Liverpool showed their Champions League grit once again as they sealed an emphatic 3-1 win over Bayern Munich to book their place in the quarter-finals.
Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool (1-3 agg)
Champions League Last 16 Second Leg, Allianz Arena
March 13, 2019
Mane 26′ (assist – Van Dijk)
Matip OG 39′ (assist – Gnabry)
Van Dijk 69′ (assist – Milner)
Mane 84′ (assist – Salah)
Jurgen Klopp made two changes to his starting lineup at the Allianz Arena, with Jordan Henderson and James Milner coming in for Fabinho and Adam Lallana to join Gini Wijnaldum in the midfield that made last season’s final.
After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, the Reds could benefit from the away goals rule, but were taking on a Bayern side significantly improved in recent weeks.
Met with a fiery at atmosphere 75,000-seater stadium, Liverpool needed a big performance to quell Bayern’s momentum, and after a slow start they produced a dominant controlling show to progress.
- Klopp makes two changes with Fabinho a shock on the bench
- Fabinho on within 13 minutes as Henderson suffers foot injury
- Mane’s incredible goal secures priceless away goal for Liverpool
- Matip scores own goal to restore parity on the night
- Stunning Van Dijk header and Mane’s second secure progress to quarters
Klopp sprang a tactical surprise from the start with Mohamed Salah lining up on the left and Sadio Mane on the right, no doubt designed to allow the Egyptian a free run at 33-year-old stand-in right-back Rafinha.
The Reds were dealt an early blow as Henderson succumbed to a foot injury, forcing the manager to make the first of his three changes before the 15-minute mark as Fabinho came on.
Otherwise, the first 25 minutes passed without real incident, with Liverpool’s midfield struggling for fluency, as Milner in particular failed to stamp his mark on the opening stages.
Mane produced a moment of sheer magic soon after, however, touching the ball down on the stretch, thwarting Manuel Neuer with a Cruyff turn and dinking it into the back of the net for his ninth in 10 games and a vital away goal.
This put the wind in the visitors’ sails, and Neuer was required to stop a powerful effort from Andy Robertson, but Bayern struck back before the break as Serge Gnabry surged behind the defence and crossed for Joel Matip to turn into his own net.
The second half began in much the same vein, with Salah stinging an unimpressive Neuer’s palms with a snapshot and the Reds needing to remain inch-perfect at the other end.
Liverpool began to slow the tempo and take their time in dead-ball situations, perhaps having been given the directive to maintain their away-goal lead and pick their openings carefully.
Their second goal of the night came through a set-piece, and it was Virgil van Dijk there to head home his third in four games from Milner’s corner, piling on the pressure for Bayern to come out and attack, with Niko Kovac sending on Leon Goretzka.
Now ahead, the Reds seemed to finally find their feet on the ball, with one-touch counter-attacks threatening Bayern every time they pushed forward, and Salah wasting a two-on-one by failing to square to Mane.
The Egyptian made up for it minutes later, however, as his dinked cross was headed home by Liverpool’s No. 10 to make it 10 goals in 10 for Mane and a clear path to the quarter-finals for Klopp’s side.
TIA Man of the Match: Sadio Mane
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Rafinha, Hummels, Sule, Alaba; Martinez (Goretzka 72′), Thiago; Gnabry, James (Sanches 79′), Ribery (Coman 61′); Lewandowski
Subs not used: Ulreich, Boateng, Davies, Jeong
Subs not used: Mignolet, Lovren, Shaqiri, Sturridge
Next Match: Fulham (A) – Premier League – Sunday, March 17, 2.05pm (GMT)