Bayern Munich weren’t perfect, but it’s not perfection the Germans will be searching for as they look to navigate the Group of Death, it’s simply points they need.
And points they collected — three of them, in fact — after a 2-0 victory over Inter at the San Siro to begin Group C play.
A Leroy Sane strike in the first half was enough to see the Bavarian side in front at the break, and they doubled the lead just past the hour mark through a beautiful combination between Sane and Kingsley Coman that resulted in an Inter own-goal.
That was enough to see out the match, with Inter pressing for a goal early in the second half but fading by the time the Bayern second went in. Joaquin Correa, on just minutes earlier, had a glorious opportunity to find a consolation late, but he dragged an effort wide of Manuel Neuer’s goal to sum up Inter’s performance.
For Bayern, it’s a satisfying result to put the two straight Bundesliga draws behind them, while Inter have their pain compounded from defeat in the Milan derby over the weekend. Fill-in goalkeeping Andre Onana was a bright spot for Inter, but a solid performance in net does little to decorate the overall Inter performance.
The Sporting News followed the match live, providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happened.
MORE: Is this the Champions League group of death?
25th min — BAY — Leroy Sane
66th min — BAY — Danilo D’Ambrosio (OG)
There were mistakes from Bayern Munich, and Inter tested them on occasion, but ultimately a veteran Bayern group held firm. Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Josh Kimmich, Manuel Neuer, Sadio Mane, and Kingsley Coman have been in plenty of pressure moments across their careers, and it showed today.
All those men had various moments to forget throughout the match, but none of them let it affect their overall performances. A classic Bayern performance, and while a reunion with Robert Lewandowski looms on the horizon, it will take grit and a short memory to advance through this tough group, not glitz and glory.
While Bayern’s veteran savvy saw them reign supreme, Inter failed to rise to the occasion.
Edin Dzeko and Joaquin Correa both had opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net, and both came up empty. Marcelo Brozovic was poor in the middle while Nicolo Barella rotted on the bench. Danilo D’Ambrosio, chosen over Stefan de Vrij, was poor and came away with an own goal. Hakan Calhanoglu’s passing was excellent but he struggled one-on-one. Lautaro Martinez was invisible.
Inter needed big moments from their big players, and they didn’t get any. Inzaghi’s lineup selections left many questions, with Barella sat in favor of a more attacking-minded lineup that came up short.
While Inter seemed to show intent through the opening half and early after the break, the Italians ultimately were proven second-best by a Bayern side good enough to cover up any mistakes.
Sadio Mane was bright for Bayern, and Leroy Sane provided the finishing touches with a goal and a contribution on the other. It’s a critical three points for the Germans in a crowded group where every result will matter.
89th min: Dimarco goes into the book for an abysmal challenge late on Thomas Muller that saw him clatter the German in the leg with his whole studs while attempting to ninja a ball out of the air. He goes into the book as Inter continue to look for answers late.
Now Mkhitaryan is down after a clash of heads that looked painful. He’s up soon after as Bayern hope to navigate three added minutes.
85th min: Chance, Inter! Well…Inter have been poor in the final quarter of the match, but they’re gifted a chance to pull one back, and they can’t capitalize! A horrid mistake by Lucas Hernandez sees the ball roll right to Joaquin Correa with only Neuer to beat, and he can’t even test the Bayern goalkeeper, dragging a horrible effort well wide. The San Siro rains boos down on Inter.
81st min: Inter have faded completely since the second Bayern goal. While the Italian side looked improved after halftime, it’s all completely fallen away. Gagliardini comes on for Calhanoglu, with Inter possibly waving the white flag. Poor Nicolo Barella. The final few minutes of this are a formality as Bayern see the game out.
74th min: A host of reinforcements for Inter come flooding onto the field all at once. It’s a quadruple change, with three defenders in de Vrij, Darmian, and Dimarco all entering in place of Skriniar, Bastoni, and Dumfries. Joaquin Correa, the only attacking player on the Inter bench, enters for Dzeko.
