Bayern Munich extended their winning run in the Champions League to three games on Tuesday with a convincing display against Viktoria Plzen. The defending German Champions hammered five goals past Viktoria Plzen to make it a record run of 31 unbeaten games in the group stages of the Champions League.
Julian Nagelsmann made four changes to the starting XI that featured in the win against Bayer Leverkusen on Friday. Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Muller were replaced by Ryan Gravenberch and Serge Gnabry, respectively. Leon Goretzka got the nod for the second midfield position ahead of Marcel Sabitzer. Benjamin Pavard made way for Noussair Mazraoui in the right-back position.
Bayern made a solid start to the game by getting the first goal in the seventh minute. Leroy Sane played a nice one-two with Jamal Musiala before beating two defenders and firing a shot in the goal from the edge of the box. There was no looking back for Bayern from the moment Sane opened the scoring.
The visitors were camped in their half as Bayern piled on the pressure. The counter-press from Die Roten was also precise, giving no respite to Plzen whenever they managed to win the ball. The persistence from Bayern resulted in two goals in the space of ten minutes.
A sweeping counter led to the second goal as Serge Gnabry ended his goal drought of ten games for club and country. The German forward’s run through the center was spotted by Leon Goretzka. Gnabry did the rest by calmly slotting the ball past the keeper to double the home side’s advantage.
Sadio Mane tripled Bayern’s advantage four minutes later with an exquisite bit of skill and run. The goal against Plzen showed that Mane is slowly getting back the confidence and rhythm that he showed at the start of the season.
Die Roten circulated the ball brilliantly to move Plzen’s defense from one side to the other. They didn’t take their foot off the pedal and kept on creating chances to increase the lead. Jamal Musiala had the ball in the net before half-time, but it was disallowed after VAR’s intervention. Sadio Mane was marginally offside in the build-up to the goal.
The second half started on the same note as the first one. Mane played delicious through pass over the top of Plzen’s defense to find Sane in the center of the box. The German winger calmly slotted the ball in the net to score his second goal of the game. Sane particularly shines on European nights since he has scored ten goals and made seven assists in the last 13 Champions League games.
Courtesy of a healthy lead, Julian Nagelsmann was able to rest a few of his key players and give opportunities to fringe players. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came off the bench and finished a well-worked team move in the 59th minute. Goretzka got his second assist of the game after playing a clever pass into the feet of Choupo-Moting inside the box.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Die Roten didn’t show a drop in intensity despite taking up a five-goal lead. They kept on creating chances for the remaining 30 minutes but couldn’t add more goals to the scoresheet. It was a complete performance for Bayern. The Bavarian club sits at the top of the points table in Group C after winning the first three games against Inter Milan, Barcelona, and Viktoria Plzen. Nagelsmann will be hoping to see a similar ruthless and efficient edge in his team when they travel to Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.