Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade: 5 Players who impressed for the Bavarians | Champions League 2019-20
Goals from Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller got Bayern Munich off to a winning start in their UEFA Champions League season, against Red Star Belgrade.
Although in cruise control for large portions of the game, it wasn't what one would label as relentless or deadly, as Niko Kovac's side were made to play the patient game.
The hosts were up and running in the encounter right from the outset, as it took just a couple of minutes for them to test the opposition goalkeeper. By the end of the first 45 minutes, Bayern had 18 attempts on goal, with six of them on target. Alongside, they possessed about 81% of the ball.
Although it was smooth sailing for the German champions, a defensively stacked Red Star side frustrated them to just the solitary goal in the opening half. The dark blue shirts completely swarmed their 18-yard box, sticking to a compact shape and thereby, trying to remain in the game.
Milan Borjan in Red Star's goal was called into action way more often than he'd have liked, as Robert Lewandowski, Tolisso, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic tested him time and time again.
The second half began in similar fashion, with just about one spell of play going the visitors' way before the hour mark. Following a horrendously misplaced pass, Lewandowski set on his way through, but Borjan's fabulous reaction save way ahead of his goal line spared his side's blushes.
Tolisso hit the frame of goal while trying to curl one with his side foot, while the Bayern number 9 blazed a shot just over a bar when on free-kick duty as well. Minutes later, Perisic's exquisite control and shot met the woodwork before Lewandowski's follow-up went over.
The Poland international finally got his goal, in scrappy fashion albeit, when he pounced on a defensive miscommunication to divert the ball into the back of the net.
On that note, we look at five players who rose to the occasion in this season's UCL opener for Bayern Munich.
#5 Thiago Alcantara
Thiago provided a defensive sheath while his side conducted one-way traffic. The Spaniard stuck to his task, intercepted a host of passes played by the opposition and helped his side regain possession of the ball.
Passing wise, he was as reliable and safe as ever. A couple of long passes indeed, cut open the Red Star defence. If not for the disappointing finishing, the play maker's distribution was sure to draw plaudits.
His awareness in midfield brought about a comforting presence that allowed Bayern to probe further up the pitch. In the 64th minute of the game, it was Thiago's heroic intervention that not only nicked the ball away but also won his side a free-kick when he took the force of Pavkov's kick to his ankle.
The final ball to Muller in the 91st minute served as a cherry on top.