Champions League: Bayern make it two in a row with AEK win | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 23.10.2018
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Champions League: Bayern make it two in a row with AEK win

Two goals in three minutes from Javi Martinez and Robert Lewandowski secured a 2-0 win for Bayern Munich over AEK Athens. The German champions were frustrated for over an hour before putting away limited opponents.

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AEK Athens 0 - 2 Bayern Munich
(Martinez 61', Lewandowski 63')

It took Bayern Munich an hour to make possession count, but then two goals in three minutes briefly lit up an otherwise stodgy display and secured them three important points in Group E.

A disjointed first half from the German champions exposed some of the problems obscured by victory against Wolfsburg last time out in the league. The lack of fluency was summed up when Thiago overhit a pass to Robert Lewandowski at the far post, taking the chance away from his teammate. Arjen Robben cut the most frustrated figure, either at not receiving the pass from his temmates or because teammates didn't anticipate his pass.

Read more: Bayern back to winning ways but not everything is fixed

With Bayern scrapping, Athens failed to take advantage and were soon made to pay.

The deadlock was broken when Robben's parried shot was smashed home by Javi Martinez as the home side failed to clear. Two minutes later, a superb piece of play from Bayern sliced open AEK and ended the contest. Thiago played the ball out to Serge Gnabry who sent backheel to the overlapping Rafinha. The Brazilian wingback was left with the simple task of squaring the ball for Robert Lewandowski to tap in.

The Greek side had no response and Bayern had no need to do more than play the game out. The result leaves Bayern with seven points from three games and they face the same opponent next in Munich on November 7.

As it happened

FULL TIME: The referee calls time on a game that was over after that three minute spell just after the hour mark. Any win will do for Bayern at the minute but that was pretty uninspiring fare. The German champions had control without any great urgency and the same questions probably still hang over them and their coach. our match report will be along here shortly.

90+2 - Maybe Bayern do after all. Rafinha again goes on the overlap, this time standing one up to Goretzka but his volley is tame, lame and deflected behind. The corner comes to nothing.

90' - There will be three minutes of added time. Though I'm not sure who really wants them.

88' - This is dull. The game has been, and the closing stages are. 

84' - Last Bayern change. Wagner on, Lewandowski off.

83' - Does this really tell us anything about where Bayern are at the minute? I don't think it does. They've never really been threatened and they deserve the win but AEK are not up to much at all. 

78' - He almost has an immediate impact, standing up a cross to Lewandowski. But the Pole can't bring it down.

75' - Müller gets his chance. He's on for Gnabry, who had a decent game tonight.

73' - I forgot to mention that in between those two goals Goretzka came on for James. Priorities and all that...

71' - You feel there are more goals for Bayern here. Not because they're playing that well, but because AEK are very limited, and now they're tiring.

66' - Lewandowski almost scrambles in a second from Kimmich's cross. His flick spins off Barkas and the keeper scrambles to retreive it on the goal line.

64' - The floodgates are, it seems, very much open. Gnabry does well to find Rafinha on the overlap and the full back finds the gap between keeper and defender to give Lewandowski the easiest of tap ins.

63' - GOAL! AEK Athens 0 - 2 Bayern Munich (Lewandowski)

62' - Hummels finds acres in the box after a corner is half-cleared. He pulls back to Robben, the shot is blocked and Martinez twists his body to volley home. A bit fortunate but a smart finish from the Spaniard, that's his first goal since January.

61' - GOAL! AEK Athens 0 - 1 Bayern Munich (Martinez)

59' - The free kick from the second of those errors flicks off Kimmich and Klonaridis - free at the back post - tries and overhead kick that's well wide.

58' - Martinez is caught twice in possession in the space of 90 seconds. Bayern need a change in midfield, it's all so slow and predictable.

55' - Robben tries to Robben it, but the shot after the cut inside was awful.

52 - Gnabry loses the ball, with Rafinha high up the pitch. AEK break through Galanopoulos before Bakasetas blazes over the bar.

52' - Sanches Müller and Goretzka are warming up. How long before Kovac freshens things up?

50' - The second half currently looks a lot like the first. Turgid.

48' - The fog from the flares has descended over the pitch again. I'll leave the Niko Kovac references to you.

46' - We're off again. Big 45 coming up for Bayern.

