Munich (dpa) – Manuel Neuer smiled almost embarrassed as he stepped in front of the television cameras in the thick winter jacket and was asked to rate his own performance.
“You do what you can. I always try to keep the balls”, said the Bayern Munich goalkeeper after his excellent 3-1 (1-0) performance against RB Salzburg. Thanks to Neuer’s parades and another goal from Robert Lewandowski, the defending champion went into the last sixteen of the Champions League despite being outnumbered as a group winner in the final stages.
The Polish super striker celebrated his 71st goal in the premier league and moved up to the top 3 goalscorers in the European top competition. After Lewandowski’s lead (43rd minute), an own goal by Maximilian Wöber (52nd) after a shot from Kingsley Coman and a header from Leroy Sané (68th) provided the further hits in the next Munich success of the record series of now 15 victories. row in Europe.
“That was our big goal today,” Bayern coach Hansi Flick said on Sky TV, praising his “world-class goalkeeper” Neuer. With the fourth victory in the fourth group match, the defending champion is early in the knockout round. “I am very satisfied with the efficiency,” said Flick. Even after the yellow-red for Bayern’s premier debutant Marc Roca (66th), it was no longer tight.
This was also due to the tall insurmountable newcomer to the Bayern port, who jubilantly tore his arms up after a spectacular rescue (70th). When the German U21 international Mergim Berisha scored, the DFB goalkeeper was powerless (73rd). “For me the most important thing is to have support for the team”, said Neuer delighted that “we won this race today and are group winners”.
Lewandowski again presented himself as a Torgarant: in the Champions League, only the multiple world footballers Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus Turin / 131 goals) and Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona / 118) met more often than the 32-year-old who played with Real Madrid legend Raúl caught up.
Lewandowski further substantiated his ambitions to be honored with the title of World Footballer for the first time after being crowned Europe’s Footballer of the Year. The award ceremony will take place on December 17. “I think a lot was possible again in this game, there was certainly more in it,” said Zlatko Junuzovic, who is now Salzburg and formerly from Bremen, who also showed Neuer respect. “He’s just a world-class goalkeeper, he shows that time and time again, you have to acknowledge that,” said Junuzovic.
On the day of the death of Argentinian legend Diego Maradona, the game started with a minute of silence, both teams wearing black ribbons. When he was active, Chris Richards (20) and Roca (23) from Munich were not yet born. Both started against RB and made their debut in the highest football league.
The American defender Richards showed some insecurities and nervousness at first. In a very intense game, the hosts found it difficult at first and in some situations were even lucky enough not to fall behind. Bayern tried to get more speed and speed into the actions on Saturday than in the first half in the 1-1 draw against Bremen in the Bundesliga.
But once again they could thank Neuer, who, after a strong performance against Werder, also demonstrated his exceptional skills on the most prestigious football stage in Europe. When Berisha and Enock Mwepu got a double chance, Neuer reacted just as well (16th) as later against Dominik Szoboszlai (35th) or again in the second half against Berisha and Mwepu (70th).
That nothing outnumbered was (also) due to the fact that Sané rose to 3-0 just two minutes after a medley. Lewandowski cleared the way again in the first half. RB goalkeeper Cican Stankovic was able to fend off a shot from Thomas Müller, but then the Pole was right and dusted off.
After the break, Bayern played more confidently with the feeling of being ahead. In the defense, Jérôme Boateng proved a certain amount of support. “We know what he has accomplished and what he can do,” future CEO Oliver Kahn had said before the game on Sky TV channel and announced “to have discussions at the right time and find a fair solution.” Boateng’s contract expires next summer. Recently there has been speculation that this would not be renewed.
The 3: 1 could not prevent Boateng. After Wöber had a shot from Kingsley Coman untenable and Sané headed it 3-0 after a nice cross from Coman, Salzburg finally scored the well-deserved goal – after a long wait for the video referee, the goal counted.