In Matchday 6 of the Champions League group stage, the Group C winners Bayern Munich hosted second-place side Inter in an uncontested match-up. Since both teams had already clinched their spots in the Round of 16, the only thing either team had to play for was momentum. Die Roten came out on top as they clinched their first home win against Inter Milan in the Champions League.
The final match day started with a bit of controversy, which added extra spice to the game. In the 10th minute, Inter players appealed to the referee for a handball. As Nicolo Barella hit a decent volley toward an open goal, Sadio Mane stepped in front for the block. As he realized the ball was hurtling toward his face, he instinctively blocked it with his hands. After giving the incident an extra look, VAR called for no penalty.
Inter continued the good start to the game by creating some good chances. In the 26th minute, wingback Robin Gosens charged up the left side of the pitch, edging toward the box to draw the Bayern keeper out of position. Gosens then played a pacey cross into the box to find the foot of Laturo Martinez, who was sliding toward the goal, but the contact was not solid enough to put the ball into the back of the net.
Bayern broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute with a very well-worked goal from a corner kick. As the ball came hurdling in from Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard managed to break free from his marker. The Frenchman lept and headed the ball into the ground, which then bounced directly into the top right corner of the net.
After scoring the first goal, the momentum was with the home side. The 34th minute saw Mane chase a ball played by midfielder Ryan Gravenberch, which put him into an enticing attacking position. Mane rolled the ball in-field onto his right foot for a curling effort, but Andre Onana was there for a simple save. This was the final bit of excitement of the half.
The second half started off on a good note for Inter as they were awarded a free kick right at the edge of the box. The cross was played in and headed into the net by Francesco Acerbi, but the entire offensive line of Inter fell into Bayern’s offside trap and the goal was immediately disallowed.
After 15 minutes of constant Bayern pressure, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting thought he had doubled the lead for the hosts. Choupo-Moting sent the ball into the back of the net with an acrobatic bicycle kick; however, this goal was also quickly chalked off due to offside.
Though the first goal was ruled out, Choupo-Moting eventually scored a goal that actually counted, putting Bayern up 2-0 in the 72nd minute with what might possibly be the cleanest goal he has ever scored. Choupo-Moting’s shot from distance flew true and straight into the left corner, leaving the keeper no chance of saving it.
It was not a spectacular performance from Bayern, but they managed to create ample amount of chances to win the game. Julian Nagelsmann will be pleased with the performance of players that have been eager to get consistent playing time.
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With this win against Inter, Bayern Munich rounded off a very impressive group stage performance, winning all six matches– scoring 18 goals while only conceding two. The Bavarian club will know their opposition for the next round on Monday, but firstly, the focus will shift towards the Bundesliga clash against Hertha Berlin on Saturday.