Initial thoughts and observations
- The incredible turnaround under interim coach Hansi Flick continues! Bayern played aggressively the entire match and allowed a grand total of three shots.
- Robert Lewandowski, man. Just when you thought Serge Gnabry was in form, Lewy cranks up the Sturmpanzer. Four goals in 14 minutes.
- Everyone rotated, everyone happy. Flick gave Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich some rest, gave Coutinho valuable playing time (in which he played well), and everyone did well. On to Leverkusen!
- Ivan the Pretty Good strikes twice! Why leave Perisic on the bench when resting Gnabry? Because you can then throw him at tired legs and watch as he racks up two assists in half an hour.
- Merry Flickmas... or Happy Flicksgiving... or whatever.
Full time — Borjan brings down one last cross by Coman, and that’s the match.
90’ — Two minutes of stoppage time will be played.
89’ — GOAL for Bayern! Corentin Tolisso scores again, as Perisic earns his second assist on a nice pass that puts Coco one on one against Borjan.
87’ — Neuer snuffs out any hope of a consolation goal as he stops a well-struck shot on target by Ivanic.
85’ — Davies catches a player on the ankle and he needs to be treated briefly.
77’ — Substitution: Thomas Müller relieves Tormaschine Lewandowski.
68’ — Substitution: a visibly delighted Joshua Kimmich relieves Javi Martinez.
67’ — GOAL for Bayern! Thank you, sir, may I have another? Make it 4 in 14 for Lewandowski! That was Perisic with the assist. Nice job, Ivan the Pretty Good!
64’ — GOAL for Bayern! Thank you, sir, may I have another? Lewandowski has scored a hat-trick in 11 minutes! Coman initiates a run up the right flank, pushes the ball forward for Pavard, who delivers a perfect cross to Lewandowski at the near post. They make it look easy.
61’ — Substitution: Ivan Perisic replaces Coutinho.
60’ — GOAL for Bayern! That’s three in all, and Lewandowski’s second. After Coutinho delivers a corner kick to the closest defender, he collects the rebound and crosses inside to Tolisso. The latter heads it toward the goal, and Lewandowski adroitly kicks the ball into the net past Borjan.
57’ — Red Star takes a second shot — off target.
54’ — Red Star logs its first shot of the game. Neuer easily deals with it.
52’ GOAL for Bayern! Lewandowski converts easily. His stutter-step leaves Borjan no chance.
51’ — Penalty for Bayern! Lewandowski’s cross is deflected out of bounds by the arm of the defender in front of him.
50’ — Some nice footwork by Coman leads to a weak shot by Goretzka.
48’ — And as if on cue, there’s the pyro! A thick cloud of smoke wafts over the field.
Second half now underway! — And we’re back.
First half observations:
- One team has 15 shots, the other 0. It’s been that kind of half for Bayern. Red Star has been almost completely neutralized this match.
- Hansi Flick’s lineup, with Coman on the right and Coutinho on the left, has been great. Bayern has dominated possession to the tune of 71%!
- Bayern’s lines have remained compact throughout the game, leading to several fast breaks that have caught Red Star’s back line off guard. Now if only the finishing were a bit better...
41’ — Lewandowski gets his goal, but it’s negated! Boateng launches the ball forward. Tolisso chests it down into Lewandowski’s path and the Pole does the rest. But on review the goal is nullified because Tolisso used his arm to help bring the ball down. What a shame.
32’ — Tolisso cited for a rather rustic foul. Bayern quickly win the ball back and attack. Davies delivers a cross to Lewandowski, but he just can’t move the ball past his defender.
31’ — Davies inadvertently concedes a corner. He slides to keep the ball from going out, but ends up sending it back across the goal line. Fortunately, Bayern deals with the threat.
27’ — Lewandowski streaks away on another breakaway. Milunovic brings him down in the box, but the referee apparently fails to see any contact.
24’ — Bayern still on the attack. Lewandowski and Coman both attempt shots, but are blocked by the defenders in front of them.
15’ — GOAL Bayern! There it is, as advertised: Leon Goretzka connects with a cornre kick by Coutinho and scores a magnificent header!
He almost follows it up with another shot a moment later!
12’ — Lewandowski takes a shot on target. Borjan blocks it. And Coman eludes his defender and wins a corner, as the ball bounces off Borjan and out of bounds at the near post.
11’ — Nice move by Davies, who dispossesses Gobeljic before he can break away and threaten the goal.
7’ — Goretzka plays Lewandowski a dream pass to put him past the defense in a one-on-one with the keeper. Lewy maneuvers around Borjan but mis-strikes the ball, sending it harmlessly outside the goal. What a shame!
6’ — first shot for Bayern. Coutinho fights his way into the bo and is brought down just as he passes to Lewandowski. Lewy shoots, but the ball is easily collected.
Yellow card for Milunovic, who struck Lewandowski on the head in an aerial challenge.
kickoff — The ball is rolling! Now that the lineup has taken up position, it’s clear that Tolisso will be at right wing, allowing Coutinho to play the 10 with Thiago and Goretzka behind him. Red Star come out trying to press, but already are struggling to retain possession.
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! A big surprise from Flick, he decides to bench Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich in favor of a 3-man midfield of Goretzka, Thiago, and Tolisso. Philippe Coutinho and Kingsley Coman start on the wings.
It’s time for some Champions League action! Bayern Munich take on FK Crvena zvezda, also known as Red Star, in their home stadium at Belgrade. This is a ground where even Liverpool lost last season, so Hansi Flick and his men might have their work cut out trying to take all three points from the Serbians.
With Jose Mourinho potentially orchestrating a Tottenham comeback over in England, it’s imperative that Bayern keep up momentum and secure top spot in the group. To do so, Flick will have stalwarts such as Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Serge Gnabry all at his disposal, as well as the newly returned Jerome Boateng and a motivated Thiago Alcantara. Can the interim coach continue his perfect start?
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Red Star Stadium, Belgrade, Serbia
Time: 9:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
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