Posted: 22:13 GMT, 25. November 2020 | Updated: 22:27 GMT, Jan.. November 2020
Football does not always reward what is earned. German giants with a bank full of international stars like Leroy Sane meet an ambitious Austrian team full of verve and excitement.
On another night, it would not be inappropriate to see Salzburg at halftime with at least two goals for good and an iron grip on the competition.
But football and fairness are not interchangeable, and Bayern have taught a lesson in opportunism. Robert Lewandowski’s pre-break tap-in delivered the sucker when Sane and a tough Max Wober own goal added shine to a goal line that didn’t reflect what was happening.
Bayern Munich defeated RB Salzburg 3-1 and reached the last 16 of the Champions League
Robert Lewandowski opened the game shortly before half-time with a goal in 42. Minute
The Bayern striker scored his 71st. Goal in European competition to catch up with Raul.
Salzburg was tough when Marc Roca received a second yellow for a reckless challenge and withdrew one through Mergim Berisha, but a host of missed opportunities, including a terrible explosion from Dominik Szoboszlai, sealed their fate.
When a minute’s silence filled the Allianz Arena in honor of the death of the Argentine legend Diego Maradona, a certain intrigue was felt before a ball was kicked.
Bayern entered the game because they knew that one win here would be enough to complete the qualification. Another incentive was to equate Manchester United’s 16-win streak in the Champions League.
Kingsley Coman played a role in the second when Maximilian Wober put the ball in his own net
Marc Roca was sent off on his first start in the Champions League after receiving two yellow cards
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): New; Pavard (Hernandez 63); Boateng; Alaba; Richards (Martinez 79); Goretzka; Roca; Gnabry (Sane 62); Miller; Coman (Costa 78); Lewandowski
RB Salzburg (4-2-3-1): Stankovic; Ulmer; Wober; Ramalho; Kristensen; Junuzovic (Adeyemi 71); Camara; Szoboszlai (Sucic 71); Berisha; Mwepu (Ashimeru 71); Koita
This was not a Bavarian team in the same area as the starting eleven just three weeks earlier, which Salzburg gutted 6-2. The dynamic midfield duo Joshua Kimmich and Corentin Tolisso as well as the defenders Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez were both injured and largely suspicious of leaving the defensive line.
Mohamed Kamara shot at Manuel Neuer from outside the penalty area in just two minutes – the Austrian team was set.
A series of offensive presses high up on the pitch from the away side began to build the early momentum.
But when Bayern had the ball in the opposing half, a memory of the quality in advance was not far.
Serge Gnaby found a Coman drag-back free on the edge of the box. With the German taking control, the next step wasn’t entirely necessary as the ball rolled excruciatingly far from the top right corner after 10 minutes.
Lewandowski entered the fight early enough and saw his shot fly high over the bar. But it was a warning of things to come.
Salzburg threw caution to the wind early on and felt an early goal within reach through the shaky side passes over the Bayern defense.
Sekou Koita took advantage of David Alaba’s panic in the 15th. Minute to play a great pass to striker Berisha, who took the ball to his left and hit it into Neuer’s center reef.
The ball bounced off Enock Mwepu, who spun like a London bus and brought Neuer back into position to save the tame shot. Less than a minute later, Berisha had an opportune moment to break free of a perfectly weighted Szoboszlai air cross.
But Alaba had his piece of redemption when he stormed in to throw the assailant off balance.
Bayern grew into the competition in the course of the first half – Lewandowski always had a touch of ball possession.
After half an hour he made his way into the penalty area, but his cross was cleared from the line by Wober. At the other end, Hungarian hero Szoboszlai, who promoted his national team to Euro 2020, became a villain.
Leroy Sane came in 68. Minute off the bench and added a third for the home team.
The winger hit a Coman cross to steer the ball behind Dejan Stankovic in the Salzburg Gate.
An impulse crossing from Berisha fell to the striker in a golden one-on-one chance with Neuer, but he could only shoot the ball in row Z..
Lewandowski’s next push just before the break was not so forgiving. Goalkeeper Cican Stankovic ended Thomas Müller’s goal just so that the ball hit the pole and he made no mistake going into the net.
It was equivalent to a half-time punch in the stomach for the away team who had thrown away a lot of chances.
Salzburg came out in front, but the fight was gradually thrown out of them.
Mwepu won a free kick, which Szoboszlai shot harmlessly over, and then Berisha spun and shot at Neuer.
Bayern marched forward and scored two goals for good in 51 minutes under happy circumstances.
A tied shot by Kingsley Coman was deflected by Wober to fly past Stankovic, which the goalkeeper had apparently covered.
The game seemed to have turned to some degree or when Bayern midfielder Marc Roca received a second yellow for a reckless challenge against Zlatko Junuzovic.
Mergim Berisha moved in 73. Minutes a consolation goal for the guests back.
Think again – ex-Manchester City striker Leroy Sane, who fell off the bench minutes before Roca’s dismissal, sprinted into the box to make a powerful drive home and raise the goal cushion.
This Salzburg team was full of conviction and spirit in the face of the harsh realities of football.
You did not leave Germany without a fight. Mwepu saved his shot at close range, but Berisha wasn’t denied three minutes later to shove home a decent cross from Rasmus Kristensen.
It’s been checked for an age by VAR, but this time justice was on their side.
They pushed for more but left knowing that another night could have been so much different.
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FC Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League, FC Red Bull Salzburg, Robert Lewandowski, Bundesliga
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