Kingsley Coman, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller earned Bayern Munich a 3-0 victory over Red Star Belgrade as they moved top of Champions League Group B.
In-form France winger Coman struck in the 34th minute for the German giants at the Allianz Arena, his sixth goal of the campaign for club and country.
They were given a scare in the latter stages when Marko Marin curled agonisingly wide, but Lewandowski and substitute Muller struck late on to add gloss to the result.
Tottenham’s draw with Olympiacos leaves Bayern as the only side with maximum points in the group after matchday one.
Philippe Coutinho was a lively presence throughout and he threatened with a driven shot just over the bar from the edge of the penalty after the visitors failed to clear their lines.
Jander wasted a chance for Red Star when he selfishly shot from a wide angle and could only find the side-netting and soon the Serbian champions were made to pay.
With a drop of the shoulder, Ivan Perisic beat his man before whipping in an inviting left-wing cross, which Coman converted emphatically with a diving header.
Coutinho almost made it two with a trademark effort, cutting inside before wrapping his foot around a bending shot that agonisingly missed the top-right corner.
Marin was inches away from levelling when he shot just wide with Manuel Neuer rooted, and Lewandowski made Red Star pay when, with 10 minutes left, he took advantage of some tired defending to poke in from close range.
Muller added another in added time when he superbly latched onto Thiago Alcantara’s free-kick cheekily flicked over the wall.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 18, 2019
What does it mean? Bayern lay down a marker
A confident start from Bayern to their Champions League campaign suggests they should be considered a side who can go deep into the competition.
Head coach Niko Kovac is under pressure to deliver in Europe and this was certainly a promising way to start in 2019-20, even if it took some time to kill off the game.
Coutinho confidence returning
Granted, the acid test will come against loftier opposition, but this was an impressive Champions League bow for Bayern from Coutinho. The Brazilian schemer looked at ease in a central role behind Lewandowski and could count himself unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet.
Dogged Red Star could pose home threat
For all their lack of possession, the Serbian side managed to pose an occasional threat and had some joy frustrating Bayern’s attack. There was enough to show they could be a more dangerous foe when playing at home, as holders Liverpool found out last season when they lost 2-0 in Serbia in the group stages.
Key Opta Facts
106 – Thomas Müller makes his 106th @ChampionsLeague appearance today and becomes the player with the most appearances for @FCBayernEN in the competition. Icon. @esmuellert_ #FCBFKCZ #ChampionsLeague #CL #UCL pic.twitter.com/zaKoG2uP7e
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) September 18, 2019
– Bayern Munich are unbeaten in 16 Champions League group games on home soil, winning 15 and keeping 11 clean sheets.
– Red Star have conceded 16 goals in their first four away games in the Champions League – more than any other team in their first four such matches in the competition.
– Bayern have scored at least once in each of their past 29 home games in the group stage of the Champions League, last failing to score in such a match in November 2009 (against Bordeaux).
– Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 42 goals in just 53 Champions League appearances for Bayern, with his strike against Red Star his 37th goal (he also has five assists).
– Following his latest goal, Lewandowski has now scored against 23 opponents in the Champions League.
Bayern travel to Tottenham knowing a win would put them in firm control of the group after the Premier League side drew their opener. Red Star, meanwhile, host Olympiacos.
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