Bayern Munich gave as good as they got in a breathless goalless draw with Liverpool in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg to give themselves the edge in the tussle for a place in the last eight.
Liverpool 0-0 Bayern Munich
This was only the sixth meeting between these two in UEFA competition, five-time European champions each. The seventh encounter — at Munich’s Allianz Arena on 13 March — has a lot to live up to though it is certain to upstage the match at Anfield in terms of goals. Not that this game was lacking in excitement. Mo Salah would have broken the deadlock early on, but didn’t connect cleanly at close-range; 60 seconds later, Bayern would have been in front had ex-Schalke man Joel Matip not deflected a driven Serge Gnabry cross straight onto his goalkeeper’s chest. Strangely for two sides renowned for their attacking talents, the final pass and touch were often lacking. Sadio Mane’s glaring miss — wastefully dragging his shot wide after Niklas Süle’s block to a Naby Keita shot had seen the ball drop invitingly for him — summed up the game before the break.
On his return to England, ex-Arsenal man Gnabry was superb, and he zipped a fierce shot just over Alisson Becker’s crossbar as Bayern pressed after the interval while the careful attentions of Fabinho — impressive as a stand-in for the suspended Virgil van Dijk — meant the competition’s top scorer, Robert Lewandowski, was frustrated in his ambition of adding to his eight goals this season. Manuel Neuer moved smartly to turn a Mane diving header around his near post in the closing stages as Niko Kovac’s men secured a result they would surely have happily taken before kick-off.
Liverpool: Alisson – Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson – Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita (Milner 76') – Mane, Salah, Firmino (Origi 76')
Unused subs: Mignolet, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Shaqiri
Coach: Jürgen Klopp
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba - Martinez, Thiago - Gnabry (Rafinha 90+1'), James (Sanches 88'), Coman (Ribery 81') – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Davies, Mai, Shabani
Coach: Niko Kovac
- Manuel Neuer made his 99th UEFA Champions League appearance.
- The record German champions have reached the quarter-finals or better in each of the last seven seasons, and are unbeaten in their last eight European away games (W6, D2).
- Robert Lewandowski has scored 25 goals in 31 appearances in all competitions in 2018/19, including eight in seven Champions League outings.
- Eight members of the current Bayern squad were part of the team that beat Klopp’s Dortmund in the 2013 final, while Thiago won the Champions League with Barcelona in 2010/11 and James is a two-time winner with parent club Real Madrid.
- Klopp has now faced Bayern 30 times as a coach - more times than he has any other club (W9, D5, L16).
AS IT HAPPENED
All over and Bayern return to Munich with a draw, but without an away goal.
90' FOUR MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME
Still enough for a goal? Bayern bring on Rafinha for Gnabry, suggesting they are happy to go home with a draw.
85' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: SADIO MANE
A great save from Manuel Neuer, who shows lightning reactions to turn Mane's close-range effort behind.
83' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: JOEL MATIP
The ball falls out to Matip 20 yards from goal. Perhaps Liverpool fans would have preferred that to land to somebody other than the former Schalke defender, as he sends it into the Kop.
81' BAYERN SUB
Franck Ribery, whose wife gave birth to their fifth child this week, comes on to replace his compatriot Kingsley Coman.
79' BAYERN CHANCE: JAMES RODRIGUEZ
James takes aim from quite some distance, but given the Colombian's quality, you would still expect him to give Alisson some work to do. Instead, he screws it wide of the far post. Can Bayern find that away goal?
76' FIRST SUBS
Origi and Milner come on for former Bundesliga stars Firmino and Keita - the first changes of the night are made by Liverpool.
66' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: SADIO MANE
After a strong spell, a cross drops for Mane, who would have had a great shooting opportunity only for Gnabry - he's EVERYWHERE tonight - to nick the ball away from him. That was a crucial touch from the Bayern forward, who clearly takes his tracking back seriously.
63' A GOOD RESULT?
It's probably insanely early given the firepower on show tonight, but if - IF - it stays like this, Niko Kovac will not complain.
58' BAYERN CHANCE: SERGE GNABRY
Gnabry seizes onto the loose ball and lets fly from 25 metres - Alisson leaps to his left but doesn't have to touch it as the shot zips (just) over his crossbar at breakneck speed. The Bayern man got everything behind that.
