Bayern Munich solidified their status as group C winners in the Champions League with their 3-0 over Barcelona thanks to goals from Sadio Mane (10’), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (31’), and Benjamin Pavard (90+5’). The win carries on their perfect record in the competition thus far, which they could extend with a win on the final matchday of the group stages against Inter Milan on November 1st.
Bayern did have to wait for their moments to come, but when they did, they made the most of them, which is something they had struggled with earlier on in the Hinrunde in the Bundesliga. Speaking after the match, Julian Nagelsmann was pleased with the patience his side showed to take their moments well to make the ultimate difference. Barcelona was still fighting for a result despite knowing their chances of progression were nipped in the bud by virtue of Inter beating Viktoria Plzen prior to kicking off against Bayern.
“We had a lot of yellow cards, but that’s part of it against such an opponent. We played patiently. We scored two beautiful goals and a third, which was probably not planned that way,” Nagelsmann said about proceedings (Tz). To his credit, the three yellow cards were perhaps a bit of a harsh reflection on Bayern’s part, but it’s a minor price to pay for bettering Barcelona yet again in the Champions League. In fact, Nagelsmann has now become the first ever manager to win four matches against Barcelona.
Mane’s goal in the tenth minute of play came on the tail end of a fabulous sequence of off the ball movement from Bayern and a sublime pass from Serge Gnabry to find the on-rushing Mane. The coach felt that there was a little bit of luck involved with the way certain players on Barcelona’s end shifted to try to close down Choupo-Moting and Gnabry.
“It probably wasn’t planned quite like that,” he explained. “The movement of the outfielder was so intentional. The second goal was similar.”
Nagelsmann was also very pleased with the defensive side of the performance of his side. Matthijs de Ligt’s tussles with Robert Lewandowski exemplified just how hard the players were willing to fight for every inch of space. “We defended very well today, I really liked the gall today. I’m pleased about that,” said the Bayern coach.
Want more analysis of the game? How did Nagelsmann nullify Xavi and which players stood out? Then why not check out our postgame podcast? Listen to it below or on Spotify.
As always, we appreciate all the support!