Champions League – thanks to Kimmich: Bayern with tremendous victory at Lokomotiv Moscow

Moscow (dpa) – The Bayern Express has chugged its next Champions League victory at Lokomotiv Moscow thanks to its leader Joshua Kimmich.

The national soccer player scored a close 2-1 (1-0) with his technically demanding volley on Tuesday evening, with which the defending champion was able to set the course for the round of 16 as leaders in the Russian capital.

“It was a job win. We take it with us, even if we know that we weren’t brilliant,” said Kimmich at DAZN. “We have to decide the game earlier,” criticized the match winner.

In front of 8196 spectators, who were allowed to be in the RŽD-Arena in Moscow despite the high Corona numbers, Munich’s winning streak in Europe’s premier class seemed almost to break. On the 13th success in a row, national player Leron Goretzka hit his head in the 13th minute.

But the loudly supported hosts rewarded themselves for their resistance and a high running and fighting effort with the equalizing goal from Anton Mirantschuk (70th). “You can’t always defend that,” said national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer indulgently. His foremen allowed themselves a lot of negligence. Moscow could only punish them once and missed the second point win after the 2-2 in the opening game at Red Bull Salzburg.

“The win was deserved, even if it wasn’t quite as clear as we had planned,” said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. The positive result stood above all before the direct return journey of the Bayern convoy to Munich that night. “We are satisfied. We had to do a lot for the three points,” said Neuer.

Flick relied on the team that had triumphed at the beginning of the 4-0 win against Atlético Madrid. Thomas Müller moved back to the right wing. And the Frenchman Corentin Tolisso acted centrally in the offensive midfield. The world champion, who came from Olympique Lyon in 2017 for the then Munich record fee of 41.5 million euros, is becoming increasingly valuable for the triple champion.

Tolisso moved a lot and often opened the game with good diagonal balls – like the 1-0. The 26-year-old hit the ball from the center onto the right wing. Benjamin Pavard volley crossed into the penalty area, where Goretzka headed the ball into the near corner.

A copy of this move would almost have earned it 2-0. But the completely French variant via Tolisso and Pavard ended with a shot from the post by the agile Kingsley Coman (25th). The Bayern defense often gave the locomotive attackers too much space. Fedor Smolow had a great chance in the third minute, but headed the ball into Neuer. Midfielder Daniil Kulikow caused danger with a touchdown from an acute angle (41.).

In the first of four away games in a row, Flick also kept an eye on the load distribution. The 55-year-old brought Serge Gnabry, who had returned from Corona isolation, and Javi Martínez for Thomas Müller and goalscorer Goretzka at the break.

Bayern did not show the effectiveness in the final as in the last games. Kimmich forgave from a short distance on preliminary work by Gnabry (56th). “It was embarrassing that I didn’t do it,” he said self-critically. After a fine one-two with Kimmich, Coman aimed a little too high (69th). That took revenge: attacker Zé Luis served after a run over the right wing Mirantschuk, who left no defensive chance in the center of Neuer with his shot.

But it spoke for the Bayern class how they reacted to the equalization. And once again it was junior boss Kimmich who forced the victory: he accepted a pass from Martínez in the center, turned and hit the far corner flat and precise from 20 meters.

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