Bayern Munich see out RB Salzburg at Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich book place in the round of 16 of the Champions League with win against Red Bull Salzburg at Allianz Arena. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich book place in the round of 16 of the Champions League with win against Red Bull Salzburg at Allianz Arena. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich book place in the round of 16 with a win against Red Bull Salzburg.

Bayern Munich got back to winning ways with a 3-1 win against RB Salzburg in the matchday four of the Champion League. Marc Roca’s red card made it difficult for Die Roten, but goals from Robert Lewandowski and Leroy Sane, along with an own goal from Maximilian Wober, sealed the win for the hosts. Mergim Berisha got the consolation goal for the visitors.

Hansi Flick was forced to make few changes to the team that started against Werder Bremen. Chris Richards got his first CL start for Die Roten, replacing Lucas Hernandez in the starting lineup. Leon Goretzka and  Roca replaced Javi Martinez and Jamal Musiala in the team, while Douglas Costa made way for Serge Gnabry.

Meanwhile, the visitors made several changes to the team that suffered defeat against Sturm Graz in the league on Saturday.  Andreas Ulmer and Maximilian Wober started in the defense, replacing Oumar Solet and Albert Vallci. In the midfield, Mohamed Camara and Zlatko Junuzovic came in for Nicolas Seiwald and Noah Okafor. Sekou Koita was leading the attack instead of Karim Adeyemi.

It was a slow start to the game as both sides made sloppy passes in the first 15 minutes of the games. The visitors started getting better despite not dominating the possession. Meanwhile, Die Roten was not able to find the cutting edge in the final third, a similar problem that they faced against Bremen last weekend.

The first big chance fell for Salzburg as Sekou Koita played a brilliant pass to create a one vs one situation for Mergim Berisha against Manuel Neuer. Berisha’s attempted lacked the power, so it was easily saved by the German international, and the rebound from Enock Mwepu also lacked conviction.

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Die Roten looked threatening from corners as Gnabry was delivering dangerous crosses, but those chances were not converted in the box. Salzburg got a big chance in the 35th minute through Dominik Szoboszlai. Berisha found Szoboszlai with a clever dink pass over Die Roten’s defense, but the Hungarian midfielder couldn’t compose himself to slot it past Neuer.

The sucker punch for visitors came in the final minutes of the half.  Lewandowski pounced on the rebound after Thomas Muller‘s shot was parried away by Cican Stankovic. It was a scrappy goal but a much-needed one for Die Roten as they were finding it difficult to break down Salzburg’s defense.

Bayern carried the momentum in the second half and scored an early goal to double the lead. Goretzka showed great determination to win the ball in midfield and play a decisive pass to Coman. The French winger tried to place his shot in the far corner from the left flank, but it was deflected into the goal by Wober.

The home side was coasting in the game, but a second yellow card for Roca in the 66th minute changed the dynamic of the game. Neuer had to pull off two incredible saves to keep his side’s lead intact in the 70th minute. Against the run of play, Bayern scored the third goal after Coman floated a teasing delivery in the box. Sane headed from close range to triple his team’s lead.

Salzburg responded quickly as Berisha got one back for his team after an inviting cross from the right flank. Nobody in Die Roten’s defense tracked his run and he calmly slotted it past Neuer. There was a long wait for VAR to check the goal, but Berisha was found onside in the move.

The German Champions had to drop deep to defend as Salzburg took advantage of the extra man. Salzburg came close to scoring on a few occasions with well-stitched moves, but poor finishing was defying them the chance to come back into the game.

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Die Roten used their experience to see out the game as they ran down the clock by retaining possession in the final third. The German Champions can rotate heavily in the final two group games since they have sealed a place in the round of 16. Considering other results in the group, they are on course to win the group. It is an important victory, but Flick would want better performance from players in the next game.

"Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1)NeuerPavard-Boateng-Alaba-RichardsRoca-GoretzkaGnabry-Muller-ComanLewandowskiSubstitutes: Nubel, Martinez (↓Richards (79′)), Sane (↓Gnabry (62′)), Costa (↓Coman (79′)), Choupo-Moting, Zirkzee, Hernandez (↓Pavard (62′)), Musiala, Arrey-MbiRed Bull Salzburg (4-42)StankovicKristensen-Silva-Wober-UlmerMwepu-Camara-Junuzovic-SzoboszlaiBerishaKoitaSubstitutes: Miguel, Walke, Vallci, Onguene, Solet, Farkas, Ashimeru (↓Mwepu (72′)), Sucic (↓Szoboszlai (72′)), Adeyemi  (↓Junuzovic (71′))"