Bayern thrashed Benfica 5-2, with three goals from Robert Lewandowski -who wasted a penalty- one from Serge Gnabry and another from Leroy Sané, thus ensuring mathematically the pass to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann had announced that he planned to give rest to some players who were loaded with minutes and he did so.
Thomas Müller started the game on the bench, Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández were not even in the call. And as for the team that started Saturday’s 5-2 win over Union Berlin, Benjamin Pavard came in for Filip Stasinic on right-back and Leon Goretzka returned to the team in place of Marcel Sabitzer.
Benfica started off with some daring and had two good approaches in the first minutes.
However, the first clear chance was for Bayern when in minute 6 Vlachodimos had to save twice in a row, first against Serge Gnabry and then against Robert Lewandowski after a Kingsley Coman cross from the right.
In the 15th, Bayern had a scare when Verissimo scored, but his goal was disallowed by Pizzi’s millimeter offside on the previous play.
On the Bayern side, Coman was the most active in the attack part, with permanent overflows on the right wing.
In one of those overflows, in the 26th minute, Bayern’s goal came. Coman left Grimaldo, who had been struggling with him from the start of the game, on the road and threw a cross to the far post where Lewandowski headed in from close range.
In the 32 Serge Gnabry increased the account. Joshua Kimmich put a ball into the box, Lewandowski controlled and handed the ball to Gnabry who finished with his heel.
Benfica did not surrender and found the discount with a header from Morato in minute 38 to a center from Grimaldo from the left.
At the end of the first half, Bayern were able to increase the score with a penalty that was produced by a hand from Lucas Verissimo, but Vlachodimos stopped Lewandowski’s shot. It is the first penalty that the Pole has missed since February.
Bayern quickly shook off the missed penalty and in minute 49 Leroy Sané scored the third. Kimmich put a ball into the area, Alphonso Davies lowered it with his head and Sané defined first with his left foot.
Lewandowski, in the 61st minute, scored his second goal, a pass from Sané, with a shot with his right foot.
Then Nagelsmann moved the bench. Jamal Musiala, Thomas Müller, Omar Richards and Marcel Sabitzer entered for Coman, Sané, Davies and Kimmich.
Bayern slowed down a bit and, after a loss of the ball by Sabitzer, Darwin managed the discount for Benfica in the 74th minute.
But the three goals difference were restored again when, in 84, Lewandowski made the third in his personal account in a counterattack from Neuer’s long serve.
5 – Bayern: Neuer; Pavard, Nianzou, Upamecano, Davies (Richards, 64); Goretzka. Kimmich (Sabitzer, 72); Gnabry, Sané (Müller, 72), Coman (Musiala, 64); and Lewandowski.
2 – Benfica: Vlachodimos; Lucas Verissimo, Morato, Verthongen; Meite, Joao Mario (Paulo Bernardo, 77), Gilberto, Grimaldo (Goncalo Ramos, 77), Pizzi (Diogo Goncalves, 64), Everton (Rafa, 64); and Yaremchuk (Darwin, 64).
Goals: 1-0 (min 26, Lewandowski), 2-0 (min 32, Gnabry), 2-1 (min 38, Morato), 3-1 (min 49, Sané), 4-1 (min 61, Lewandowski) , 4-2 (min 74, Darwin), 5-2 (min 84, Lewandowski)
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland) admonished Lucas Verissimo, Upamecano, Nianzou
Incidents: Champions League group stage match played at the Allianz Arena in Munich. EFE (HN)