A few more changes for Bayern as well, with Serge Gnabry coming on to replace Kingsley Coman, while Upamecano comes on for the yellow-carded de Ligt. They had also brought on Leon Goretzka earlier in place of Marcel Sabitzer.
68th min: Sadio Mane has a breakaway but his pass to Coman is just slightly underhit, ending the chance.
Meanwhile, with Bayern up 2-0, Mane’s old team Liverpool are struggling mightly against another Italian opponent.
Liverpool haven’t been the same without Sadio Mane 😟 pic.twitter.com/N8QFAn3dTM
And while we’re on the topic of Group C strikers and their former clubs…former Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has collected a hat-trick in his first Champions League appearance for Barcelona.
Robert Lewandowski is the first player with a UEFA Champions League hat trick for three clubs.
🎩 Borussia Dortmund
🎩 Bayern Munich
66th min: GOAL! BAYERN! A second for the Germans should take them out of sight, and it’s another goal from Leroy Sane! He combines brilliantly with Kingsley Coman, back and forth twice before Sane sends the ball across the face of goal. Onana was out of the net, and D’Ambrosio tried hard to keep it out, but is instead credited with an own-goal for his efforts as the ball deflects into the net.
Watch in the USA:
Bayern Munich are taking it to Inter at San Siro. 😲 pic.twitter.com/9tOrKD9x6B
Watch in the UK:
Total football from Bayern 😍
Could watch this all day…#UCL pic.twitter.com/iIRH5SPBHb
65th min: Andre Onana with his heart in his mouth as he tries to deal with another deflection. A speculative cross into the box deflects off an Inter defender and troubles the new Inter goalkeeper, but he jumps to catch the ball. It nervously squirts out of his hands, but he’s able to snatch it back with some help from the woodwork before it bundles over the line. Yikes.
59th min: Chance, Bayern! Kingsley comes so close to a fortunate deflected goal! He cuts inside onto his left and lets fly, and the effort takes a huge whack off the back of Skriniar. Onana is lucky to see the ball fly just over the crossbar rather than into the back of the net.
55th min: Inter are pressing hard for an equalizer. On a corner, Dzeko gets his head to it, but it’s blocked away. The ensuing corner is a poor one that doesn’t beat the first man, and eventually Neuer is fouled by Dumfries to end the chance.
Bayern survive again, but they’ll want to retake control of the match to avoid another Inter push forward.
50th min: Chance, Inter! The Italians have started well in the second half, and Dzeko should have brought them level. A ball to the penalty spot comes to the Inter striker, and he whacks at it with his back to goal. He doesn’t get a clean strike, and it rolls right to Neuer.
Moments later, Dumfries comes up limping after reaching to block a Davies pass up the line. He’s played well, Inter will hope he can shake it off.
46th min: The second half is under way with no changes for either side.
Bayern didn’t feel that dominant before the break, but they definitely felt like the better side in the first half. Inter will be going for it in the second half. This next 45 minutes should be fun.
7 – Inter have faced seven shots on target in the first 25 minutes of play against Bayern Munich (including Sané’s goal): they have never conceded more in a single #UCL first half since 2003/04. Trial.#InterBayern
One utterly brilliant ball from Josh Kimmich and one eye-popping first touch combine to provide the difference in the game. Inter have been positive in spurts, and are up for the challenge, but so far unable to breach the Bayern defense.
Ultimately, it’s the sloppiness of Inter that have them down after the first 45 minutes. A couple of bad giveaways and defensive errors allowed Bayern through, while poor first touches and inaccurate deliveries served to end positive attacking spells. The Bayern lead is deserved, but it also feels like Inter can get right back in the match by just cleaning a few small things up.
🎯 Sane just scored his seventh goal across his last 10 Champions League matches to give Bayern the lead.
