After the first 45 minutes, it was a wonder how Barcelona were not in front, with Robert Lewandowski and company feasting on the Bayern back line in his return to the Allianz Arena.
The Blaugrana had battered the hosts, with Bayern looking again off the pace after three straight Bundesliga draws. The only thing that was missing for Barcelona was the final product, and it felt like that eventually, things would fall their way.
Then halftime came and went, and a different Bayern team emerged from the tunnel, unrecognizable from the one that departed the Allianz Arena field at the break. Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane goals four minutes apart saw the hosts go in front before the hour mark, and Barcelona were yet again sunk by the German opposition which is quickly becoming Public Enemy No. 1 in Catalonia.
Barcelona fell yet again to Bayern Munich, a familiar result in European play, as the Germans yet again get the better of their Spanish opponents.
The Sporting News followed the Bayern-Barcelona match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.
MORE: Updated list of Champions League top scorers so far in 2022/23
51st min — BAY — Lucas Hernandez
54th min — BAY — Leroy Sane
Barcelona came into this match in much better form than Bayern, and it felt like Xavi’s men were the favorites even on the road to a team that’s given them fits over the years. The first half saw Barcelona in complete control, and it appeared as if the Blaugrana were going to run away with the match if they could just produce a final ball to beat Manuel Neuer.
That never happened. Instead, their old bogey team reemerged.
For the fifth straight time and ninth over all across 14 all-time meetings, Bayern emerged victorious. It’s becoming more than just a fluky trend, as it instead feels as if Bayern are poking a Barcelona voodoo doll in the dressing room.
Barcelona have conceded 19 goals in their last 5 games against Bayern. ☠️ pic.twitter.com/wq1lcQAgzU
With or without Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich for a foreseeable future will remain Barcelona nemesis. Every club has its nemesis.
Bayern Munich spent a fortune this summer on Dutch center-back Matthijs de Ligt, but his early struggles alongside Frenchman Dayot Upamecano have seen Bayern concede goals at terrible moments over the first few weeks of the season.
The Bayern boss instead turned to Lucas Hernandez for this massive Champions League tilt, leaving de Ligt on the bench. The end result made Nagelsmann look like a genius, as Hernandez was easily the Man of the Match for the Bavarians. After Bayern escaped to halftime unscathed, Hernandez produced a world-class second half, rendering Robert Lewandowski totally invisible and picking up a goal of his own on the other end.
Unfortunately, Hernandez was forced off injured in the final seconds of the match with what looked a painful groin problem, which could force de Ligt back to duty, but when the French defender returns, Nagelsmann should see him straight back into the side.
Lucas Hernández’s game by numbers vs. Barcelona:
89% pass accuracy
48 passes completed
4 long balls completed
3 ground duels won
2 tackles won
Opened the scoring for Bayern. 💥 pic.twitter.com/3YdFNo4BVp
Behind an emphatic second half, Bayern Munich take control of Group C, a stunning last 45 minute performance full of grit and cutting edge.
Barcelona were soundly beaten after the break, following their run of big missed chances in the opening half, thwarted repeatedly by Manuel Neuer. The Blaugrana still cannot shake their old Champions League ghosts.
36 years old and still dominating games like no other 🐙 pic.twitter.com/45XNd5wYGK
90+3 min: Lewandowski appears to be in after a bouncing ball drops at his feet in the penalty area, but Josh Kimmich arrives out of nowhere to clear the ball.
Lucas Hernandez is down with what looks to be a groin issue nearly the penalty flag, reaching for a tackle with Franck Kessie. Barcelona want him to get up quickly as not to time waste, and the Frenchman reacts angrily, saying he’s actually hurt. The replay shows as much, pulling up immediately after his stretch, a tough loss for Bayern moving forward after a big showing in today’s match.
86th min: Barcelona are throwing everything they have at Bayern Munich, and it’s not borne any kind of fruit. Ansu Fati is nearly in but his touch fails him, and Ferran Torres skids one wide. This second half has shown a different Bayern team than we’ve seen the last few weeks: pumped full of adrenaline and ready to slay a giant.
80th min: Leroy Sane is withdrawn, replaced by Ryan Gravenberch. Sane had a great match, but is clearly upset on the touchline and heads right down the tunnel. Could that just be frustration at being subbed off, or is he injured? Barcelona bring on Franck Kessie and Ansu Fati for the final 10 minutes.
