Leroy Sane scored twice as Bayern Munich maintained their perfect start in UEFA Champions League Group E with a comfortable 4-0 win at Benfica.
Benfica 0-4 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Sane 70', 0-2 Everton o.g. 80', 0-3 Lewandowski 82' (assist: Sane), 0-4 Sane 84' (assist: Stanisic)
Bayern monopolised possession from the get-go at the Estadio da Luz, the scene of their 2019/20 Champions League final triumph over Paris Saint-Germain. Robert Lewandowski tested former VfB Stuttgart goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos inside two minutes, before Sane clipped an effort wide. Lewandowski and the returning Kingsley Coman went close with a pair of headers either side of a sensational Manuel Neuer save to thwart Darwin Nunez against the run of play. Sane and Lewandowski ramped up the chance count, with the latter denied an opening goal for a VAR-confirmed handball.
Normal service resumed after the restart as Vlachodimos touched Benjamin Pavard's ferocious effort onto the woodwork. Thomas Müller had the ball in the back of the net soon after, only for VAR to intervene for an offside against Coman. Benfica took heart as Diogo Goncalves forced Neuer into another impressive save and Roman Yaremchuk shot wide, but their luck ran out in the 70th minute when Sane curled home an unstoppable free-kick. Coman fired off a pair of long-range attempts, before Everton put a Serge Gnabry cross through his own net for 2-0. Late Lewandowski and Sane goals added the gloss to Bayern’s third straight Champions League win.
- Lewandowski has scored five goals in three Champions League games in 2021/22. Only Ajax's former Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastien Haller has hit more (six).
- Sane has scored six and assisted eight in 13 competitive appearances so far this term.
- Nagelsmann’s side are the top scorers after three rounds of fixtures on 12 goals.
- Neuer is yet to concede in this season's competition. He became the fourth Bayern player to reach 100 Champions League appearances.
- Bayern are unbeaten in 11 UEFA matches against Benfica.
- The record champions have not lost away in the Champions League in a tournament record 20 matches, dating back to a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the 2017/18 groups (W16, D4).
Benfica: Vlachodimos - Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen - Almeida (c) (Goncalves 40'), Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo - Silva, Yaremchuk (Everton 76'), Nunez
Unused subs: Leite, Gilberto, Meite, Pizzi, Radonjic, Taarabt, Paulo Bernardo, Goncalo Ramos, Morato, Ferro
Out: Lazaro (muscular), Seferovic (muscular)
Coach: Jorge Jesus
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard (Gnabry 66'), Upamecano, Süle, Hernandez (Richards 86') - Kimmich, Sabitzer (Tolisso 86') - Coman (Musiala 86'), Müller (Stanisic 77'), Sane - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Früchtl, Choupo-Moting, Sarr, Roca, Nianzou
Out: Davies (thigh), Goretzka (cold), Ulreich (knee)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
As it happened!
BAYERN STAY PERFECT
Wow. A fabulous late flourish sees Bayern claim a comfortable victory in Lisbon, which means they have won their first three games of this season's Champions League campaign without conceding a goal. It finished 3-0 against Barcelona, 5-0 against Dynamo Kyiv and now 4-0 against Benfica. The six-time European champions are looking like the team to beat in this season's competition.
BAYERN'S LATE BLITZ
Bayern's patience has been rewarded, and they've completely blown Benfica out of the water in the closing stages here. It's going to be another big win for the Group E leaders, who already have one foot in the knockout stage.
What's going on?! This is Germany vs. Brazil at the 2014 World Cup stuff - or Bayern against Barcelona from a few seasons ago, if you prefer - they're scoring every time they go forward. Sane grabs his second after a neat ball into the area from Stanisic.
AND LEWY MAKES IT THREE!
Game over. Bayern get a healthy slice of luck as Gnabry's cross into the area pinballs nicely into the path of Sane, who squares for Lewandowski to tap in from close range.
