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Reds beat Spurs to complete perfect group stage

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Reds beat Spurs to complete perfect group stage

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:05 pm

FC Bayern completed a perfect Champions League group stage on Wednesday evening with a 3-1 win at home to Tottenham Hotspur, becoming the first German club to collect maximum points from their six group games in the competition. Kingsley Coman gave the Reds the lead, which was quickly cancelled out by Ryan Sessegnon, but goals from Thomas Müller and Phillipe Coutinho gave Bayern a deserved victory.

Head coach Hansi Flick made five changes to his starting line-up. Robert Lewandowski was given a well-earned rest, with Serge Gnabry leading the line. Javi Martínez, Benjamin Pavard, Coutinho and Ivan Perišić also came into the starting line-up. David Alaba and Corentin Tolisso missed out due to knocks, while Leon Goretzka and Müller dropped to the bench – although the latter came on midway through the first half in place of Kingsley Coman, who picked up a worrying injury.

Müller regains deserved lead

Despite the result having no bearing on the group standings, the match got off to a fast-paced start, with Bayern pressing the Spurs defence high. The first real chance arrived on 12 minutes, when Perišić’s left-wing cross was met at the far post by Pavard, whose volley was kept out by a sharp save by Paulo Gazzaniga. The Argentine goalkeeper was beaten just a couple of minutes later when Gnabry’s ball found its way through to Coman in space and he picked out the far bottom corner.

Bayern’s lead didn’t last long, though, as Sessegnon drew the visitors level with an unstoppable volley from the left side of the box. The tempo of the game briefly dropped after that, but FCB put their foot back on the accelerator towards the end of the first half. Gnabry, who was Tottenham’s tormentor in the reverse fixture, struck the post before setting up Alphonso Davies, whose shot also hit the woodwork but Muller was in the right place to slide in the rebound. Coutinho almost added another goal in added time with a 30-yard piledriver which crashed off the underside of the bar.

Coutinho seals it

The majority of the play continued to take place in the Spurs half after the break, although it wasn't quite as free-flowing as the first half. Having fired straight at Gazzaniga just moments earlier, Coutinho finally got his first Champions League goal for Bayern, curling the ball into the far corner from just outside the area in the 64th minute.

That all but ended the game as a contest, with Spurs barely troubling the Reds' defence – although Manuel Neuer did well to deny Son Heung-min late on. There was also a special moment for 18-year-old Joshua Zirkzee, who made his senior debut on a night that Bayern made history.

Flick's men are back in Bundesliga action Saturday when they host SV Werder Bremen (kick-off 14:30 CET).

Live match report for fcbayern.com by Joseph Rutter
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