Bayern Munich booked their place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League, but they had to be patient against Olympiacos. Eventually, second-half goals from Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic made the difference.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos
(Lewandowski 69', Perisic 89')
Allianz Arena, Munich
Bayern Munich booked their place in the knock-out stages of the Champions League following a 2-0 home win over Greek champions Olympiacos.
In the first game following Niko Kovac's sacking, interim coach Hansi Flick saw his team dominate for much of the evening, but had to wait until the final 20 minutes before Robert Lewandowski finally made the breakthrough.
Ivan Perisic made the three points and qualification from Group B secure in the final minute, firing home just 32 seconds after coming on as a substitute.
Flick had made three changes to the side which was thumped 5-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend – including dropping Jerome Boateng to the bench. The central defender was sent off in Frankfurt and will therefore miss Saturday’s game against Borussia Dortmund, and Flick was keen to give his makeshift defense of Benjamin Pavard, Javi Martinez, David Alaba and Alphonso Davies some time to gel.
Not that they had much to do. Bayern recorded up to 75% of possession at times, played over 600 passes to the visitors’ 212 with a pass completion ratio of 89% and had 27 shots on goal. Olympiacos had three.
Yet the Bavarians’ approach was often overly cautious, predictable and lacking in creativity and individuality, usually relying on low crosses from Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. The best chances came from set pieces.
Still, "if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again" appeared to be the motto and eventually, a Coman cross did result in a goal, Lewandowski flicking home at the near post. The Pole has now scored in every game this season in all competitions for Bayern – except Bochum in the cup.
Perisic’s goal also came from a low Coman cross, this time from the left, the Croat finishing off at the back post.
Job done for Hansi Flick, but Bayern will need to step up a few levels against Borussia Dortmund at the weekend.
As it happened: relive the action below:
FULL-TIME: Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos
88' GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Olympiacos (Perisic)
He's only been on the pitch for 32 seconds but Ivan Perisic has doubled Bayern's lead! After Coman attacks down the left and crosses, the ball comes to the Croat who smashes it home. Game over.
And there's that goal music again ... it's not the Cancan, is it? Surely not.
88' Substitution for Bayern: Serge Gnabry is replaced by Ivan Perisic
86' Some stats, because Bayern's attacks are pretty much all the same.
Shots on goal: 23-2
Score: 1-0 ...
85' Olympiacos give the ball away but Bayern can't capitalize. Kimmich drags his effort before Coman fires over.
82' Substitution for Bayern: Leon Goretzka is replaced by Corentin Tolisso
82' Kimmich hits a poor corner to the near post which is easily cleared.
79' Approaching the final ten minutes. Will we see another goal? Olympiacos have brought an extra striker on - something for Bayern to think about at the back.
74' Davies lets fly from distance but his shot is always rising and the ball sails over the bar and into the mass of bouncing Bayern ultras in the south stand.
72' Bayern are on course to secure qualification for the knock-out stage. Although, having heard the new "goal music" at the Allianz Arena, we think there's a good case to disqualify them from the competition, to be honest.
71' How has that not gone in!? Gnabry squares the ball across the face of goal but Coman, just a yard out and with the goal gaping, somehow fails to make contact. That should have been 2-0.
69' GOAL! Bayern 1-0 Olympiacos (Lewandowski)
Who else!? The Pole flicks in Coman's low cross from the right at the near post and Bayern finally have the breakthrough!
64' Olympiacos counter-attack and leave their half for what feels like the first time since half-time, but Camara fires well over the bar.
62' "Sold out!" says the stadium announcer. Hmm. Well, 70,000 tickets may have been purchased but there are definitely not 70,000 people inside the stadium tonight ...
61' And now Coman shoots from the right but José Sa saves again! But at least Bayern are getting shots away. It's going to take some individuality to break the deadlock.
60' Gnabry cuts inside from the left but his shot is saved.
56' Davies loses possession again on the left wing. This is simply too sloppy and too slow from Bayern. Of course, it's difficult to play against a packed defense but Bayern are too one-dimensional.
52' Müller's cross from the right goes into a dangerous area but evades everyone.
49' The first big chance of the second half! Lewandowski flicks on Kimmich's free-kick and Goretzka's bullet header is saved at point blank range by José Sa. Great stop! Bayern are getting closer, but it's notable that their best chances have come from set pieces.
We're back underway in the second half. "Twenty's Plenty!" reads the banner from the Bayern ultras, referring to Champions League ticket prices. Correct!
