Julian Nagelsmann (l.) and Robert Lewandowski (r.) celebrate Bayern Munich's 3-0 UEFA Champions League group stage win over Barcelona. - © imago images
Julian Nagelsmann (l.) and Robert Lewandowski (r.) celebrate Bayern Munich's 3-0 UEFA Champions League group stage win over Barcelona. - © imago images

Julian Nagelsmann: "If we always play like that, we're one of the favourites"


Julian Nagelsmann acknowledged Bayern Munich's triumphant UEFA Champions League start at Barcelona was the sort of performance that makes them "one of the favourites" to become European champions this season while Robert Lewandowski labelled the 3-0 win "perfect."

If the weekend's 4-1 defeat of domestic challengers RB Leipzig signalled Bayern's intent to stretch their dominance to a tenth successive Bundesliga title, their display in the Camp Nou reeked of their determination to reclaim the continental crown they last picked up in 2019/20.

Though Thomas Müller's deflected opener on 34 minutes had a touch of fortune about it, the visitors were much the better side and Lewandowski's second-half brace ensured the scoreline reflected the balance of play.

"If we always play like that and keep improving, we're one of the favourites," said Nagelsmann, who still found room for improvement. "At the start, we had some problems defending against [Memphis] Depay in the final third. But we handled that and played well after. I think Barca didn't have any opportunities at all in the first half. We defended very well."

Bayern and Germany No.1 Manuel Neuer did not have to make a significant save as the Spanish side failed to muster a single attempt on target in the 90 minutes. That was also due to Bayern proving as effective in front of their own goal as they were in front of the hosts'.

"We could have created more chances when we had the ball. Overall, we had too few clear-cut opportunities given our dominance. In the second half, we were more stable and defended a bit deeper. 'Lewy' showed an unbelievable nose for goal. The second goal in particular was especially well taken. In the end, we controlled things and scored a third, which was fully deserved."

Julian Nagelsmann (r.) was delighted by another midfield masterclass from Joshua Kimmich (l.) for Bayern Munich. - imago images

"We can be happy with our performance. It was very good," said Lewandowski, who is behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the UEFA Champions League's all-time scoring stakes after taking his tally in the competition to 75.

"We showed from the very first minute that we wanted to win here. We had the game under control, that was important. Barca were only very seldom in front of our goal. It was a perfect day."

Müller's goal took him to within one of a half-century in European club football's premier competition, and opened up the game for Bayern after they had come sluggishly out of the blocks.

"From about the mid-point of the first half, things went a lot better," said the Germany international. "We didn't give them much, but we could have scored one or two more goals. It's really fun to play here. The boys enjoyed it. When you win your opening game 3-0, it sends out a message."

"We didn't start all that well. The first half in particular was very very intense," added Joshua Kimmich. "The longer the game went on, the more we had it under control and we then got a little lucky with the deflected shot. Despite that, we were still much the better side before half-time.

"We could have won by more. We moved the ball well, though there were still a couple of mistakes and lapses in concentration. But we can be happy with our performance. The dynamic is very good, it's getting better game after game. I hope we'll be able to reproduce this kind of display."