Bayern Munich made it two wins from two in Group A with victory over Lokomotive Moscow. Joshua Kimmich was the match-winner in front of over 6,000 fans in the Russian capital, but it wasn’t always convincing.
Lokomotive Moscow 1-2 Bayern Munich
(Miranchuk 70′ – Goretzka 14′, Kimmich 79′)
It wasn’t the most comfortable ride but the Bayern Munich express train eventually departed Moscow with all three points safely on board on Tuesday night, thanks to conductor-in-chief Joshua Kimmich.
The 25-year-old fired home on the half volley from the edge of the box with ten minutes remaining to ensure that Bayern stay top of Group A with two wins from two, extending their unbeaten run in Champions League group stage games to 18 games.
Leon Goretzka had headed Hansi Flick’s team into a deserved first-half lead against Lokomotive Moscow, finishing off a clinical move which had seen Corentin Tolisso spread the play to Benjamin Pavard who then crossed first time on the volley.
Bayern almost doubled their lead in almost identical fashion soon after, Tolisso finding Pavard again but this time Kingsley Coman’s shot came back off the post.
But, unlike the 4-0 win over Atletico Madrid (who beat Red Bull Salzburg 3-2 in the group’s other game), Bayern didn’t have it all their own way. Lokomotive caused Bayern problems with long balls in behind and deservedly equalized through Anton Miranchuk in the second half, before Kimmich’s winner.
‘A hard-fought victory’
“It was a hard-fought victory,” said Kimmich. “They [Loko] didn’t play badly at all and had some dangerous counter-attacks, but we should have finished the game off earlier. Actually, I should have finished it off.”
He was referring to a chance to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark when he failed to convert Serge Gnabry’s cross from inside the six-yard-box. Bayern thought they had another chance to double their lead soon after when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Robert Lewandowski, but the video assistant referee overruled the decision due to an offside in the build-up.
And the hosts, perhaps feeling fortunate to still be in the game, sensed their chance. “Loko have no ideas going forward,” the club’s former German sporting director Erik Stoffelshaus had told Kicker magazine ahead of kick-off, but now the Muscovites looked to prove him wrong.
Cape Verde striker Zé Luis had already caught out Bayern’s high line with his pace and, with twenty minutes remaining, he cut back to Miranchuk to fire home at the near post.
In the minutes that followed, Lokomotive could have gone ahead, but Zé Luis dragged his shot wide and Niklas Süle got back just in time to deny Miranchuk as Bayern appeared to wobble, until Kimmich settled the nerves.
“You could also describe it as dirty win,” said Flick. “They hurt us a few times with their balls behind our back line, and the victory wasn’t as clear-cut as we had hoped. But sometimes you have those games, and it was still a deserved victory.”