57' MANE DENIES JAMES
The Senegal international has to charge down a shot from the Bayern playmaker as the guests enjoy a solid spell of pressure.
55' HENDERSON IN THE BOOK
The Liverpool midfielder gets a yellow card for a challenge that leaves Javi Martinez on the turf.
51' COMAN MAGIC
The France international brilliantly tricks his way past Wijnaldum, but Fabinho steps in decisively to deny Lewandowski a shooting opportunity.
49' A BUSY START
Liverpool in particular race out of the blocks, but it's still so frantic that neither side is able to hold onto the ball for long enough to create a clear-cut chance. You'd better buckle up and hold on - it's going to be quite a ride. Again.
46' 2ND HALF KICKS OFF
We get back to business at Anfield - no changes made.
And breathe...and keep biting those nails! What a first 45 minutes! How is it still goalless? Both sides really going at each other, toe-to-toe, and the good news is we still have another 45 to go.
44' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: SADIO MANE
Superb move from the hosts - Alexander-Arnold finds Wijnaldum, who plays a first-time touch into the path of Firmino. The ex-Hoffenheim man clips over a cross that had it found Mane would surely have led to the deadlock being broken. Firmino is on fire!
42' GOOD DEFENDING BY MATIP
Gnabry is enjoying himself on his return to England, and the ex-Arsenal man bends in a wicked cross that Matip sends over his own crossbar - good for Liverpool he did as Lewandowski was throwing himself at the space where the ball would have gone. Had he connected...
41' NO TIME TO DRAW BREATH
This one is on the brink of an opening goal, but so tough to say which end it'll come.
39' BAYERN CHANCE: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
James' corner drops just outside Alisson's six-yard box but neither Lewandowski nor Martinez can connect.
38' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: SADIO MANE
Mane's overhead kick flies wide after another Keita shot was deflected into his path — openings at either end, but no goals still. Somehow.
36' BAYERN CHANCE: SERGE GNABRY
Thiago's anticipation helps him win back the ball high up the pitch, James then finds Gnabry, whose low shot is tipped behind by Alisson. Might have been going just wide, but the 'keeper couldn't take a chance.
32' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: SADIO MANE
Roberto Firmino dodges forward and plays a gorgeous reverse ball to Naby Keita — his powerful shot is half-blocked by Niklas Süle. The ball runs to Mane, who should score from six metres out, but doesn't even force Neuer into a save as he drags his shot wide. What a chance!
30' LIVERPOOL CHANCE
Touch of luck for Bayern as Robertson badly overhits a cross with two Liverpool teammates free on the far side of the penalty area.
27' KIMMICH BOOKED...AND BANNED
The Bayern man clips the heels of Sadio Mane, and sees the game's maiden yellow card - that means he misses the return leg in Munich on 13 March. That's a blow!
24' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: MO SALAH
Bayern fail to fully clear a corner, and when the second ball comes into the box, Mo Salah sneaks in on the blind side of David Alaba - the net ripples, but it's only the side-netting.
23' JOSHUA 'PHILIPP LAHM' KIMMICH
The Bayern right-back times a tackle inside his own penalty area to take the ball off Andy Robertson that his predcessor in the role would have been very proud of.
22' PACE YET TO DROP
Gnabry looks to the heavens in frustration as his first touch lets him down inside the hosts' box - the tempo is so high, it's no surprise there are quite a few mistakes from both sides.
16' BAYERN CHANCE
Again, Alisson takes a chance with a clearance and makes a hash of it - James stumbles onto the ball, and tees up Kingsley Coman, who can only smash a shot into the side-netting.
13' BAYERN CHANCE: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI
Gnabry drills a low ball across the face of the hosts' goal, and Lewandowski volleys it straight at Alisson, who knew nothing about it as the ball ricochets off his chest...in fact, it was Matip who sent the ball goalwards. So close to an opening (own) goal.
12' LIVERPOOL CHANCE: MO SALAH
Bayern don't clear a free-kick and Salah connects with a diagonal ball, but can't get enough on it to really trouble Neuer at close range - that's a let-off for Bayern.
