Mixed feelings for the German representatives on the fourth day of the Champions League. While FC Bayern qualified for the round of 16 two games before the end of the group phase, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt have to tremble more than ever about progressing.
Munich, who had won the first leg against Viktoria Pilsen 5-0 a week earlier, won 4-2 (4-0) against the Czech champions. Sadio Mané (10th), Thomas Müller (14th) and Leon Goretzka with a brace (25th, 35th) shot out a reassuring half-time lead. However, the German record champions, who were not at their best, conceded their first two goals of the season.
Despite his goal, Müller was not happy about his return from a corona infection. The 33-year-old attacker had to leave the field after his submission to make it 3-0 by Goretzka.
The captain quickly disappeared into the cabin, the word “shit” on his lips. Apparently he had problems with his left foot. The considerable personnel worries of the Munich team, who are under pressure in the Bundesliga, could intensify even further before the top game against SC Freiburg next Sunday. In the second period, Bayern became careless and allowed Adam Vlkanova (62′) and Jan Kliment (75′) to shorten the lead for the hosts.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann was missing some regulars in Pilsen. National goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer didn’t go because of a shoulder injury, defenders Matthijs de Ligt (muscular problems) and Alphonso Davies (bruised skull) had to pass, as did attackers Serge Gnabry (knee) and Jamal Musiala (corona infection).
But the starting line-up in Pilsen was strong enough to dominate the game like they did in the 5-0 victory over Viktoria a week earlier.
The evening was unsuccessful for Leverkusen. Under the new coach Xabi Alonso, Bayer threatens to end in the group stage. The Rhinelanders lost 3-0 (0-1) to FC Porto and slipped to last place in Group B. Goals from Galeno (6th minute) and Mehdi Taremi (53rd/64th, each penalty) resulted in an unfortunate Game for Leverkusen for Bayer’s first defeat under Alonso.
Kerem Demirbay (16th) missed a penalty kick for the Bundesliga club. With just three points from four games, the Leverkusen team, who started the season badly at Atlético Madrid and against FC Brugge, who qualified for the knockout stages, are now only helped by wins and support.
It will also be tight for Eintracht Frankfurt in the fight for the round of 16. The Hessians lost 2: 3 (1: 3) at Tottenham Hotspur in London. Daichi Kamada’s lead (14th) didn’t last long. Heung-Min Song (20′, 36′) and Harry Kane, who converted a penalty (28′), created clear conditions.
After a yellow-red card against Tuta (60th), the Frankfurters played a man down for half an hour, but still managed to score a goal through Faride Alidou (87th). Frankfurt is now bottom of the table in its group.
On Tuesday, RB Leipzig won 2-0 at Celtic in Glasgow, while Borussia Dortmund missed out on qualifying for the round of 16 in a 1-1 draw against FC Sevilla.
More to come.