UEFA Champions League 2018-19, Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool: 5 Talking Points and Tactical Analysis
Liverpool swatted aside Bayern Munich’s challenge to book their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. The 3-1 victory on Wednesday coupled with the 0-0 score-line from the first leg sent the Reds through on aggregate.
The home side enjoyed the majority of the ball in the opening exchanges. However, the German side couldn’t dent their English counterparts and they fell behind in the 26th minute.
A superb long-ball by Virgil van Dijk found Sadio Mane deep inside Bayern territory. The Senegalese expertly escaped the attention of Rafinha and Manuel Neuer to dink the ball over the retreating defenders.
The hosts though hit back thirteen minutes later when Joel Matip put one through his own net.
With the tie level at 1-1 and Liverpool advancing on the away goal rule, many expected Bayern to turn the screw in the second period. Yet, it was the away side who made all the running after the break.
The visitors were rewarded in the 69th minute when van Dijk towered above everyone else to power home a header. The result was finally put beyond doubt by Mane six minutes from time with another headed finish.
Here is a look at five talking points from the game:
#5. Liverpool put in an accomplished away performance
Liverpool has been wretched on the road in the Champions League this season. Having lost each of their away group games, the Reds’ faithful were left fearing the worst when they travelled to Munich. However, Jurgen Klopp’s men put those away ghosts to bed with an emphatic victory.
From the outset, Liverpool looked quicker and moved the ball with intent. Their plan of stifling the hosts’ passing worked to perfection with their midfield standing up to be counted.
The likes of Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner covered every blade of grass and didn’t allow Thiago and Javi Martinez to dictate the tempo of the game.
In the attacking third, the away side waited for their chances and took their opportunities with aplomb.
However, the most impressive aspect of their display was their defensive solidity. In previous encounters away from Anfield, the Reds had looked susceptible defensively. Yet, in the biggest European game of their season, they came up trumps with Van Dijk at the heart of a sturdy performance.
Before the match at the Allianz Arena, Liverpool had lost five on the road in the Champions League, dating back to the defeat to Roma last season. Yet, when push came to shove, Klopp’s men stood strong in the face of adversity to script a convincing victory.