Leroy Sané’s game by numbers vs. Barcelona:
100% tackles won
91% pass accuracy
29 passes completed
2 key passes
1 shot on target
♦️ #FCBFCB 2-0 ♦️ pic.twitter.com/wTqqWdFcmk
77th min: Lewandowski gets service at the penalty spot, with his back to goal and working one-on-one with Lucas Hernandez, and the French international dispossesses him. As the chance is cleared, Hernandez has a big fist pump as he locks down his mark.
Hernanez shouldn’t get ahead of himself just yet, though, as he concedes a hard foul on Lewandowski outside the top of the penalty area, and it’s a big set-piece chance for Barcelona…Lewandowski takes it, and it’s straight into the wall.
73rd min: Josh Kimmich gets a yellow card for what is essentially a wedgie of de Jong, grabbing at the Dutchman’s shorts as he looks to break free on the ball. Third yellow card of the match, and second to Bayern.
Barcelona are throwing numbers forward and looking to get back into the game. Ferran Torres is nearly through, and he goes down in the penalty area under a Goretzka challenge, but it’s not enough for a penalty.
70th min: Both sides make changes, as Bayern bring on Serge Gnabry (and his big club hand, wrapped after an injury) for Leroy Sane, while Andreas Christensen comes off to make way for Eric Garcia.
After the restart, the chemistry issues continue for Barcelona as de Jong goes for the through ball and Lewandowski misses the run, instead looking to shift onto the other side of his defender. Those issues continue to plague Barcelona throughout this second half.
63rd min: Chance, Barcelona! How has Pedri missed that?!?!?!? He’s through on goal with only Neuer to beat thanks to a great thread by Lewandowski, and he dinks his effort off the outside of the left post, out for a goal kick. Neuer came off his line to challenge, but the Bayern keeper didn’t get a touch, the shot just trickled wide.
Watch in the USA:
Barcelona missed all those chances in the first half and now Bayern are trying to bury them
It’s been that kind of day for Barcelona, yet to find the back of the net.
Barcelona missed all those chances in the first half and now Bayern are trying to bury them
60th min: Bayern are suddenly by far the better side, winning every single 50/50 ball in midfield and catching Barcelona players napping. Xavi wants to make a change to stem the flow of blood, and he has Frenkie de Jong and Ferran Torres to come on in place of Gavi and Raphinha.
What a difference a half makes. Gavi and Raphinha were arguably the two best Barcelona players, and they end up hauled off on 60 minutes with their side down 2-0.
54th min: GOAL! BAYERN! Bayern are buzzing since taking the lead, and it’s a quickfire double! It’s young Musiala to start the move, and Leroy Sane charges right through the heart of the Barcelona defense. He goes right by Jules Kounde who can’t keep up, and ter Stegen has no chance. What a resurgence from Bayern!
It’s a tragedy for Barcelona, who were by far the better side in the first half but failed to take advantage, and now find themselves two goals down and second-best in the match.
Watch in the USA:
LEROY SANE 💥
BAYERN WITH TWO GOALS IN FOUR MINUTES OVER BARCELONA 👀 pic.twitter.com/J7VIbZTByf
Watch in the UK:
LOOK AT THAT SPEED! 💨
Leroy Sane doubles the lead for Bayern Munich with a tremendous burst between the Barcelona defenders 😱#UCL pic.twitter.com/sdC1eEoxiZ
51st min: GOAL! BAYERN! On the ensuing corner, it’s the game’s first goal! Lucas Hernandez is wide open, let run free by Marcos Alonso who got lost amongst the trees. Far too easy for Bayern, just after halftime!
Watch in the USA:
JOSHUA KIMMICH SETS IT UP AND LUCAS HERNANDEZ FINISHES IT. BAYERN STRIKE FIRST 🎯
What a time to score his first goal in 22 months 👏 pic.twitter.com/kukHc574gg
Watch in the UK:
Right place ✅
Right time ✅
Lucas Hernandez arrives at the near-post and heads home Joshua Kimmich’s corner ⚽️#UCL pic.twitter.com/p8gRGgeasN
50th min: Chance, Bayern! Muller sets up new man Goretzka, who has a hit from a central area, and it’s saved very well by Marc-Andre ter Stegen his first time required.
48th min: The first Barcelona player booked is Sergio Busquets, and again it’s a bit soft, as he takes down Musiala. He offers a hand to help Musiala up, and it’s snubbed, without even as much as eye contact from the German youngster. Spicy!
45th min: Back under way for the second half. One change, as Bayern manager Nagelsmann swaps midfielders, bringing on Leon Goretzka for Marcel Sabitzer.
It’s a wonder how this game remains scoreless after a highly entertaining first 45 minutes. Barcelona, especially, should be in front, as Robert Lewandowski missed a host of chances that you’d expect him to score, while Manuel Neuer was critical in keeping the visitors out.
