You just couldn't have asked for a better opening game on Matchday 2 of the 2020-21 UEFA Champions League. A box office game between Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayern Munich ended in a narrow win for the away side as the Bavarian giants took all three points from the game. However, Lokomotiv showed immense spirit and grit to push Bayern till the end.
A dominant display from the champions in the first half saw Hansi Flick's men take the lead, courtesy a brilliant team goal. Corentin Tolisso played a looping ball to Benjamin Pavard. The Frenchman met it with precision with a volley-cross into the path of Leon Goretzka who headed home at the near post.
The home side then began to threaten Bayern Munich. They created a few brilliant chances through Ze Luis, one of the best players on the night, and regularly tested Manuel Neuer in the Bayern Munich goal. However, the home side eventually came short as Joshua Kimmich produced a beauty of a strike to win the game in the dying minutes for Bayern Munich.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the five talking points from the game.
#5 Lokomotiv Moscow produce a courageous performance against Bayern Munich
While Bayern Munich eventually showed their experience, quality and class, Lokomotiv fans have more than enough to feel good about. The home side tested Bayern Munich and refused to give up despite the visitors' intense pressure.
Lokomotiv defended in a solid 4-4-1-1, with Ze Luis as the target man up front. They looked to limit Bayern Munich's penetration through the middle and exploit the huge spaces left behind by the marauding full-backs of the visitors, a tactic that worked to perfection.
There was no sense of fear from the home side. They always committed bodies up front whenever Bayern Munich were caught on the counter. The home side created enough chances to alter the scoreline, but unfortunately, they were inefficient in the final third.
#4 Bayern Munich's high defensive line stood exposed
39% of Lokomotiv's attacks came from the left flank, with 36% from the right and less than 24% through the middle. David Alaba and Niklas Sule struggled to contain Ze Luis who displayed strength to hold onto the ball on numerous occasions, allowing Lokomotiv's wide midfielders to make runs beyond him.
Kimmich dropped between the Bayern Munich centre-backs but was often caught higher up the pitch, leaving Sule and Alaba on their own. Lokomotiv took advantage of that as Luis dragged the Bayern centre-backs across the face of the pitch to create space for his teammates behind the visitors' defensive line.
The home side had 15 attempts with six on target, despite having less than 35% of the possession. Having put up a dazzling counterattacking performance, Lokomotiv would be upset that they didn't come out with at least a point from the game.