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AEK Athens 0-2 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and random observations

Bayern Munich take all three points in an important UCL fixture.

Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Full Time: AEK Athens 0-2 Bayern Munich. Here are some quick reactions to tide you over until we get round to our post-game articles:

  • Manuel Neuer won’t need to take a shower. He literally did nothing in this game.
  • Thomas Muller played well after coming on. He should get a start soon.
  • Arjen Robben’s attempts at dribbling were ... not great, to say the least.
  • This is Bayern’s first clean sheet in 5 games. The last one was against Schalke on matchday 4 of the Bundesliga.
  • Serge Gnabry’s final ball remains dreadful. He needs a Kinglsey Coman style makeover if he’s ever gonna convert all that raw talent he has into an end product.
  • While Javi Martinez did score, he was poor in the plays leading up to the goal. Football is a funny thing.
  • Niko Kovac needs to rotate more against Mainz.

Check out our post match reactions survey here.

83’: Substitution: Sandro Wagner replaces Robert Lewandowski.

80’: Ten minutes to go until full time, can Bayern score another?

74’: Substitution: Thomas Muller comes on for Serge Gnabry.

70’: Bayern Munich are now bossing this game. AEK look deflated by the two goals.

63’: GOAL Lewandowski! That was fast. 2-0 to Bayern Munich.

62’: Substitution: James Rodriguez subbed off for Leon Goretzka.

60’: Javi Martinez scores! 1-0 Bayern.

55’: No subs yet from Niko Kovac. He should be thinking about bringing someone on.

52’: No goals yet, but an AEK counter absolutely destroyed Javi Martinez. It could have been bad if the resulting shot hadn’t been so terrible. Meanwhile, it seems that Renato Sanches is warming up.

47’: The Greek fans lit up their flares, so I have no idea what is going on on the pitch. Apologies if I miss something.

45’: The second half kicks off now! Can Bayern Munich finally score?

Half Time: It’s hard to say what the specific problems are at the moment, but here are my observations from the first half:

  • Manuel Neuer has literally had nothing to do.
  • James Rodriguez is somewhat off his game tonight. His passes and crosses were wayward and he didn’t display the amazing vision he is known for. Perhaps it’s the fatigue taking hold?
  • Thomas Muller should be subbed on for Javi Martinez. Javi hasn’t been bad but Bayern need an extra offensive presence.
  • Despite everything, Bayern are still creating chances and the AEK defense looks shaky. Not getting 3 points from this game would be a disaster for Kovac.

35’: Still no goals to speak of. All the relevant players have attempted shots, some of them have even been on target. However, the AEK goalkeeper has barely had to make a save. The forwards seem very frustrated.

26’: A mistake by an AEK defender lets Thiago through on goal. However, he flubs the pass to Lewandowski. The score remains 0-0.

25’: 25 minutes played, still no goals. The corner count keeps climbing, which suggests that Bayern are knocking on the door.

22’: Niklas Sule goes down while trying to win a header. He leaves the pitch to receive treatment.

Update: he came back on the pitch almost immediately, no harm seems to have been done.

15’: Serge Gnabry looks bright, but Bayern Munich as a whole are struggling to create meaningful chances. However, it’s one-way traffic on the possession side of things. AEK are nowhere near the ball.

5’: Not much to talk about yet from the Bayern side of things. The possession is there but no clear attacks.

0’: Kickoff! The Bavarians kick off against AEK! Who will come out victorious?

One hour until kickoff: Lineups are out!

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means! The UEFA Champions League is back! This time, Bayern Munich take on Greek team AEK Athens in an early kickoff game that promises to be an exciting affair. The Bavarians aren’t looking very hot lately, so this would probably be the best time for a team like AEK to make off with a few points.

However, Niko Kovac says he’s been thinking about this game for three weeks, which is honestly a very long time in football. That must mean he has some incredible tactics in store for us, right? I wouldn’t hold my breath. In any case, at least James Rodriguez and Serge Gnabry are both fit — but David Alaba looks likely to sit out this one with some as-yet unspecified thigh injury. Franck Ribery didn’t travel with the team to Athens, which combined with the injury to Kingsley Coman leaves the Bavarians looking very thin on the wings.

Robert Lewandowski nabbed a brace against Wolfsburg on Saturday, and he’ll be looking to repeat the same in the Champions League. However, his form depends on the support he gets from his teammates — especially the midfield. In case Kovac decides to shake things up, maybe by bringing in Renato Sanches or Leon Goretzka, then that form could be dented somewhat. However, the fact remains that the Bavarians have a ton of quality and should be able to best the Athenians, even if the battle is hard fought.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Athens Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece

Time: 7:55 pm local time, 12:55 pm EST

TV/streaming: Find Your Country

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