Only Benzema, Lewandowski and Mbappe have more in that time.#INTBAT #FCB #UCL pic.twitter.com/5YeJIz5OQC
40th min: Matthijs de Ligt is the first man into the referee’s book as he cleans out Brozovic. He gets the ball, in a literal sense, but also completely wrecks the man in the process. De Ligt, for some reason, reacts angrily to the whistle, and it’s hard to tell whether the card was for the foul or the reaction, but either way, the Bayern center-back will need to be careful the rest of the way.
Bonkers tackle from De Ligt
37th min: Chance, Bayern! How have the Germans not doubled their lead??? It’s brilliant work from Mane at the top of the box, and he works a shot from left-back Alphonso Davies. The Canadian’s effort is saved, but only as far as Muller on the opposite side, but his follow-up shot is blocked by Brozovic. There’s a third effort from Sabitzer, but he drags it wide. A triple chance, and Inter survive!
Meanwhile, Alphonso Davies is continuing to be VERY involved in the final third for Bayern. Nearly just scored if not for a great save from Andre Onana
He’s looking quite good in this free wingback role. Providing a good overlap and underlap threat#CanMNT #UCL
35th min: Chance, Inter! The hosts nearly pull back level as Edin Dzeko gets his head to a corner and redirects it towards the net, but the ball flashes just wide of the far post. That was much closer than Bayern will like as they protect the lead and clean sheet.
33rd min: Inter with a farce at the back as a Bayern press sees the hosts nearly let their German opponents in.
Meanwhile, former Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is pleased that Inter were caught unaware of Josh Kimmich’s ability to deliver balls from deep. What a ball it was on the opening goal!
0:1, @FCBayern 💪🏻
Schön, dass es sich nicht bis nach Mailand rumgesprochen hat, dass Kimmich solche Bälle hinter die Abwehr spielen kann, wenn er frei ist 😃
25th min: GOAL, BAYERN! From a deep position, Josh Kimmich delivers a stunning ball that catches Inter fully asleep. The looping ball falls right at the feet of Leroy Sane who takes a glorious first touch and rounds Onana before finishing with a perfect pass into the back of the net. It appeared that Dumfries may have been in position to make a last-second sliding stop, but he bafflingly never goes to ground.
Watch in the USA:
The touch. The control. The finish. 🔥
LEROY SANE. TAKE A BOW. 👏 pic.twitter.com/Jm4ficJV8H
23rd min: Chance, Bayern! What a hit by Muller, and WHAT a save by Onana! The German international takes a cut feed from Sadio Mane and pops a vicious effort towards the top-right corner. Onana leaps to make the save, tipping it over the bar with a full-stretch save.
Moments later, off the ensuing corner, Muller has another go with a very similar effort, but he doesn’t hit it nearly as well, and Onana can smother the effort down low.
17th min: Inter with their most sustained spell of possession, stringing passes together from Edin Dzeko to Dumfries before a cross reaches the middle of the six-yard box. It’s cleared to Danilo D’Ambrosio who produces a leg whip, and while the contact is good, the shot is right at Neuer and therefore not dangerous.
12th min: Inter has an opportunity as Robin Gosens sends a fantastic ball from deep to the far post where Denzel Dumfries is streaking, behind Alphonso Davies. The ball is just inches out of Dumfries’ reach as he comes flying in with a ninja kick hoping to reach the delivery.
8th min: Chance, Bayern! Leroy Sane sends a bouncing delivery to Thomas Muller at the penalty spot, and the Bayern veteran takes a wild hack at it. It’s an awkward effort, and while the shot was placed well headed for the bottom-right corner, it didn’t have the power to beat Onana, who dives down and stops the effort.
It’s been a sloppy start for both sides. Marcelo Brozovic and Hakan Calhanoglu have cropped up with some early giveaways, but the Bayern attack doesn’t appear to have its usual sharpness early on.