As the half wore down, Bayern built into the match, but failed to produce any really high quality chances on net, with Sabitzer dragging their only good effort on net wide. Alphonso Davies is very lucky to get away with a no-call on the edge of the penalty area just before the halftime whistle.
Bayern vs. Barcelona being played at 100 mph, it’s carnage in the middle as the two press each other—and it’s really separating the wheat from the chaff from a technical standpoint. Fascinating to watch which players thrive or struggle in this atmosphere. #UCL
10 – Barcelona have attempted 10 shots in the first half against Bayern, becoming the first away team to attempt 10+ shots in a first half at the Allianz Arena in the Champions League since Fiorentina in October 2008 (11). Unleashed. pic.twitter.com/aaHbD3sASn
Gavi was a top performer for Barcelona, with four chances created, three more than anyone else on the pitch through the opening half.
Gavi’s first half by numbers vs. Bayern Munich:
100% crosses completed
100% tackles won
17 passes completed
4 key passes
1 big chance created
New contract, same Gavi. 💫 pic.twitter.com/ptPqHz8SPU
43rd min: Chance, Barcelona! Lewandowski’s let another go! Stunning work by Raphinha to tee up the star striker, but he blows it by taking a touch rather than hitting it first-time, which everyone in the stadium expected him to do. That single touch allowed Mazraoui to recover and make a great tackle, denying the eventual shot.
At some point, Lewandowski has to put one of these big chances away, or Barcelona will end up rueing their misses, which are piling up.
Watch in the USA:
Noussair Mazraoui to Robert Lewandowski: NOPE. 😳 pic.twitter.com/KLbqCrfVWq
In the aftermath, Raphinha goes down under a heavy challenge from Davies at the very edge of the penalty area, but it’s waved away. The replay shows that Davies is probably very lucky to get away with that one, as his step from behind didn’t touch the ball but definitely impeded the opponent.
Stonewall penalty. Davies fouled Dembele. Bayern, as so often, lucky. #fcbfcb
40th min: Bayern wastes a chance as two attackers crash into each other in the penalty area. It’s Sadio Mane and Thomas Muller who both look to latch onto Musiala’s cross, and they collide, with the ball squirting harmlessly away.
Bayern putting on a master class of “somehow not getting a shot off from that attack”
Bayern facing the same problems they’ve had for much of this season: plenty of talent up front but not a single one really looking sharp enough to do something special.
33rd min: Bayern fans unveil a tifo in the supporter’s end that takes aim at the Premier League cancelling matches in the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth’s passing.
Bayern Munich supporters this evening referring to short-notice postponement and rescheduling of matches involving British teams:
“Last-minute match delays and bans because of a royal’s death!? Respect fans!”#fcbfcb #ucl pic.twitter.com/6ROJZE56s7
31st min: Chance, Bayern! It’s the first big chance for the hosts, as Leroy Sane cuts inside and feeds Marcel Sabitzer, but the Austrian fires wide himself. Another big miss in this game!
Barcelona were screaming for a foul in the build-up, with Busquets spilled on the ground in midfield.
28th min: Chance, Barcelona! The visitors have another big chance, but again come away with nothing. Lewandowski tees one up for Raphinha at the top of the 18-yard box, but the Brazilian rifles his low effort just shy of the right post.
Barcelona have been the better side through the opening half-hour, but will they rue these misses?
21st min: Chance, Barcelona! ANOTHER BIG SAVE BY NEUER! Ousmane Dembele down the left feeds a spectacular diagnoal ball to Lewandowski who comes close again, setting himself up with one touch with the shot on his second, but he’s once again denied by his old teammate!
One of a kind 🕷️
♦️ #FCBFCB 0-0 ♦️ pic.twitter.com/ongwBGtZe3
Noussair Mazraoui comes on to replace Pavard, who probably shouldn’t have been allowed to continue in the first place after his earlier head injury.
19th min: Marcel Sabitzer picks up a yellow for a challenge with Sergio Busquets. It’s a bit of a harsh one, as Sabitzer was the one who went to ground first in what appeared to be a true 50/50 challenge, but Busquets came out worse ending up taking a cleat to the ribs.
In the aftermath, Pavard comes off the field, clearly struggling from his early clash with Alonso.
18th min: Chance, Barcelona! A miss from Lewandowski! The former Bayern man roasts the home defense with brilliant skill to get free, but he pokes a ninja-kick shot over the bar. It’s an effort of the highest degree of difficulty, but one that Lewandowski has converted before.
