The Polish striker, one of the greatest strikers in the club’s history, returned to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday for the first time since switching from Bavaria to Barcelona in the summer, and it wasn’t quite the return he had hoped for.
Lewandowski missed a number of golden chances — one in particular in the first half, eight yards from goal, which he usually scored in his sleep — to leave Bayern open to a decisive 2-0 win in this Champions League. Heavyweight clash of the league.
Second-half goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sané secured the three points and Bayern extended their remarkable unbeaten run in the Champions League group stage to 30 games, a streak dating back to 2017.
With Barça’s “economic levers” activated to allow the club to register their summer signings, Lewandowski started at his new home and scored nine goals in six games before Tuesday’s game.
The 34-year-old received a rather lukewarm reception from the Allianz faithful on his return, but Bayern fans will have been delighted to see their former hero miss so many chances.
Goalkeeping aside, there will be plenty of positives for Barcelona and manager Xavi to take away from the game as the team competes for most of the 90 minutes against a Bayern side many predict will go far from this season’s Champions. the league
“This result doesn’t tell the real story,” Barça midfielder Pedri said after the game. “Our first-half performance deserved a lot more than 0-0 at half-time, but of course, if you don’t take chances against a big rival like Bayern, you end up paying.”
Xavi said he was “furious” with the result on a night he thought his side could have won.
“But I’m also proud of the team,” he added. “However, it’s about winning and we’ll have to compete better in crucial moments like the two goals and be more efficient when we create opportunities.”
However, for Julian Nagelsmann and Bayern, they have not been so fair in recent games.
Eyebrows are raised whenever the team fails to win a Bundesliga game and, with three draws in a row now, it is perhaps as close to a crisis as Bayern can get in domestic football.
The win will certainly help ease the early season pressure that Nagelsmann might have felt, but his team’s performance over the long haul will still leave much to be desired.
Sadio Mané, Bayern’s high-profile summer signing from Liverpool, struggled to make much of an impact against Barcelona right-back Jules Koundé, and an angry Sané took his frustrations out on being substituted in a bottle on board.
“In the first half, Barcelona had better chances than us,” said Nagelsmann. “Our last ball was not quite there. It was much better in the second half and our efficiency made the difference.”