15 minutes in and Inter Milan have been the expected challenge for #Bayern. The Rekordmeister with the majority of possession but the Italians have been very good in limiting scoring chances and look dangerous on the counter.
6th min: Lautaro Martinez gets free at the end line and sends a fizzing cross but there’s nobody for Inter there to meet it. Both sides probing early.
3rd min: Inter lose the ball in a dangerous position and it works a shot for Josh Kimmich. The shot is weak, but it’s an awkward bouncer and Onana is down to make a diving save. It concedes a corner, but the flag is up for offside on Coman, so the chance is gone.
1st min: Kickoff at the famous San Siro! Soak it in, because this historic stadium’s life span is coming to an end, it’s set to be demolished prior to opening a new stadium in 2027.
Incredible noise at San Siro 🤯
6 mins to kick: With just minutes to go before kickoff in the Group of Death, let’s appreciate two teams warming up in fire training kits!
Warming up the shooting boots 👟🔥#packmas #UCL #InterFCB pic.twitter.com/cgqwO51Vnf
¡Vamos! 🐂#InterFCB #UCL #ForzaInter pic.twitter.com/YqEdy8mmrh
26 mins to kick: After Thomas Tuchel got the boot this morning at Chelsea, there’s talk that Romelu Lukaku (currently injured) could head back to Stamford Bridge. At the moment, that’s been quelled, but it could be a talking point in January or the end of the season.
Inter CEO Marotta: “Lukaku’s future to change after Tuchel sack? Too early, we’ll see with Chelsea at the end of season” 🔵 #UCL
“Škriniar is key player and we will do our best to keep him — it’s also up to the player whether he wants to sign new deal or not, we are optimistic”. pic.twitter.com/5a1xipo35I
44 mins to kick: Sadio Mane has only arrived at Bayern this summer, but currently sits as one of the most indispensable pieces of an attack that otherwise features largely interchangeable parts. Could he make a bit of Champions League history with a goal today?
🤩 Tonight could be a big night for @SMane_Officiel!#BayernMunich #Inter #Mane #ChampionsLeague pic.twitter.com/Lk1Gr0uDAa
65 mins to kick: Now the Inter lineup is in as well, and Simone Inzaghi has rung some serious changes. Defender Stefan de Vrij is benched in favor of Danilo D’Ambrosio, while Alessandro Bastoni keeps his place along the back three. Edin Dzeko starts up front in place of the still injured Romelu Lukauk, while defensive midfielder Nicolo Barella is sat in favor of an attacking partnership between Hakan Calhanaglou and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
To illustrate how attacking this lineup is for Inzaghi, there is one attacking outfield player on the bench for Inter today in Joaquin Correa. Everyone else is a central midfielder or a defender.
Ahh, nothing beats a @ChampionsLeague night at San Siro 😌#InterFCB #UCL pic.twitter.com/YjxGLFOXQg
78 mins to kick: Bayern have already released their lineup, and it features a one wrinkle. Lucas Hernandez starts at center-back for Dayot Upamecano, coming back into the starting lineup after sitting out the weekend match against Union Berlin.
105 mins to kick: Bayern have fond memories of Champions League action in Milan. The Bavarians hoisted the 2000/01 trophy at the San Siro by defeating Spanish side Valencia on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Steffan Effenberg’s 50th minute goal cancelled out the third-minute opener from Valencia midfielder Mendieta. The penalty shootout went seven rounds, with Oliver Khan saving the decider off the boot of Mauricio Pellegrino.
A quick trip down memory lane in Milan 📸🏆#packmas #UCL pic.twitter.com/dWwALrfSt2
Bayern have also played against Milan clubs on the road nine times, to mixed success. The Germans have had much better success against Inter historically (3 wins, 1 loss) than AC Milan (0 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw) on the road.
120 mins to kick: Over the weekend, Milan participated in one of the most exciting Milan derbies in recent memory. If Simone Inzaghi approaches this match in the same manner, it could produce another barn burner, although that may suit Bayern’s glutton of attacking wealth far more than Inter.
