Two goals in four second-half minutes saw Bayern Munich defeat Barcelona 2-0 in an absorbing UEFA Champions League clash at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
Lucas Hernandez rose highest at the near post to nod in Joshua Kimmich’s corner after an entertaining first half before Leroy Sane rolled in a second in quick succession.
Among the many talking points ahead of Tuesday’s game was the return of Robert Lewandowski, who only left Bayern for Barcelona this summer. He started for the visitors, who had their own big summer recruit, Sadio Mane, in their starting XI.
Bayern scuppered a few counter-attacking opportunities early on, with heavy touches from both Sane and Jamal Musiala bringing good openings to an end.
At the other end, Lewandowski nicked the ball off Marcel Sabitzer before Raphinha and Gavi combined to set up Pedri. However, the youngster was denied by the legs of Manuel Neuer.
Gavi then crossed for Lewandowski, but the Polish striker could only head over at the back stick.
Barça continued to enjoy spells of pressure in Bayern’s half as Lewandowski spurned a great opportunity by blazing over from close range after Gavi’s neat pass. The striker soon had a header saved by Neuer before Raphinha curled just wide of the far post.
Bayern continued to show their teeth in attack as Sane beat some challenges and set up Sabitzer, but his effort whistled past the woodwork.
The action was enthralling with exciting match-ups all over the pitch, with youngsters Gavi, Pedri and Jamal Musiala all showing moments of individual quality.
However, it would be Bayern who took a firm grip on the game as they scored twice in four second-half minutes.
Hernandez broke the deadlock, heading in Joshua Kimmich’s corner at the near post, assisted by some very ropy Barça marking.
The home side doubled their advantage soon after as Musiala drove infield and fed Sane, who ran through the middle of Barça’s defence and rolled beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barça’s erratic defending ended up costing them the game but they still looked threatening in attack as Pedri poked an effort onto the post and wide.
However, Bayern closed out the victory to go top of Group C with six points, while Barça are tied with points with Inter after the Italian side beat Viktoria Plzen.