Bayern Munich 5-2 Benfica: Robert Lewandowski nets ANOTHER hat-trick on his 100th Champions League appearance as Bundesliga champions
Bayern Munich 5-2 Benfica: Robert Lewandowski nets ANOTHER hat-trick on his 100th Champions League appearance as Bundesliga champions qualify for the knockout stage
- Robert Lewandowski scored three as Bayern secured their place in the last-16
- The Pole also missed a penalty but notched a brilliant assist on Tuesday night
- Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane were also on the scoresheet for the Germans
- Benfica’s Morato and Darwin Nunez were the goalscorers for the visitors
After two weeks without a coach and falling to a disastrous defeat, Bayern Munich is back to winning ways.
The German champions booked a place in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday as Robert Lewandowski scored a hat trick for a 5-2 victory over Benfica to extend Bayern’s perfect record of four wins from four in the group stage. That took Lewandowski to 81 career goals in his 100th Champions League game.
The game marked the return of Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann after four games away – including the return 4-0 win over Benfica in Portugal – after he tested positive for the coronavirus.
Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick as Bayern Munich secured their place in the last-16
The Pole was against Bayern’s main man against Benfica at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night
During Nagelsmann’s absence, Bayern’s previously reliable defense collapsed in a 5-0 German Cup loss at Borussia Mönchengladbach last week, the club’s worst result in more than 40 years.
Against Benfica there were some signs of that sloppiness as poor marking early on allowed Benfica to score a goal narrowly ruled out for offside. It happened again when Bayern failed to deal with a free kick that led to Benfica defender Morato scoring when Bayern led 2-0.
Up front, it was business as usual as Bayern’s attacking quartet of Lewandowski, Leroy Sané, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry combined to dismantle Benfica.
First Coman danced through the Benfica penalty area past two defenders before crossing for Lewandowski to head in the opening goal in the 26th. The Poland striker was the provider six minutes later, squaring the ball for Gnabry to finish in style with a backheel.
Morato’s goal and a missed penalty from Lewandowski – who’d scored his previous seven – slowed Bayern’s progress before halftime.
Just after the break, Sané scored Bayern’s third with a powerful volley after Alphonso Davies flicked on a pass from Joshua Kimmich.
Leroy Sane also got in on the act with Bayern now virtually assured of top spot in their group
The fourth came on a counterattack with Sané setting up Lewandowski to finish with a chip over the goalkeeper.
Even with Bayern in control of the game and assured of qualifying with two games remaining, there was time for more nerves in defence.
Benfica substitute Darwin Nuñez scored a consolation goal in the 74th as Bayern’s defense was slow to react on a counterattack. Lewandowski finally got his hat trick in the 85th with another chip finish.
Serge Gnabry was another on the scoresheet for Bayern, who made it four wins from four
Benfica cut the deficit before the break with Morato’s 38th minute header which was the first goal conceded by Bayern in four Champions League matches, but a superb Leroy Sane shot early in the second half had killed off any hopes of a comeback.
The visitors scored again in the 75th minute with Darwin Nunez. Bayern are top on 12 points following their fourth win in the group, with Benfica stuck on four.
Barcelona moved into second place on six after beating Dynamo Kyiv, who are last with one point. The top two teams advance to the knockout stages.