Six goals, two red cards, and ultimately top spot in UEFA Champions League Group E for Bayern Munich after a stunning draw against Ajax in which Robert Lewandowski became the competition's top scorer of the season so far.
Ajax 3-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (13’), 1-1 Tadic (61’), 2-1 Tadic pen. (82’), 2-2 Lewandowski pen. (87’), 2-3 Coman (90’), 3-3 Tagliafico (90+5)
Red cards: Wöber (67’), Müller (75’)
With the winner taking top spot in the group, Bayern made their intentions for the night clear in the opening quarter of the half. Serge Gnabry had four good chances in the opening 12 minutes without opening the scoring, but he was able to provide the assist for the opener instead. His neat through ball was perfect for Lewandowski, who finished at the near post to score his seventh Champions League goal of the season and taking him top of the scoring charts. Ajax made things difficult for Bayern for the remainder of the first half with their young squad never giving up any ball, but it was Lewandowski who should have made it 2-0 with half an hour gone after another Gnabry pass, but this time Andre Onana made a great save from the Pole.
The second half was a stunning period of football from start to finish, and it started in a very different manner, however. Ajax were on top from the first whistle and made their pressure count with 61 minutes played. A neat ball to the back post of Manuel Neuer’s goal found Dusan Tadic all alone to score into an empty net. The last 20 minutes were made even more interesting after Maximillian Wöber was sent off for the home side after a dangerous tackle on Leon Goretzka, before Thomas Müller was sent off for Bayern after a dangerous foul on Nicolas Tagliafico. Tadic then gave Ajax the lead with less than ten to play from the penalty spot, but Bayern weren’t about to lose top spot. An outstanding late turnaround with Lewandowski’s penalty bringing the game level before substitute Kingsely Coman's rocket into the top corner in the 90th minute gave Bayern the lead. The drama wasn’t over though, as Ajax scored in the fifth minute of added time to level the game through Tagliafico. The Bundesliga side held on, though, and secured top spot in Group E with the draw, and their top seed spot in the knockout rounds.
- These sides have met ten times, with a perfectly balanced record of three wins apiece and four draws.Lewandowski is the Champions League’s top scorer this season with eight and has netted in his last four European games.Bayern are unbeaten in eight away European games (W6, D2).The Bundesliga champions are undefeated in their last seven games against Eredivisie opposition (W4, D3).Huntelaar scored 126 goals for Schalke between 2010 and 2017, including 82 in the Bundesliga.Bayern have won the European Cup and/or Champions League five times (1974-76, 2001, 2013) while Ajax have achieved the feat four times (1971-73, 1995).
Ajax: Onana – Mazraoui, de Ligt (c), Wöber, Tagliafico – Blind, de Jong - Ziyech, van de Beek (Dolberg 78’), Tadic – Neres (Huntelaar 89’)
Unused subs: Lamprou, Kristensen, Labyad, Schöne, De wit
Out: Bande (upper leg), Veltman (knee)
Coach: Erik ten Hag
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Rafinha, Boateng, Süle, Alaba – Kimmich, Goretzka (Sanches 90’) – Gnabry (Thiago 62’), Müller, Ribery (Coman 71’) – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Wagner, Martinez, Hummels
Out: James (knee), Tolisso (knee), Robben (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac