LIVERPOOL VS BAYERN MUNICH – MATCH REPORT
Last season’s finalists Liverpool and German Champions Bayern Munich played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash on a tense night at Anfield.
Liverpool pressed high up the pitch in the opening minutes, but the German champions settled and Kingsley Coman dribbled to the edge of the area but was adjudged to have handled when the ball came back to him off Jordan Henderson.
A moment of confusion in the Liverpool defence,as miscommunication between keeper Alisson and Fabinho almost led to the opener before the ball was cleared, was followed by the home side’s first chance when Mo Salah was unable to get a firm enough touch to Henderson’s pass after 12 minutes.
Bayern were almost in front two minutes later when a Gnabry cross hit Matip and was blocked by Alisson.
Mane drove his shot wide before more hesitation in the home defence resulted in an opportunity for Coman who, from an angle, smashed his shot into the side netting.
A reckless Robertson header gave the exciting Gnabry the opportunity to cross only for the Bayern youngster to loose control of the ball at the key moment, and then Salah shot off target for the hosts.
Joshua Kimmich received a caution(yellow card) for a foul on Mane, meaning he will miss the second leg in Munich, and with a little over half an hour gone Mane fluffed his shot wide on the turn after Naby Keita’s strike deflected to him.
Another deflected Keita shot reechoed to Mane, whose overhead kick missed by a mile, and then Salah and Firmino connected brilliantly before the latter’s low cross was steered wide by Matip under pressure.
Georginho Wijnaldum and Firmino joined forces down the right only for the final cross to be to be overhit as Liverpool ramped up the pressure in the closing moments of the first half.
They continued to attack in the early stages of the second, Wijnaldum finding Trent Alexander-Arnold, who fired a pass towards Salah before Bayern cut it out.
Coman crossed towards Robert Lewandowski, who was well marked by Fabinho, and then Salah was unable to keep the ball in play after Robertson’s attempted strike had broken to him.
Liverpook Skipper Jordan Henderson was booked for a foul on the very reliable and effective Javi Martinez and then Gnabry threatened again for Bayern, fizzing an effort narrowly over from outside the box.
Liverpool were beginning to look frustrated and, after Coman caused a scare with a shot over with a quarter of an hour left, Liverpiol Manager Jurgen Klopp made a double substitution, replacing Keita with James Milner and Firmino with Divock Origi.
Franck Ribery came on for Coman for Bayern with10 minutes remainig, Kimmich intercepted a Robertson cross before Matip drove a shot well off target from the edge of the box.
Manuel Neuer tipped away a low Sadio Mane header and then Bayern made two more changes,taking off Columbian James Rodriguez for Renato Sanches and Rafinha replacing Serge Gnabry as time ran out with no breakthrough, leaving them with an advantage ahead of the second leg at the Allianz Arena.