HALF TIME: Well, that wasn't very good. Bayern have controlled the match in most respects but failed to force a meaningful save from Barkas. The visitors have been in decent positions several times without finding the decsive pass or shot. Signs that the confidence is still a little shaky? AEK haven't offered a huge amount but have grown in to the game as the half has gone on. They'll presumably be happier than their visitors.

45+1 - Robben bursts in to the box, commits the keeper, squares it back towards Lewandowski and....there's a defender there to clear.

45' - AEK are getting a little more comfortable here and build up nicely down the left. But Klonaridis' cross is wild.

43' - The home side attack in numbers for probably the first time but give it away. Robben comes away with it but Bayern's counter breaks down too. Oh well, it's half time soon.

39' - This is much sharper from Bayern. Kimmich gets high up the pitch and feed James, who chips out to Gnabry. The former Arsenal winger takes a touch and hits it but he goes near post when he probably should go far, and the wrong side of the near post at that. A nice move though.

38' - A nice little reverse ball from Robben gets Kimmich in space down the right but his cross is blocked. Hummels gets his head to the corner but he's under pressure and it bobbles well wide.

34' - Lewandowski manages to prove part of my last point almost instantly. AEK lose it carelessly in midfield and suddenly Bayern are two on one. The Polish striker has it, back to goal, with Robben streaming past him but doesn't release his teammate.

32' - James shuffles inside and curls one with his left foot, but it's straight at the keeper. Bayern are controlling this but they've not made the most of some good positions and they're lacking a little urgency at times.

28' - Big chance. The ball is handed to Thiago just outside the box. The Spaniard drives inside and should shoot but is indecisive and tries to slip in Lewandowski - that ball was never really on. At the other end, Mantalos heads straight at Neuer from some way out.

26' - Gnabry speculates from distance after some smart build up from James and Robben. His shot strikes a defender and goes behind before Barkas punches the corner away.

23' - Thiago suddenly pops up in the box looking to get on the end of a long ball. But it's just beyond him.

20' - Ponce runs off the back of Hummels and has a pop from near the corner of the penalty box. It's a tough angle but he connects well and keeps Neuer interested. But it swerves away at the end, and the Germany keeper always had it covered.

18' - Gnabry, who has been the brightest player on display so far, again gets space on the left. He drives low across the box and Chygrynski, aware Lewandowski is behind him, goes to ground to clear. He gets just enough on it to trickle it past his own post. 

17' - James picks up a stray pass and sets Lewandowski away down the left, but Lampropoulos is out quickly to snuff out the danger.

15' - Bayern are bossing this game, as you'd expect. The hosts are allowing them to play until the final third, a risky game.

11' - Gnabry bamboozles his man and puts in a much better ball this time. But Robben doesn't gamble and it's cleared behind. Lewandowski wins the header from the corner but it's a simple save.

8' - More apologies, this time from Kimmich who doesn't read James' ball out to the right and allows it to run out of play.

6' - Gnabry exchanges passes with Lewandowski on the left but his cross with the outside of the boot is low, poor and easily cleared. The winger offers the striker a hand of apology.

5' - There's still a bit of a mist over the pitch, presumably from all the flares beforehand.

3 - I think AEK have touched the ball twice so far. Thiago shows some nice feet and slips in Rafinha, but he's offside and the Greek side finally get a couple of passes in.

1' - Thiago gets us underway.

18:50 - AEK have conceded twice in both of their first two games this term, so I'm sure Mr. Lewandowski will fancy filling his boots tonight after breaking his drought on Saturday. Müller could also do with a goal but will have to wait to see if he's called from the bench.

Watch video 01:09

Is Thomas Müller's time up?

18:45 - With Benfica and Ajax meeting in Amsterdam later on, this is a decent chance for Bayern to lay down a marker. All three of those sides will expect to brush aside AEK at home so any slip ups in Greece are likely to prove fatal.

18:40 - Hello, and welcome one of two early games on Matchday 3 of the Champions League. When the group was drawn, this one would have looked a straightforward task for Bayern. Perhaps, after a win against Wolfsburg at the weekend, it still does. But it doesn't feel quite as much of a gimme as it did a month ago.

With Benfica and Ajax, likely to be the other two sides duking it out in Group E, playing each other tonight, the German side will take a big step towards the knockouts with wins in Athens and in the return fixture in Munich in two weeks' time.

Niko Kovac makes just a single change from Saturday's side. Rafinha comes in for David Alaba, who was forced off at half time but is fit enough for the bench. That means still no place for Thomas Müller or Jerome Boateng in the starting eleven.


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