SOC­CER Thi­ago strike helps Bay­ern past 10-man An­der­lecht

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Thi­ago Al­can­tara’s sec­ond-half strike helped an un­der­whelm­ing Bay­ern Mu­nich see off 10-man An­der­lecht 3-0 in their open­ing Cham­pi­ons League group match on Tues­day. Af­ter Robert Le­wandowski con­verted an early penalty, Thi­ago turned the tie de­ci­sively Bay­ern’s way be­fore Joshua Kim­mich grabbed a late third at a sold-out Al­lianz Arena.

How­ever, de­spite play­ing nearly 80 min­utes with the nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage fol­low­ing Sven Kums’s early dis­missal, this was not a con­vinc­ing dis­play by Bay­ern against a lim­ited An­der­lecht side. “We should have cap­i­talised,” rued Kim­mich. “In the end, An­der­lecht had a few chances to equalise, and they shouldn’t even have been close. “With the ex­tra man, we should have done more.” Ar­jen Robben agreed that Bay­ern should have been more clin­i­cal. “There was no tempo to our game - we needed to show a bit more de­sire,” said the Dutch winger.

“The crowd de­served more, we have to give more. We should have fin­ished them when they had a man sent off.” The Bavar­i­ans need an im­proved per­for­mance at big-spend­ing Paris Saint-Ger­main, who routed Celtic 5-0 in Glas­gow, in a fort­night. The Bay­ern-PSG tie at the Parc de Princes is likely to set the tone in Group B.

Head coach Carlo Ancelotti re­acted to Bay­ern’s shock 2-0 de­feat at Hof­fen­heim by drop­ping Thomas Mueller and giv­ing new sign­ing James Ro­driguez his first start in the at­tack­ing mid­fielder role. Vet­eran wingers Robben and Franck Ribery, who both started on the bench in Hof­fen­heim, re­turned to the start­ing line-up.

Thi­ago moved back into de­fen­sive mid­field along­side France in­ter­na­tional Corentin Tolisso. Bay­ern seized the ini­tia­tive af­ter just 12 min­utes when An­der­lecht shot them­selves in the foot. Tolisso’s pass put Le­wandowski away and An­der­lecht de­fender Kums pulled the Poland striker down in the area when he was through on goal. Ref­eree Paolo Tagli­avento dis­missed Kums and Le­wandowski sent Bel­gian goal­keeper Matz Sels the wrong way to con­vert the penalty. De­spite hav­ing the nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage and en­joy­ing 76 per­cent pos­ses­sion, Bay­ern took their foot off the gas af­ter go­ing ahead. An­der­lecht should have drawn level just be­fore the break when mid­fielder Ni­co­lae Stan­ciu fired wide af­ter Le­an­der Den­don­cker had charged unchecked down the wing. An­other great chance fell to the Bel­gians early in the sec­ond half when striker Lukasz Teodor­czyk opened up space for right-back Alexan­dru Chip­ciu, who hit the post. Robben then forced Sels into a good save as Bay­ern ap­plied some pres­sure. The sec­ond goal ar­rived when Kim­mich’s cross from the right was met by Thi­ago in the mid­dle, who fired past Sels on 65 min­utes.

Bay­ern cen­tre-back Nik­las Suele headed into the An­der­lecht net two min­utes later, but Tagli­avento dis­al­lowed the goal af­ter spot­ting a push from the home side.

With 15 min­utes left, Ger­many de­fender Jerome Boateng came on for his first ap­pear­ance of the sea­son af­ter in­jury, while Mueller came on for Ribery to the French­man’s clear dis­gust. Mueller can now claim 10 con­sec­u­tive years of play­ing Cham­pi­ons League foot­ball for Bay­ern. Only fel­low Bay­ern le­gends Ribery, Mehmet Scholl and Oliver Kahn have also played a decade of top-level Euro­pean foot­ball for the club. With the 90 min­utes up, Boateng’s pass through the de­fence put Kim­mich away to roll his shot into the An­der­lecht goal. — AFP

MU­NICH: Bay­ern Mu­nich’s Ger­man mid­fielder Joshua Kim­mich (L) scores the third goal past An­der­lecht’s Bel­gian goal­keeper Matz Sels dur­ing the Cham­pi­ons League group B match be­tween Bay­ern Mu­nich and RSC An­der­lecht in Mu­nich, south­ern Ger­many, on Tues­day. — AFP

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