GOAL!0 : 3
BAYERN DOUBLE UP!
And surely that is that. It's a tale of two substitutes as Gnabry gets to the byline on the right-hand side and pulls across the area - only for Everton to head into his own net!
ALMOST A WORLDIE FROM COMAN!
The Frenchman bursts forward on the left flank, cuts inside and hits an absolute piledriver that blazes just over the bar.
There'll be no 50th Champions League goal for Thomas Müller tonight, but it's been another good shift from the Bayern No.25, who makes way for young defender Josip Stanisic.
BAYERN LOOKING TO PUT THE GAME TO BED
Coman curls one over the bar and Bayern are straight back on the attack, they want to make the three points safe.
UPAMECANO ON A CHARGE
The French defender is well inside the Benfica area when he's brought down by Nunez, who seems to have hurt his knee in the process.
And this one won't be ruled out by the VAR! A magnificent direct free-kick from Sane to finally give Bayern the lead they deserve.
AND NOW YAREMCHUK!
This is an even better chance for Benfica, with Yaremchuk outmuscling Upamecano before whistling a shot just wide of the far post. A let-off for Bayern!
GONCALVES BLASTS OVER
He had options there, but luckily for Bayern he decided to fire high into the stands.
FIRST CHANGE FOR BAYERN
And it's an attacking one, with Gnabry on for Pavard. The former hit a brace against Bayer Leverkusen on the weekend.
LEWY JUST OVER
Müller makes a clever run into the Benfica area to pick up a long throw-in, then crosses for Lewandowski - whose header sails over the bar.
COMAN THE BARBARIAN
Kingsley Coman is torturing Goncalves down the left-hand side whenever he gets the ball. If Bayern do make the breakthrough, you feel it's likely to come down his flank...
Another of Bayern's Frenchmen goes into the book, this time for pulling back Rafa Silva.
He's the first Bayern player to pick up a yellow card, for a foul on Yaremchuk. From the resulting Benfica free-kick, Verissimo heads just wide.
Another one-handed beauty of a save from Neuer to tip a powerful attempt from Goncalves over the bar. A timely reminder that Benfica could still sneak this against the run of play...
ANOTHER DISALLOWED GOAL
It looked like Bayern had broken the deadlock again, but this one is also ruled out by the VAR, for offside against Thomas Müller. The Bayern man appeared to have got his 50th Champions League goal after more magic from Coman, but Benfica survive for a second time.
AND NOW MÜLLER HITS THE BAR!
But the flag is up for offside.
PAVARD OFF THE WOODWORK!
Bayern pick up where they left off by laying siege to the Benfica area. More brilliance from Coman down the left, and his cross in is met by Pavard on the other side - think his effort against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup - but his ferocious strike crashes back off the woodwork, it's a great save from Vlachodimos. Müller then has a shot blocked. Bayern off to a quick start in this second half!
SECOND HALF UNDERWAY
Benfica kick us off again in Lisbon.
Bayern will probably be a little frustrated that the scoreline remains 0-0 after an impressive first-half showing. The record Bundesliga champions had three times as many attempts as Benfica (9-3), while Lewandowski had that goal ruled out for offside. With a little more cutting edge, Julian Nagelsmann's side should be able to make it three wins from three in Group E.
And now a heavy collision between the two number 5s, Pavard and Vertonghen. The foul is given against the Belgian but he appears to be worse off than the Frenchman. Both men OK to play on.
FOUR MINUTES OF ADDED TIME
Meanwhile Otamendi is booked for a spectacular charge on Kimmich.
LEWY GOAL RULED OUT!
It looked as though Robert Lewandowski had put Bayern ahead from a Coman cross, but he knocked the ball in with his arm and the goal has been chalked off after a VAR check.
BENFICA LOSE THEIR CAPTAIN
A blow for the hosts as their skipper Almeida is forced off with injury.
SANE INCHES WIDE!
