cute pass through to Lewandowski, but it's thumped clear by a defender. And now the visitors have won a corner at the other end - it's been a lively start!
FIRST EFFORT FOR CAMARA
The Salzburg midfielder gets off a low drive from just outside the area, but it's nothing to trouble Manuel Neuer. Bayern have been pegged back a little in the early minutes.
After a minute's silence in memory of Maradona, we are underway in Bavaria. Can Bayern keep their record Champions League winning streak going?
It wasn't vintage Bayern during a fairly balanced first half, but one moment of magic was all Robert Lewandowski needed to put Hansi Flick's men in the driving seat. The Champions League holders are 45 minutes away from reaching the knockout stages yet again.
PLAYERS ON THE PITCH
Kick-off is imminent at the Allianz Arena! Once we have heard the Champions League anthem, the players will pay tribute to the great Diego Maradona, who died today at the age of 60.
LEWY BACK TO SCORING WAYS?
It was practically headline news that Robert Lewandowski DIDN'T score against Werder Bremen at the weekend, such is the Pole's sizzling current form in front of goal. On the day he was officially nominated for the Best FIFA Men's Player 2020 award - for which he is surely the favourite - the 32-year-old will be hoping to make life hard for Salzburg again, having notched a brace in their meeting on 3 November.
HOW WILL BAYERN START?
Hernandez's injury means there's a space at left-back available, given Davies' ongoing absence. Richards comes into the team, but as a natural right-footer, he's likely to shift over to the right-back position. Pavard will move into the centre alongside Boateng while Alaba, a natural left-footer, should operate at full-back.
DEBUTS FOR RICHARDS AND ROCA
It's set to be a memorable night for Bayern duo Chris Richards and Marc Roca, who are both making their Champions League debut against Salzburg.
SALZBURG STARTING XI
Stankovic - Kristensen, Ramalho, Wöber, Ulmer (c) - Mwepu, Camara, Junuzovic, Szoboszlai - Koita, Berisha
BAYERN STARTING XI!
Neuer (c) - Richards, Pavard, Boateng, Alaba - Roca, Goretzka - Gnabry, Müller, Coman - Lewandowski
Can anyone stop Bayern Munich? We don't think so. Join us around an hour before kick-off for confirmed teams, live build-up and match commentary as Lewandowski and Co. go in search of a fourth straight Group A win and record-extending 15th Champions League victory...