A.In line with coach Julian Nagelsmann’s comeback to the stadium, FC Bayern München stormed into the round of 16, led by the Champions League jubilee Robert Lewandowski. In the 5: 2 (2: 1) against Benfica Lisbon, the Munich team impressed again with their offensive force and remarkable attacking goals from world footballer Lewandowski (26th / 62nd / 84th minute), Serge Gnabry (32nd) and Leroy Sané ( 49.). Despite his premier class goals number 79 to 81, Lewandowski also had to be angry: The striker shot an unplaced hand penalty in the arms of Benfica goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos (45th + 1).
“I don’t know whether the evening was perfect. I missed a penalty. That was my mistake. Fortunately, we scored a few more goals, including me, ”said Lewandowski and added with a view to his 100th premier class game. “I never believed that you could play so many games.”
The German champions revealed the well-known defensive weaknesses again before the top Bundesliga game against SC Freiburg on Saturday (3:30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky). They were punished with the first two goals conceded by the Brazilian Morato (38th) and Darwin Nunez (74th) in front of 50,000 spectators in the not sold out Allianz Arena in Bayern’s fourth win in the fourth group game. Head coach Nagelsmann was also annoyed on the edge of the field, who was allowed to leave the quarantine on match day after four missed competitive games due to a corona infection and coach his team again.
Nagelsmann, who had to watch what was going on in his home kitchen for the past two weeks, demanded “absolute greed” from his team when he returned to Bayern-Bank. What he then saw was great offensive class, but also – once again – some negligence in defensive behavior. Benfica could have punished Bayern with a goal in the early stages. A few times it was only centimeters missing, including the offside goal by Lucas Verissimo (16th). But the machinery of attack is undoubtedly ready for the title. Above all, Kingsley Coman showed on the right wing why Nagelsmann considers him one of the “top wingers on this planet”. As early as the sixth minute, the Frenchman prepared a great chance for Gnabry with a great solo, which goalkeeper Vlachodimos parried. It was also a fine cross from Coman that paved Lewandowski’s first goal in the anniversary game. The world footballer only had to nod off his head. Lewandowski can do it not only as a goalscorer, but also as a preparer. So he put Gnabry in the limelight, who scored the second goal with a hoe. The faux pas from the penalty spot when he shot the ball into Vlachodimos’ arms was completely atypical for the super striker (45th + 1). It was his first miss in the 13th attempt from the penalty spot in the Champions League for Munich. In addition, Bayern could have ensured clear relationships with Alphonso Davies on his 21st birthday (19th) and Benjamin Pavard (20th) if there were more big chances.
The fact that a certain tension remained, however, was due to the first goal conceded in the fourth game. And that had nothing to do with the fact that youngster Tanguy Nianzou came back for the first time since September. The 19-year-old Frenchman had moved into central defense because Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández were not part of the squad due to minor injuries. Rather, the assignment was not correct for Bayern when Morata was able to head in for the next goal almost undisturbed.
Similar inadequacies had already been made possible by the historic Cup bankruptcy in Gladbach (0: 5), but also by the two goals conceded in the 5: 2 against Union Berlin. For the German record champions it was too much. Because in the second round Sané also improved after he had been a little in the shadow of his offensive colleagues in the first 45 minutes. After preliminary work by Joshua Kimmich and Davies, the national player scored with a volleyball shot. In the first leg he made a strong game with two goals. And it was Sané who put Lewandowski’s second goal on.
Frequent player Thomas Müller was able to enjoy all of this from the bench. With a view to the top game against Freiburg at the weekend, the 2014 world champion was given a break and only came into play in the middle of the second half – just like the former Leipzig Marcel Sabitzer. He also made the wrong pass for the second goal by Nunez. Nine goals against in the last three competitive games are not Bayern-like at all. But the strikers meet, Lewandowski even scored his third goal.
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