Leroy Sane is also causing Benfica all sorts of headaches tonight, but the Germany international can't quite find the bottom corner as he comes skipping through the middle, putting his effort just wide of the post.
ALL SQUARE IN LISBONBayern are dominating against Benfica but it remains 0-0!
Almost a goal made in France as Pavard's deflected cross reaches Coman at the back post, but he heads over after the ball takes an awkward bounce. That was reminiscent of the goal he scored in this stadium to win the 2020 Champions League for Bayern against his boyhood club PSG.
Phenomenal reflexes from Manuel Neuer to keep out an effort from Nunez, who got away for Benfica on the counter. The form he's on, you wouldn't be surprised if the Bayern keeper makes it to 200 Champions League appearances...
The German giants have had over 60 per cent of possession, and five shots to Benfica's one.
The Frenchman has been very lively down his left flank tonight - this time he cuts inside and fizzes one on target, forcing Vlachodimos to concede a corner. It comes in but Sabitzer is penalised for a foul in the air.
BAYERN SOLID AT THE BACK
Grimaldo whips in a free-kick for the hosts but nobody gets on the end of it, and then a couple of moves from the men in red are broken down by a well-organised Bayern defence. The Bundesliga champions are in black tonight.
BENFICA UNDER THE COSH
Their coach, Jorge Jesus, is looking a little stressed as he prowls around his technical zone. Nagelsmann is not here tonight due to illness (see below), so his assistant coach Dino Toppmöller is the man on the sidelines for Bayern.
Leroy Sane takes it, but fires over the bar.
BAYERN ASSERTING CONTROL
The visitors are winning the midfield battle at the moment, although they've been caught offside once or twice in the last few minutes. They now have a free-kick just on the edge of the Benfica area...
WIDE FROM YAREMCHUK
The hosts finally make their first meaningful foray into the Bayern half, but Roman Yaremchuk's header is well wide. The Ukrainian lands awkwardly but he's OK to play on.
MILESTONE NIGHT FOR BAYERN?
Not only is Neuer celebrating his 100th Champions League appearance here, but Thomas Müller could become just the eighth man in history to reach 50 Champions League goals. The Bayern No.25 is currently on 49.
The Pole with a header from point-blank range after Coman's cross and it's a great save from Vlachodimos. Benfica are hanging on, just about.
EVEN THE DEFENCE GETTING INVOLVED
It says something about Bayern's intentions that Upamecano and Pavard are both involved in their latest attack, with the Frenchman's scooped effort gathered by Vlachodimos.
JUST WIDE FROM SANE!
A lovely ball over the top from Thomas Müller and the stadium goes very quiet as Leroy Sane bears down on goal, but his attempt is just wide of the post. All Bayern so far.
QUICK START FROM BAYERN
The visitors have kicked off this game with their usual intensity, and are already applying pressure around the Benfica penalty area. Remember, they put FIVE past Bayer Leverkusen inside 37 minutes on the weekend.
Already a first warning shot fired across the bows as Lewandowski meets Coman's cute cross into the area, but Vlachodimos tips his volley over - and at any rate the flag is up for offside.
AND THEY'RE OFF!
Bayern get us underway in Portugal.
CENTENARY FOR NEUERManuel Neuer makes his 100th Champions League appearance for Bayern, becoming only the fourth player in club history to reach the milestone. The 35-year-old has lifted the trophy twice since leaving boyhood club Schalke in 2011 - as part of Bayern's 2012/13 treble and as captain of the 2020 sextuple winners.
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Barcelona are leading Kyiv 1-0 in Group E's other Matchday 3 encounter. The Catalan club are a few minutes from recording their first Champions League win of the campaign.
Bayern are unbeaten in 10 UEFA matches against Benfica, winning three and drawing one of the last four. They have not lost away in the Champions League in a tournament record 19 matches - dating back to a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the 2017/18 groups (W15, D4) - and are currently enjoying a European record run of scoring at least once in 83 consecutive competitive matches.
WEIGL THE HEARTBEAT
Ex-1860 Munich and Borussia Dortmund midfielder starts for Benfica. The five-time Germany international made 116 Bundesliga appearances, before moving to Portugal in January 2020. Ex-Stuttgart stopper Odysseas Vlachodimos lines up between the posts, while winger Nemanja Radonjic, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Hertha Berlin, is among the substitutes.
Vlachodimos - Verissimo, Otamendi, Vertonghen - Almeida (c), Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo - Silva, Yeremchuck, Nunez
Leite, Gilberto, Everton, Meite, Diogo Goncalves, Pizzi, Radonjic, Taarabt, Paulo Bernardo, Goncalo Ramos, Morato, Ferro
As expected, Nagelsmann misses out with a "flu-like infection". His assistants Dino Toppmöller and Xaver Zembrod will fill in on the Bayern touchline.
Back in action as a second-half substitute aganst Leverkusen following heart surgery, Kingsley Coman makes his first start of the season. Serge Gnabry, who scored twice on Sunday, drops to the bench. Marcel Sabitzer replaces the unwell Leon Goretzka, and there's a reshuffle at the back. In the absence of Alphonso Davies, Niklas Süle moves inside to accommodate the returning Benjamin Pavard, while Lucas Hernandez switches to left-back.
Neuer (c) - Pavard, Upamecano, Süle, Hernandez - Kimmich, Sabitzer - Coman, Müller, Sane - Lewandowski
Früchtl, Richards, Gnabry, Choupo-Moting, Sarr, Roca, Nianzou, Tolisso, Musiala, Stanisic
AND WHAT OF BENFICA?
Benfica finished third in the Primeira Liga last season, runners-up in the domestic cup and reached the UEFA Europa League round of 32. Jorge Jesus' troupe came through Champions League qualifiers against Spartak Moscow and PSV Eindhoven to reach the 2021/22 group stage, and are top of the Primeira Liga with 21 points from a possible 24.
VLACHODIMOS ON HIGH ALERT
VfB Stuttgart-reared Benfica goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos pulled no puches in his pre-match assessment of the record champions. "In sporting terms, we don't need to discuss the quality of Bayern," the Benfica No.1 told Stutgarter Zeitung. "Everyone knows how good they are, and we all know their strengths. Robert Lewandowski is in excellent shape and he might even win the Ballon d'Or."
LEWANDOWSKI FOR THE BALLON D'OR?Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne has said Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski "would be my pick" for this year's Ballon d'Or. Lewandowski looked to be the obvious choice for the 2020 honour after scoring an incredible 32 goals in just 26 Bundesliga matches over the calendar year and 55 goals in 47 competitive outings for Bayern. Those goals helped his team win the treble - only for the Ballon d'Or award to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But the evergreen Poland captain picked up where he left off, and was later named the Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year. He found the net 41 times in 34 Bundesliga matches in 2021, and has hit 15 in 11 outings so far this term.
WATCH: LEVERKUSEN 1-5 BAYERNHere's what Bayern did to their nearest challengers in the Bundesliga at the weekend. Five first-half goals, including in four in seven minutes, simply blew Leverkusen away. Benfica beware!
According to reports, Bayern will be without head coach Julian Nagelsmann at the Estadio da Luz. The 34-year-old, who has overseen 10 wins and a draw in his first 12 games at the helm, is apparently unwell.
THE STORY SO FAR
Bayern have made an omninous start in Group E, winning 3-0 in Barcelona and thumping Kyiv 5-0 last time out. Second in the section, Benfica also beat Barca 3-0, after being held to a goalless draw by Dynamo on Matchday 1.
Bayern Munich return to Lisbon, the scene of their 2019/20 UEFA Champions League triumph, to face Benfica. Following wins over Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv, can Julian Nagelsmann's men make it three wins from three in Group D? Stay tuned to find out!