10' MISUNDERSTANDING AT THE BACK
Gnabry floats a cross in from the right and Fabinho heads away as Alisson looks to punch clear just behind him - Bayern will hope the lack of communication is a permanent feature.
8' BOOS FOR BAYERN
The home crowd not enjoying an extended spell of possession for the visitors - seems Klopp has set his side up to play on the counter-attack tonight as they are not pressing that high up the pitch.
6' ALISSON SLIP
The Brazilian goalkeeper makes a mess of a clearance, but Bayern can't take advantage. For the moment, neither side has settled into the game, it's a very hectic start.
3' WEATHER WATCH
The rain has started to fall in north-west England...that will keep the ball zipping over this excellent surface for these two teams who love to pass it.
2' FOUL ON LEWANDOWSKI
Ex-Schalke man Matip one of three defenders to get a bit too close to the Bayern No. 9 - no real surprise Matip is sticking to the Pole, who scored seven goals in 12 meetings between the pair in the Bundesliga.
1' 1ST HALF KICKS OFF
We are underway at Anfield in an incredible atmosphere.
Lewandowski asks which direction Bayern are kicking in in the first half - good thing he knows where the goal is...
WHAT AN ATMOSPHERE..
Thousands of red-and-white scarves raised aloft around Anfield as the UEFA Champions League anthem rings out.
IN THE TUNNEL...
The two teams are lining up...and here they come!!!
NO SURPRISES FOR LIVERPOOL
As expected, ex-Schalke man Joel Matip partners Fabinho in a makeshift central defence. Bayern will no doubt look to exploit the fact they haven't played together in that position.
BAYERN LINE-UP IN
First the good news, Manuel Neuer is fit to play; the bad is that there is no Leon Goretzka - the in-form midfielder has an ankle problem and has to sit this one out.
GORETZKA PICKS UP PLAYER OF MONTH GONG
For the first time, the Bundesliga has this season introduced an official Player of the Month award. Bayern Munich's Leon Goretzka beat Borussia Dortmund duo Raphael Guerreiro and Lukas Piszczek, Schalke's Daniel Caligiuri, Hertha Berlin playmaker Ondrej Duda and Mainz defender Daniel Brosinski to the January accolade. Check out the story here.
ROBBEN: 'WE WILL HANDLE ANFIELD ATMOSPHERE'
When Bayern Munich head to Anfield to face Liverpool in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, they will not be fazed by one of the most iconic venues in world football, according to Arjen Robben. Click here for more on this story!
BAYERN WARM UP WITH WIN
Kingsley Coman scored two and made another as Bayern Munich twice came from behind away to local rivals Augsburg to win 3-2 in the Matchday 22 opener on Friday evening. More on that game here!
A RARE MEETING
Ten Champions League trophies between them, but this is only the duo's sixth match – and their first since the 2001 UEFA Super Cup at Monaco's Stade Louis II, Liverpool winning 3-2.
The Bayern squad will see a familiar figure in the Liverpool ranks with Xherdan Shaqiri now at Anfield.
"I was very happy because I wanted to play against Bayern,” the Switzerland international, who won the 2012/13 treble with Bayern, told the English club's website.
"It was an amazing time [at Bayern]. We won a lot of titles, we won the Champions League. I had many great memories there. I will never forget them."
JAMES: 'WE CAN CAUSE THEM PROBLEMS'
James Rodriguez says Bayern Munich have no reason to fear English Premier League title candidates Liverpool in their upcoming UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. Click here for more!
BAYERN-POOL: 5 WHO PLAYED FOR BOTH
Xabi Alonso, Didi Hamann, Emre Can...take a look at some of the players who have been on both sides of tonight's tie. Click here for more!
5 REASONS BAYERN CAN BEAT LIVERPOOL
Niko Kovac's men have — as always — hit form just at the right moment, and bundesliga.com gives you five key reasons the Bundesliga's record champions can come out on top against Jürgen Klopp's side. Click here for more!
Welcome to our build-up to tonight's crackerjack of a UEFA Champions League Last 16 first-leg tie pitting Bayern Munich against Liverpool. We'll be with you all the way to kick-off at 9:00p.m.CET/8:00p.m.GMT/3:00p.m.EST and beyond!