Watch in the USA:
Lewandowski comes close. 😮 pic.twitter.com/v4q3nQeXbM
15th min: Oh my, Manuel Neuer makes a horrible and rare mistake on the ball, scuffing a pass right to Lewandowski, but Dayot Upamecano makes a brilliant recovery to block his entry feed. You don’t see that from the Bayern legend too often!
Remember this from pre-match? Old habits die hard!
Thomas Muller: 🗣 “For the past ten days. Sadio Mané has been joking with me to be careful not to accidentally pass the ball to Robert Lewandowski”
13th min: This has been a brilliant match so far between two title-caliber teams. The level of play is of the highest quality, with great passes, better tackles, and top saves already through the match’s opening stage. Buckle up!
Can tell already that the level of this game is so high. Unbelievable technicians all over the pitch.
One excellent matchup that proves to be a match-long battle is Alphonso Davies vs. Raphinha.
9th min: Chance, Barcelona! WHAT A SAVE Manuel Neuer! Just as we say that Barcelona were wilting under the early Bayern press, some pressure of their own results in a break. Lewandowski down the right flicks into the middle to start a great passing move, eventually falling to Pedri who has a wide open sight on net. The young midfielder rips a left-footed shot, but the Bayern veteran produces a better save, flicking his leg out against his body’s momentum to keep the shot out. Kick save…AND A BEAUTY.
Watch in the USA:
Manuel Neuer DENIES Pedri ❌ pic.twitter.com/R5HWQX3Zl5
8th min: The Bayern press has been VERY good, turning Barcelona over a few times in dangerous areas and with numbers on the counter. The final third product hasn’t been there quite yet, but it feels like it’s coming.
5th min: Benjamin Pavard takes a while to get up after a hard crash into Marcos Alonso. Pavard headed a ball on a Bayern counter and his momentum carried him into the new Barcelona full-back. No malicious intent at all, but it looked a nasty one. The French international is up eventually and ready to continue.
2nd min: An early mistake by Barcelona gifts Sadio Mane the ball at the top of the penalty area, but the Spanish side tracks back well to hound the new Bayern man, and his feed for Musiala is off the mark to end the chance. Naglesmann had said before the match he wants to see Mane be more selfish in front of goal.
The Bayern boss wants to see a hungrier Sadio Mane. 👹#SadioMane #BayernMunich pic.twitter.com/K7raOEV6AK
1st min: Barcelona get the match under way at the Allianz Arena! The two captains, Sergio Busquets and Manuel Neuer, are as battle-tested as they come. Who will lead their team to a critical Champions League victory?
20 mins to kick: Robert Lewandowski has seen plenty of matches as an opponent at the Allianz Arena, having played for Borussia Dortmund before switching sides in Der Klassiker, but he has not scored against Bayern in the Champions League, coming up empty in his first and only attempt — the 2013 Champions League final.
Robert Lewandowski with his old Bayern teammates ❤️#UCL pic.twitter.com/DETF3YtaHM
Nobody has scored more goals in Barcelona’s first six La Liga games since 1956. An incredible start to the season.
4 – Robert Lewandowski 🇵🇱 could become the 4th player to score for and against Bayern in the #UCL, after Giovane Élber 🇧🇷, Roy Makaay 🇳🇱 and Lukas Podolski 🇩🇪. This will be his 1st game at the Allianz Arena as an opposition player since Apr 2014 (3-0 win for B. Dortmund). Return. pic.twitter.com/a78DfFzaVm
30 mins to kick: Barcelona enter the field for warm-ups to a rousing chorus of boos from the German home faithful, until the Polish international applauded the Bayern fans, to which the reception sharply changed.
It’s notable to see what kind of reception former Bayern striker Lewandowski receives throughout the match today. He won the gamut of trophies at the Bavarian club, but left in unceremonious manner as he forced his way out.
Lewandowski then changed this by clapping the crowd – at which point they all clapped.
36 mins to kick: Much is being made of an especially tall Barcelona starting lineup against Bayern tonight. Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen are both 6’2″ and proven aerial presences.
Quite a tall Barca team.
That will be fascinating to see matched up against Bayern starter Dayot Upamecano, who has struggled in aerial duels this season.
👀 Dayot Upamecano starts for Bayern vs. Barcelona. He’s won 31% of his aerial duels this year.
You can get Robert Lewandowski to score from a header at +600 at @CaesarsSports or Lewandowski to score inside the 6-yard box at +650
Check out a full betting preview of this Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona match before things get kicked off.
