Bayern defeated Athens 2-0, both makes Robert Lewandowski.
Athens was not the kind of sparring partner, against which one could rehearse the emergency case for a league duel against the leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Table and results of the Champions League can be found here.
From the stadium of Claudio Catuogno
How many of these festive evenings has Bayern experienced in its arena in recent years? Above, the black night sky, and on the brightly lit lawn the floodlight makes all colors a little bit more saturated and all actions appear a bit bigger, the Bayern-red is a bit redder, the enemy black and yellow still a bit black and yellow … Anyone who just snapped in on Wednesday evening into the game of Bayern (as long as that, since the Champions League has crept into the angle of pay-TV, is still possible), saw the Red first from the left right and the black and yellow play from right to left – yes, because scho tip pouch, Franz Beckenbauer would now have to call out of the background.
Top game? No, not yet, the yellow camisole that the Greeks of AEK Athens traditionally combine with their black trousers is a reference to the roots of the club's founders in ancient Constantinople. To the black and yellow from Dortmund, it is only on Saturday. And if you correctly interpret the signs of the last days and weeks, then on Saturday it's also about the job of Bayern coach Niko Kovac. However, this can at least put this in his favor on the scales: Thanks to a 2-0 (1-0) victory in the group match against Athens Bayern are on the right track towards Champions League knockout stages. They are now again leaders with ten out of twelve possible points. And they are not already qualified because Ajax Amsterdam only managed a 1-1 draw at Benfica.
At least visually, the Bayern have on Wednesday so already can play, otherwise gave the yellow-black from Greece, however, not the kind of sparring partner, against which one could rehearse the emergency case for a league duel against the league leaders. But that was also quite right for the people of Munich. After four home games without a win (last time in 2001!), Kovac had hoped for a match that "opens the knot". For such a knot opener game he had defined a few criteria, something that one should once again "win with three or four goals". As in the 4-0 against Piraeus in 2015, as in the 6-0 against Thessaloniki in 2007 – these were the last results against teams from Greece.
After this 2: 0 Kovac can now at least state that the knot has not tightened even tighter around the throat.
"It was not fireworks, but that was not to be expected, it's not the easiest thing right now, we have to work it out very hard," he said after the final whistle. Against Dortmund, his team, "certainly still increase, but that will be a very different game."
The first goal of the evening: a Robert Lewandowski converted penalty in the 31st minute. A corner from Joshua Kimmich preceded the ball, the ball reached Thomas Müller on the second post, from Müller he jumped into the off, as of Müller for weeks, the one or the other ball does not jump to where he should jump. But in the six-foot box, defender Uros Cosic had clawed his hand in Lewandowski's jersey. The referee had not seen it, the linesmen were also no help, the video cup is not occupied in the Champions League – but a gate judge gave the crucial hint. Lewandowski started, delayed, made goalkeeper Vassilis Barkas jump into the left corner from the shooter's point of view – and turned into the right.
Kung fu deposit in luck
If the long-lasting goal of a game from a penalty results for a long time, it often tells something about the rest of the action, in which no-one ever managed to score from the game. In fact, the recently unsettled Munich acted indeed present militant and almost always at the height of the action. But their attacking game continued to seem very coincidental, at least in the first hour. According to relevant live statistics, the fact that they had won far less than 50 percent of their duels well into the second half was largely due to the fact that, at least on the defensive, they hardly had to contend with it.
If they got through dangerously in the front, Lewandowski was usually involved: sometimes his pass found the foot of Müller, but his shot was blocked (37.). He stumbled himself, as in the 39th minute after a sharp cross from Serge Gnabry. Sometimes the Polish center forward beheaded – even offside – just over it (62nd). It then took another corner of Kimmich, before Lewandowski followed the 2-0; After the ball was extended by the Greek defense, Lewandowski caught him with the toe (71.).
"If each individual brings five percent more, that will add up so much that we can get back to where we were in the first seven games" – that was Kovac's credo for the match. Unavailable were Arjen Robben for a knee injury and James Rodríguez sitting on the bench after a calf injury. Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng played together again in the center-backs; first time after their fatal 0: 3 with the national team against Holland ("Altherrenfußball"). In addition Müller and Franck Ribéry. So all the veterans who were available to Kovac. But you have to assume that this will change again, on Saturday evening, in Dortmund.
Who san mia?
On Saturday Bayern must go to Dortmund. Actually no threatening news. But these days. About a club between dominance and loss of control.
By Christof Kneer