Bayern Munich avoided a potential upset away to a competitive Lokomotiv Moscow side on Tuesday evening to claim a 2-1 win in the Champions League group stages.
After an uncharacteristically sluggish start, Bayern opened the scoring with a brutally incisive goal inside the first 15 minutes, as Leon Goretzka nodded in from Benjamin Pavard’s hip-high volley.
While Bayern subsequently dominated the ball, the hosts posed a looming threat – heightened by the boisterous voices of those in the stands – of darting in behind the Bavarian’s famously high backline while a single goal separated the sides. Zé Luís finally broke Bayern’s offside trap in the 70th minute, storming down the right before fizzing a low cross to Anton Miranchuk, who finished smartly at the near post to level the scores.
Joshua Kimmich put Bayern back in front with ten minutes to play, bobbling a volley past Guilherme from outside the area to secure the club’s 13th consecutive victory in the Champions League. Here’s how he and the rest of his Bayern teammates rated.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 7/10 – Fresh from keeping his 200th clean sheet in Bayern colours on the weekend, Neuer couldn’t make a start on the next century, though through no fault of his own. He swept behind his defence superbly.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 7/10 – As Thomas Müller floated into any pockets of space which opened up, Pavard provided a potent outlet high and wide on the right flank, replicating his brilliant cushioned assist for Goretzka on a number of occasions without a finish on the other end.
Niklas Süle (CB) – 5/10 – Starting the game by booting the ball out of play with his first pass, Süle recovered his composure but was the odd man out as three-quarters of Bayern’s defence pushed up in the build up to Miranchuk’s goal.
David Alaba (CB) – 6/10 – Played the role of assistant referee on more than one occasion by thrusting an arm into the air for an offside. However, the flag was less and less forthcoming as the match wore on and Lokomotiv began to time their runs more and more carefully.
Lucas Hernández (LB) – 5/10 – Performed a more restrained role compared to his buccaneering compatriot on the opposite flank, but was caught out as Zé Luís charged, untracked, down the left for Lokomotiv’s equaliser.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 6/10 – Bayern’s number six saved an oddly subdued performance – which included a glaring miss on the cusp of the hour-mark – with his superb volley on the spin.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 8/10 – While some of his teammates dipped below the stratospheric standards Bayern have set over the past year in the opening minutes, Goretzka was razor sharp from the first whistle, barrelling around the pitch and bursting into the box with frightening regularity. Unquestionably the best player on the pitch before being subbed off at half-time.
Corentin Tolisso (AM) – 6/10 – Enjoying the added freedom as the side’s number ten, the World Cup winner floated a wonderful pass onto Pavard’s boot in the buildup to Goretzka’s goal but drifted out of the game as Lokomotiv found more joy going forward.
Thomas Müller (RW) – 5/10 – Adhered to his self-styled tag of ‘Space Interpreter’, liberally drifting around the pitch without finding the killer pass before being withdrawn at the interval.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 4/10 – Skirted around the peripheries for much of the match in a stark contrast to his wondrous form on the domestic stage.
Kingsley Coman (LW) – 5/10 – Having terrorised Atlético Madrid last midweek, Coman quickly established he had the beating of Lokomotiv’s fullbacks but fired his best chance over the bar from inside the area before being brought off in the second half.
Javi Martínez (CM) – 5/10
Serge Gnabry (RW) – 6/10
Douglas Costa (LW) – 5/10