Bayern were the side with more control, but it wasn't a one-sided stranglehold over proceedings. Nor were they clinical and decisive in the final third, with low, flat crosses tending to clatter off defenders instead of creating chances. And before long, they would be punished — not once, but twice, as Benfica poured initiative down the flanks with success, showing precision where Bayern lacked it.
Like other UWCL games, DAZN streamed the full game live for free on YouTube. Highlights below:
Goals on either side of the break had Bayern down 2-0 and on the brink. Worse, Lina Magull had to be stretchered off the field after staying down following a collision from a header attempt. It’s the third major injury the team have sustained in recent weeks, with Giulia Gwinn and Sydney Lohmann already sidelined.
Desperation turned to urgency, and Bayern eventually got into a better flow of chances. Maximiliane Rall got one back, heading into the top corner from a Carolin Simon corner to make for a hope-filled final 25’.
Finally, in the 82nd minute, Georgia Stanway equalized. The Manchester City transfer drove towards goal, an option on her left, but opted to fire herself — beating the keeper from distance and transforming the final ten minutes into a scramble for the winner.
Benfica would finish the game on their heels, with Bayern pressing, pushing and potent. Klara Bühl slipped Jovana Damnjanović through on goal twice in a matter of seconds, but both moves were adjudged offside.
Then came a dagger. A long ball over the top in the closing minutes of regular time saw Benfica striker Jéssica Silva sandwiched between Bayern’s two center-backs and tumbling into the turf. Bayern defender Saki Kumagai earned a yellow card and a penalty was given — though on replay, it looked like Silva was stretching to look for contact. In any case, keeper Maria-Luisa Grohs came up aces — getting low and palming away the spot kick.
Eight tense minutes of stoppage time ensued. More careless giveaways in dangerous positions earned Benfica a golden chance, with the German side lucky to concede only a corner. Either side looked about as likely to score.
And then — with thirty seconds remaining — it happened. A long ball over the top forced the Benfica keeper out to clear. Bayern won the second ball with Benfica’s defence at sixes and sevens. Georgia Stanway picked her spot through traffic, pulled the trigger — and found the bottom corner once more. Pandemonium!
With nearly the last kick of the game, it was a vital three points secured!
Still, there are sobering takeaways for the team to ponder in their post-match analysis. Remember, Benfica are the team that FC Barcelona smashed 9-0 on Matchday 1 of the group stages. Reality bit down hard...but Bayern can’t complain: they’re still 2-0-0, a perfect six points, and demonstrated just the fight-back they needed on occasions like this.