Leroy Sane and Sadio Mane impressed as Bayern Munich strengthened their grip on the top spot with a thumping 5-0 win over Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich put in a near flawless performance, sweeping aside minnows Viktoria Plzen 5-0 in their UEFA Champions League fixture at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.
Leroy Sane scored for the third Champions League game in a row when he opened the scoring in the seventh minute. It opened the floodgates as Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mane also got onto the scoresheet, making the scoreline 3-0 before the half-hour mark.
The impressive Jamal Musiala appeared to have made it 4-0 before the break but saw his effort chalked off for offside. Any hope Viktoria Plzen had of Bayern easing off in the second half were quickly diminished when Sane scored his second of the night in the 50th minute.
Substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored Bayern’s fifth of the night before the hour mark. Die Roten had plenty of opportunities to add to the scoreline but chose to preserve their strength and also rotate their squad. If anything, it was a comfortable day at the office for Julian Nagelsmann and co.
31- @FCBayernEN are unbeaten in 31 group matches in the #UCL setting a new record in the competition. Bayern have also won their last 10 group matches, with no team ever winning more consecutive group games in the #UCL (incl. 2nd group stage). Invincibles. #FCBPLZ pic.twitter.com/AZBaMxoOt9
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) October 4, 2022
With Inter Milan beating Barcelona, Bayern more or less have a strong grip on the top spot. The Hard Tackle now takes a look at how the Bayern Munich players fared on the night.
Manuel Neuer: 7/10
The German shot-stopper had little to do as Bayern dominated the ball and had the lion’s share of it. He was, however, called into action thrice and dealt with it appropriately. Neuer also distributed the ball well from the back, helping kick off waves of Die Roten attacks.
Noussair Mazraoui: 7/10
The summer signing deputised for Benjamin Pavard and held his own on the right flank. He bombed up at every given opportunity and was only too willing to run into space. Mazraoui was also solid defensively and did not leave his flank unprotected.
Dayot Upamecano: 7/10
The Frenchman was not put under pressure much and did not take any unwarranted risks either. He looked calm in possession and was not afraid to put a tackle in when needed. Upamecano did not shy away from using his physicality when needed and did little to put his side under pressure.
Matthijs de Ligt: 7/10
A comfortable night for the Dutchman who was a calming influence on the Bayern backline. Matthijs de Ligt also made use of his passing ability to play out from the back and kickstart attacks.
Alphonso Davies: 6/10
The left-back spent the majority of the first half in Plzen territory as Bayern laid siege on the visitors’ goal. He was always ready to run into space and often made himself available for a pass. With the game done at half-time, Davies was taken off for Josip Stanisic as Nagelsmann rang in the changes.
Leon Goretzka: 8/10
The German was the senior in the Bayern double pivot on the night and stepped up to don the role well. He broke down Viktoria Plzen counters and recycled the ball well, setting the rhythm for the game. Goretzka was also effective upfield, notching up two assists on the night.
Ryan Gravenberch: 6/10
The Dutchman is still settling into life in Germany and was given a rare start on the night. He took the opportunity well and kept things simple. Gravenberch moved the ball and was a solid presence alongside Gopretzka. He can consider himself unlucky to have missed out on an assist after Musiala’s goal was ruled out.
Leroy Sane: 9/10
The former Manchester City man has now scored in three UEFA Champions League games in a row and has four strikes in this season’s competition. Similar to the weekend, Sane’s early strike opened the floodgates for Bayern, quickly diminishing any hopes Plzen had of springing a surprise.
He was a constant thorn in the visitors’ defence and kept rushing forward at every opportunity. Sane was taken off before the hour mark for Mathys Tel. With the game wrapped up, it made sense to give him a breather ahead of harder fixtures to come.
Leroy Sané's game by numbers vs. Viktoria Plzeň:
100% take-ons completed
6x possession won
4 passes into final ⅓
3 passes into opp. box
3 touches in opp. box
2 shots on target
— Squawka (@Squawka) October 4, 2022
Jamal Musial: 6/10
The German sensation assisted Sane for the opener and was his usual lively presence in attack. He made the score 4-0 in the first half, only for the goal to be chalked off for offside. Musiala was taken off at half-time for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, giving him a well-earned rest.
Serge Gnabry: 7.5/10
The German winger capped off a rare start with a well-taken goal to make it 2-0 to the home side in the 13th minute. He also linked up well with Musiala and Sane, causing numerous problems for the Plzen rearguard.
Sadio Mane: 9/10
The Senegalese international rolled back the years with an impactful performance that gave Viktoria Plzen no chance. He earned himself a goal and an assist on the night as Bayern were relentless in their efforts to push up the field. Mane used his athleticism and directness to great effect, running into space and often getting right into the Viktoria Plzen backline.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 4, 2022
Josip Stanisic: 7/10
He replaced Davies at half-time and had a good outing. He slotted in seamlessly in the role and linked up well with the players around him.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 7.5/10
Choupo-Moting replaced Musiala at half-time and was another thorn in Plzen’s side. He took his second-half goal well and could have another late on.
Mathys Tel: 7/10
He replaced the impressive Sane and put in a decent shift. While Tel lacked the same dynamism as the German, there was no lack of effort.
Benjamin Pavard: 6/10
Pavard replaced Upamecano in the 72nd minute and was hardly troubled on the night.
Marcel Sabitzer: 6/10
The Austrian replaced Goretzka in the 73rd minute as Bayern sought to see out the game.