Five time European champions, Bayern Munich eased past PSV Eindhoven – hitting the Dutch champions for four with Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben all on target for Carlo Ancelotti’s side at the Allianz Arena in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday evening reports Steven Davies.
WEDNESDAY 19TH OCTOBER 2016
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – GROUP G
BAYERN MUNICH 4-1 PSV
On a cold and wet night in Munich, PSV Eindhoven, whose sole European Cup triumph in 1988 had come on German soil – in Stuttgart, where they had overthrown Portuguese powerhouse, Benfica on penalties, endured a torrid opening – Thomas Muller dragging his finish wide of Dutch international ‘keeper, Jeroen Zoet’s left hand upright as early as the third minute following a rampaging run and pull back from Austrian full back, David Alaba.
The four-man PSV defence and right back, Joshua Brenet in particular, had no answer for the Bayern front three, nor the elusive Alaba who found himself unrestricted in the visitor’s area once again in the 11th minute but unable to keep his effort down after a penetrating run by Dutch international, Arjen Robben.
Despite coming into this encounter off the back of a five match dry spell in front of goal in all competitions, Robert Lewandowski tested Zoet’s reflexes on a number of occasions throughout the half and, following the Dutch international ‘keeper’s denial of the Polish marksman in the 13th minute, a quickly taken corner from Arjen Robben found Thomas Muller inexplicably unmarked at the near post – the German international beating a furious, Zoet at the second time of asking to put Carlo Ancelotti’s men into the ascendancy with only his second goal of the season in all competitions.
Alaba continued to terrorize the PSV backline and he would play a key role in the host’s second goal of the evening – the Austrian international’s deflected cross from the left finding the head of German international, Joshua Kimmich unmarked at the back post for the 21-year-old to double the host’s advantage and seemingly end the game as a meaningful contest, such had been the German champions’ dominance to that point of the match.
However, despite having not having had a single attempt on goal in the first 38 minutes of the contest, the ball suddenly ended up in the back of Bayern ‘keeper, Manuel Neuer’s net – Gaston Pereiro wrongly adjudged by Scottish referee, William Collum to have been offside when receiving the ball prior to beating the German international ‘keeper.
Yet, Phillip Cocu’s men weren’t to be denied and, just a minute later, Luciano Narsingh left the Bayern rear guard for dead having been sent streaking away from the host’s back line by an incisive pass from Pereiro before flashing a spectacular drive past Neuer into the top right hand corner of the net to reignite the game as a contest.
Both teams came into this encounter in indifferent form in their respective domestic competitions – reigning Dutch title holders, PSV lagging behind current Eredivisie pacesetters, Feyenoord by nine points following a disappointing draw at home to Heracles on Saturday evening, while, like their opponents, Bayern were also without a win in their last three matches in all competitions, although unlike their Dutch counterparts, Carlo Ancelotti’s side remain atop the Bundesliga standings – two points ahead of both FC Koln and RB Leipzig despite having dropped points at home to Koln and away at Eintracht Frankfurt in their last two league outings.
Despite their faltering form in the Eredivisie and having taken just one point from a possible six thus far in group play in the UEFA Champions League, the visitors began the second stanza where they had ended the first – Uruguayan, Pereiro drawing a point blank save from Germany’s number one in the 52nd minute.
However, any momentum that the Dutch champions had built up early in the second half was brought to an abrupt halt just before the hour when former PSV player, Robben weaved his way through the Eindhoven backline and drew a save from Zoet whose parry fell invitingly onto the head of Lewandowski – the Polish international making no mistake with the goal at his mercy.
With the resistance of the away side finally broken, the hosts, who came into the encounter with Phillip Cocu’s men off the back of a surprise loss in Spain to Atletico Madrid in their last UEFA Champions League fixture, continued to press – Zoet denying both Muller and then Robben before the Dutch maestro finally put the game to bed when he beat an onrushing Zoet to a lofted ball into the PSV box from the boot of Spanish international, Thiago Alcântara – sending a looping header over the Dutch international stopper and into the unguarded net to round off an incredible period of possession by the German champions that contained over thirty consecutive passes.
Realistically, with both Atletico and Bayern looking in imperious form in group play, it would appear that Phillip Cocu’s men must now focus on securing third place in the group and with it a ticket into the latter stages of the UEFA Europa League, with the visit of Rostov to the Philips Stadion on 6th December taking on extra significance.
Man of the Match: Arjen Robben
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