Manuel Neuer was phenomenal in goal, but Marc Roca disappointed as Bayern Munich beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-1 to progress to the Champions League Round of 16.
In what was an end-to-end affair, Red Bull Salzburg took the game to UEFA Champions League holders Bayern Munich from the get-go. But, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock when Robert Lewandowski scored from a close range in the 42nd minute after Thomas Muller’s long-range effort had rebounded towards him.
Seven minutes into the second half, Bayern doubled their advantage as Kingsley Coman’s shot was deflected into his own net by Maximilian Wober. The hosts were reduced to ten men shortly after when Marc Roca was sent off for a second bookable offence, but just moments later, they stretched their lead further, as Leroy Sane rose the highest to meet Coman’s looping cross.
Salzburg had their deserved goal when Mergim Berisha scored from point-blank range in the 73rd minute, but it was too little too late, with Manuel Neuer denying the visitors time and again prior to that strike. The result confirmed Bayern Munich’s safe passage through to the Round of 16 and The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Hansi Flick’s men.
Manuel Neuer: 9/10
🔎 | FOCUS
Manuel Neuer was fantastic in Bayern's 3:1 win over Salzburg:
⏱️ 90' played
👌 59 touches
🧤 10 saves
📥 7 saves from in. the box
👟 27/34 acc. passes
📈 8.7 SofaScore rating
— SofaScore (@SofaScoreINT) November 25, 2020
The clear standout for Bayern Munich, Neuer was in his elements against Red Bull Salzburg. The veteran German goalkeeper could not have done much to deny Mergim Berisha, but other than that moment, he was simply imperious. The Bayern Munich captain made 10 saves in the game, but it was Neuer’s double save just moments before Berisha scored that takes the cake. Top class.
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
The Bayern Munich defence had a tough time on Wednesday and Pavard was no different. The French international did carry some threat going forward and played in a key pass down the right flank. However, there were some hairy moments at the back, which pulls his rating back a tad bit.
Jerome Boateng: 5/10
Bayern Munich’s centre-backs were exploited for their positional shortcomings by the visitors. Boateng struggled to cope with the enterprise of the Salzburg forwards and although he made 5 clearances, the veteran defender was caught out quite a few times, with Neuer bailing him and Alaba out.
David Alaba: 5/10
Much like Boateng, Alaba was well off his best on Wednesday. The Austrian also cheaply lost the ball a few times, with Salzburg nearly getting a sight on goal on one such instance. His lack of pace on the night was painfully clear and Alaba needs to pull his socks up going forward.
Chris Richards: 6/10
Making his Champions League debut, Richards was largely solid on the left side of the Bayern Munich defence. The 20-year-old was a constant outlet going forward, although his end product needs to be worked on. At the back, he did leave some space in behind him but made a couple of fine interventions as well. A fine work in progress.
Marc Roca: 4/10
Roca has been slow to settle in at Bayern Munich and a nervy showing against Salzburg was more of the same for the Spaniard. While he was a reliable outlet on the ball and misplaced just three passes, he struggled to nip the Salzburg attacks in the bud. Roca’s inexperience showed as well as a needless foul high up the pitch earned him a second yellow and an early shower.
Leon Goretzka: 7/10
Goretzka was not quite at his best on Wednesday, but he still did well enough to pull the strings from the middle of the park. There is no denying the fact that the German international is far more expressive with Joshua Kimmich by his side, but he still managed to string together a couple of key passes while linking up superbly with those ahead of him.
Serge Gnabry: 6/10
Gnabry nearly scored a screamer early in the game with his audacious volley just whiskers away from finding the top right corner. Apart from that one moment, he flitted in and out of the game but managed to create a couple of chances as well before being taken off for Leroy Sane.
Thomas Muller: 7/10
Muller, like Goretzka, was not quite at his orchestrating best against Salzburg. However, it was his long-range effort that ultimately rebounded towards Robert Lewandowski for the opener. Having said that, the veteran midfielder was uncharacteristically wasteful on the ball as well. There will be better days ahead for him.
Kingsley Coman: 8/10
Coman was, by far, the best attacking player for Bayern Munich and grabbed two assists on the night. The first of these assists was a lucky one as his shot deflected off Maximilian Wober and past Cican Stankovic. However, his cross for Sane’s goal was simply wonderful. The difference-maker in the end in the final third.
Robert Lewandowski: 7/10
👀 Champions League goals:
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 25, 2020
It was a momentous day for Lewandowski, who equalled the UEFA Champions League tally of Raul by scoring his 71st goal in the competition. It was one of the easiest finishes of his career, but he will gladly take each of them as they come. Otherwise, Lewandowski held the ball up well and had one more chance to add to his tally.
Leroy Sane: 7/10
A game of hits and misses for Sane. The German international’s rising header was imposing, as he scored his fifth goal in Bayern Munich colours. Sane, though, lost the ball before Salzburg pulled a goal back through Berisha.
Lucas Hernandez: 6/10
On for Pavard, Hernandez was largely solid and completed his tasks without much of a fuss.
Douglas Costa: N/A
Introduced with 12 minutes left, Costa hardly saw the ball during his stay on the pitch.
Javi Martinez: N/A
On for Richards, Martinez helped see the game out.