Thursday, December 9, 2021

Dynamo Kiev 1-2 Bayern Munich: Top spot secure after Lewandowski stunner in the snow

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Nov 2021

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Robert Lewandowski extended his latest Champions League scoring streak in stunning style as Bayern Munich clinched top spot in Group E with a 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev.

Lewandowski netted for the ninth game running in Europe’s elite club competition – becoming the only player to achieve such a streak twice – with a sensational overhead kick in the Olympic Stadium snow.

Bayern, needing only a point to secure first place, were far from comfortable, but Kingsley Coman doubled their lead before half-time to ensure Denys Harmash’s belated response counted for little.

Difficult conditions under foot hindered the quality of the contest with one obvious exception. Lewandowski had plenty to do after the ball looped up off Illia Zabarnyi in the area, but his acrobatic finish was emphatic.

That goal was almost cancelled out in farcical fashion, however, as Leon Goretzka prodded towards Manuel Neuer and was grateful to see the post come to his rescue when the goalkeeper failed to make any contact at all with an attempted clearance.

Instead, shortly after Lucas Hernandez survived a tangle with Vitaliy Buyalskiy inside his own area, Thomas Muller dummied Corentin Tolisso’s pass and Coman fired in Bayern’s second.

Again Dynamo might have responded as Neuer scrambled to save Mykola Shaparenko’s deflected effort early in the second half, but the same man could not turn in the rebound.

The home side finally found a way to goal for the first time in this campaign as substitute Harmash nutmegged Neuer, although they lacked the class to then add an equaliser that was perhaps merited, even if Viktor Tsygankov’s speculative late strike clipped the post.

What does it mean? Bayern back at it

This win was not of the standard of Bayern’s previous Champions League triumphs this season, their narrowest victory of the group stage so far seeing them pass up the opportunity to become the first team to net four in four consecutive matches in the competition since the European Cup was formed.

But with only a draw required, Julian Nagelsmann would have been delighted to avoid a repeat of Friday’s slip-up at the hands of Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

Lewandowski adds to his legend

The last time Lewandowski scored in nine straight Champions League matches, his goals took Bayern to the 2019-20 final. That first sequence made him only the third player to net in at least nine in a row even once (also Ruud van Nistelrooy, nine, and Cristiano Ronaldo, 11).

Lewandowski now has a competition-leading nine goals this season, a tally only he has ever topped through matchday five (10, again in 2019-20).

Neuer still not quite convincing

This was Neuer’s 124th Champions League appearance, moving level with Gianluigi Buffon behind only Iker Casillas (177) among goalkeepers. But that experience was never really on show, instead continuing his shaky Bundesliga form.

Only one of Neuer’s four saves was truly convincing, while he was extremely fortunate to escape after his wild swipe at Goretzka’s lunging pass, and Harmash eventually forced the ball beneath him.

What’s next?

With European business taken care of, Bayern can return their focus to the Bundesliga, where they will hope to get back on track against Arminia Bielefeld. That fixture is on Saturday, when Dynamo are also in action at Mynai.

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