37 – Total shots in this Derby: since 2004/05, only in two other Serie A matches between AC Milan and Inter have there been more: 39 in 15 February 2009 and 41 in October 2006. Electricity.#MilanInter pic.twitter.com/Zzqcrlp6BA
Unfortunately for Inter, striker Romelu Lukaku remains unavailable for this match due to a thigh injury he picked up during the opening match of the season. Joaquin Correa and Edin Dzeko are deputizing next to Lautaro Martinez in place of the former Chelsea man.
Correa started the Milan derby over the weekend, but Dzeko came on as a substitute and scored off the bench, meaning he could be in line for the start against Bayern. Henrikh Mkhitaryan is fit again for Inter and slides right into the starting lineup, with defensive midfielder Nicolo Barella withdrawn to make room alongside Hakan Calhanoglu.
New Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana gets the start between the sticks as the “Cup ‘keeper” in place of an aging Samir Handanovic.
Inzaghi has gone with a massive change at the back, sitting defensive stalwort Stefan de Vrij while inserting Alessandro Bastoni and Danilo D’Ambrosio into the back three.
Inter Milan starting lineup (3-5-2): Onana (GK) — Skriniar, D’Ambrosio, Bastoni — Dumfries, Mkhitaryian, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Gosens — Martinez, Dzeko.
Inter Milan subs (12): Handanovic (GK), Cordaz (GK), Darmian, de Vrij, Acerbi, Dimarco, Bellanova, Barella, Asllani, Gagliardini, Correa.
Leon Goretzka returned to Bayern’s squad last week after a knee injury with the German giants boasting a near full-strength side for this one, and he begins the match on the bench. Marcel Sabitzer has established himself as a presence in the Bayern midfield and once again partners with Josh Kimmich.
Sadio Mane was the only real certainty to start up front with no shortage of attackers vying for a spot in the first 11. Of the others in contention, Leroy Sane begins alongside Thomas Muller who off the bench over the weekend, while Serge Gnabry begins amongst the substitutes. Young Germany international Jamal Musiala has performed well this season when given minutes and could make an impact late in the match.
At the back, Theo Hernandez re-enters the Bayern starting lineup in place of Dayot Upamecano who started the weekend match against Union Berlin.
Bayern Munich starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Neuer (GK) — Pavard, Hernandez, De Ligt, Davies — Kimmich, Sabitzer — Gnabry, Muller, Sane — Mane.
Bayern Munich subs (11): Ulreich (GK), Schenk (GK), Upamecano, Masraoui, Stanisic, Goretzka, Gravenberch, Musiala, Gnabry, Chupo-Moting, Tel.
UK: This Champions League group stage match between Inter and Bayern Munich will be televised on BT Sport 4 and can be streamed on both the BT Sport app and website.
USA: In the United States, this match will be televised on Spanish language channels TUDN USA and Univision, 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 are broadcast in Canada via DAZN.
Australia: Every Champions League match all season long are streamed in Australia via Stan Sport.
MORE: Real Madrid start UCL defence with patchy win over Celtic
Odds via Caesars (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), & SkyBet (UK).
While both teams come into this game on the back of disappointing league results, it’s hard to see either not delivering better performances.
Bayern Munich will be the favourites, despite being the visitors, and will be hoping their various options in attack can leave Inter Milan guessing in defence.
The Italians have conceded eight goals across their first five Serie A matches this season — only five other clubs have let in more. It’s hard to see Bayern not scoring in this fixture so it will be a matter of whether Inter’s forwards can also deliver in front of goal.
The absence of Lukaku doesn’t help the Italians’ chances but Martinez has proven time and again he can step up when needed.
Bayern have only conceded three goals in their Bundesliga campaign to date so will prove a hard nut for Inter to crack, particularly if the Germans can strike first.
Prediction: Inter Milan 1-3 Bayern Munich