Bayern Munich escaped the Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday in highly dramatic fashion. The question coming into this match against a defensively staunch FC Köln side was always going to would they have a hangover and would it matter? The answer is no.
It took all of nine minutes for Bayern Munich to put them in the game. Whlle Köln had decent pressure and Bayern had some unnverving defensive moments, Robert Lewandowski's early goal was all that really mattered. A late run from Sebastian Rode was picked out by Thiago who threaded the ball between two lines of Köln defense. Rode's run pulled the Köln centerbacks exposing a huge hole at top of the box where the loose ball from the Köln clearance fell easily for Lewandowski. He hit a ridiculous shot across the face of goal while moving away from it and slotted it in the narrow angle between Timo Horn and the far post.
After that it was Bayern in the first half as they controlled and passed their way into almost languid effectiveness. They generated several dangerous chances but were unable to put a second goal away before the halftime break.
The second half continued in much the same vein as the first. Bayern dominated possession and crafted incisive runs into the Köln box but never felt like they were giving it their all and never felt like this game was more than a something on the schedule.
All that changed with the introduction of Yuya Osako who introduced a dynamic presence into the Köln attack and caused a defensive re-structuring. It forced Bayern into real defending and opened spaces into which Bayern Munich could attack in the middle. Only some close offside calls and the stellar play of Manuel Neuer in the back were able to keep Köln from equalizing as Bayern seemed unable to find their own answer in the Köln end. The hosts pushed and pushed against Bayern controlling much of the flow of the match after the 75th minute.
It was too little too late though. Bayern bent but never broke and added yet another three points.
Bayern Munich: Lewandowski (10')
FC Köln: none
Bayern X11: Neuer ; Rafinha, Kimmich, Alaba, Bernat ; Alonso (Vidal 54'), Rode (Lahm 78'), Thiago ; Coman, Lewandowski, Costa (Ribery 72')
Köln X11: Horn ; Sorensen, Maroh, Mavraj, Heintz, Hector ; Risse, Lehmann (Mladenovic 85'), Gerhardt (Osako 62'), Bittencourt ; Modeste