60 mins to kick: How bout the shiner on Josh Kimmich’s right eye? He got it in a friendly-fire clash with Marcel Sabitzer a few days ago. Looks good on the German international.
Joshua Kimmich: 💯 #FCBFCB #UCL #packmas pic.twitter.com/WDKE4X6Xrv
75 mins to kick: Bayern have their lineup out early as well, and Dayot Upamecano starts at center-back alongside Lucas Hernandez, with Matthijs de Ligt on the bench. Marcel Sabitzer returns to the midfield after being rested over the weekend, while bright young talent Jamal Musiala is deployed in the attack.
Sitting Upamecano instead of de Ligt is an interesting call from Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann. Upamecano has won just 31 percent of his aerial duels this year in Bundesliga play, and Lewandowski is an aerial threat in front of goal.
86 mins to kick: Barcelona have released their lineups significantly early. For the visitors, Andreas Christensen and Jules Kounde are entrusted with the defensive duties, while Marcos Alonso makes his first Barcelona start in a very big spot. Ronald Araujo earns the start at right-back over Hector Bellerin.
Marcos Alonso could make his first Barcelona start in #UCL action against Bayern Munich.
Via: (Sport) pic.twitter.com/7j6hyZqeZG
120 mins to kickoff: Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic asked fans not to boo Lewandowski, as he “won everything with us,” but it will be interesting to see if the Bavarian faithful feel similarly loyal to a player who barged his way out of the club.
Either way, the 34-year-old is a Barcelona player now, and he’s off to a flying start, bagging a hat-trick in his Champions League debut for the club against Viktoria Plzen last week.
𝑹𝒐𝒃𝒆𝒓𝒕 𝑳𝒆𝒘𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒐𝒘𝒔𝒌𝒊 ⚽️⚽️⚽️#UCL | @lewy_official pic.twitter.com/S5cpe1QQng
Striker Sadio Mane was rested against Stuttgart, coming off the bench for a nine-minute cameo at the end of the disappointing draw.
The defensive pairing of Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano has struggled at times to start the year, and it’s Lucas Hernandez who comes in for this match in place of de Ligt. Benjamin Pavard and Marcel Sabitzer are also back in the lineup as well, while young Jamal Musiala is part of the attack in place of Serge Gnabry.
Bayern Munich starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer (GK) — Davies, Hernandez, Upamecano, Pavard — Sabitzer, Kimmich — Musiala, Muller, Sane — Mane.
Bayern Munich subs (9): Ulreich (GK), de Ligt, Mazraoui, Stanisic, Goretzka, Gravenberch, Gnabry, Tel, Chupo-Moting.
Xavi has so many options on this incredibly deep roster that picking a likely lineup each match is difficult, but it figures to look similarly to the previous Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen.
New defensive signing Marcos Alonso made his debut over the weekend against Cadiz and now makes his first Barcelona start, while fellow new man Hector Bellerin heads to the bench after starting over the weekend. In the rest of defense, it’s Jules Kounde on the right plus a center-back pairing of Ronald Araujo and Andreas Christensen, with Gerard Pique, Eric Garcia, and Jordi Alba all available as substitutes.
Barcelona starting lineup (4-3-3): Ter Stegen (GK) — Alonso, Araujo, Christensen, Kounde — Pedri, Busquets, Gavi — Dembele, Lewandowski, Raphinha.
Barcelona subs (12): Tenas (GK), Pena (GK), Pique, Alba, Garcia, Balde, Bellerin, de Jong, Kessie, Fati, F. Torres, Depay.
UK: The Champions League group stage match between Bayern Munich and Barcelona will be televised on BT Sport 4, and can be streamed on both the BT Sport app and website.
USA: In the United States, the Group C match will be televised on Spanish language channels Univision and TUDN, which are available to stream via fuboTV. Additionally, the match will be streamed in English on CBS’s subscription-based platform Paramount+ and on the Univision Spanish-language streaming service ViX+.
Canada: Every Champions League match all season long is streamed via DAZN.
Australia: Every Champions League match all season long is streamed via Stan Sport.
Odds via Caesars (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), & SkyBet (UK).
Just based purely on form, these lines don’t quite make sense. Since a season-opening scoreless draw in La Liga play, Barcelona have pummeled everyone in their path, while Bayern Munich have struggled in the Bundesliga.
And although Bayern’s attack is one of the world’s best, it hasn’t been able to make up for the deficiencies seen at the back, where Bayern are struggling defensively.
Backing Barcelona to win outright at the given odds jumps off the board as they look to snatch control of a brutal Group C that’s up for grabs.