45' POST! Pavard heads goalwards from Kimmich's corner but it comes back off the post! The closest Bayern have come so far.
42' Goretzka attempts to find Coman down the left but his pass is too unprecise.
40' Coman goes down in the box under challenge from Elabdellaoui, but it's not enough for a penalty and the referee rightly waves play on.
35' And now Müller! But his shot is saved too.
34' Finally some creativity from Bayern! Coman dribbles inside from the right and gets a shot away, which José Sa parries out for a corner. But that's the sort of individuality that Bayern need.
33' Goretzka goes into a challenge late and stamps on the opponent's foot, which looked painful but the ex-Schalke man avoids a yellow card.
31' A Bayern corner is cleared as far as Davies who lets fly ... but his shot is well blocked.
27' Bayern's possession and pass completion ratios - or ratia? ratii? It's all Greek to me - are both down two points to 73% and 92% respectively, but the Bavarians are still utterly dominant. Nevertheless, crosses and long-range efforts aside, they're not creating much. More creativity needed!
25' The first real chance for Lewandowski as the Pole gets on the head of Pavard's deep cross - but his header is straight at José Sa.
21' Coman crosses from advanced position and has the goalkeeper scrambling somewhat, but the cross goes all the way across to Gnabry, who is now back on the right. Difficult to keep track of those two constantly switching wings ...
18' "Olympiacos! Olympiacos!" scream the 3,000 traveling Greeks up in the Gods. "Sha la la, Bayern Müncheeeen!" respond the Germans.
17' First big chance for Olympiacos! After Alaba gives the ball away, Randjelovic drags his shot wide from about 12 yards. A bit of a let-off for Bayern!
16' Gnabry has switched to the left. He cuts inside and curls an effort straight at the keeper.
16' 75% possession and a 94% pass completion rate for Bayern in the opening quarter of an hour here.
15' Bayern win a corner! The ball is circulated from left to right where Goretzka's cross is deflected behind. The corner is easily cleared, however.
11' Müller's shot from the edge of the box is blocked, following a driving run by Gnabry from the right. Moments later, Goretzka fires over from distance. All Bayern so far!
9' After a Lewandowski through-ball, Müller goes down in the box but the referee waves play on.
9' Davies tries to find Coman on the left but passes the ball out of play. Sloppy from the 18-year-old.
7' Coman attempts to get to the byline but runs the ball out of play.
5' José Sa gets down well to save a low, left-footed drive from Goretzka.
3' Randjelovic gets past Davies a little too easily down the Bayern left but his cross is picked up by Neuer. An early warning for Bayern's makeshift defense.
2' Gnabry with an early cross from the right but it's straight into the hands of Olympiacos goalkeeper José Sa.
Polish referee Pawel Raczkowski gets us underway! The Allianz Arena is apparently sold out but the visible empty seats suggest that quite a few haven't shown up. That's what happens when UEFA introduce fan-friendly kick-off times like 18:55 ...
Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has been speaking to German television ahead of kick-off, not that he really fancied answering many questions.
Q: Are Bayern looking to appoint a new permanent coach this winter or next summer?
A: We're going to try and make the right decision and won't be put under pressure.
Q: Are Bayern looking for an experienced coach or a young coach?
A: We're looking for a coach who fits our team.
Q: Will Hansi Flick have more than two games?
A: At the moment, Hansi Flick is the right coach for the team.
Make of that what you will.
But could Bayern be vulnerable at the back? Hansi Flick has opted for a back four with no recognized center-backs and only two recognized defenders. Jerome Boateng is of course suspended for this weekend's clash with Borussia Dortmund, so is that part of his thinking?
Either way, Joshua Kimmich is clear: "Our primary task to defend together and defend better."
Bayern Munich team news:
In his first game in charge, Hansi Flick makes three changes to the Bayern side which was hammered in Frankfurt. Thiago Alcantara, Philippe Coutinho and Jerome Boateng all drop to the bench to be replaced by Javi Martinez, Leon Goretzka and Kingsley Coman.
Robert Lewandowski, who has scored in every Champions League outing this season as well as every Bundesliga game, leads the line, looking to continue a frankly ridiculous run of form.
Bayern XI: Neuer - Pavard, Martinez, Alaba, Davies - Kimmich, Goretzka, Müller - Gnabry, Lewandowski, Coman
Last time out:
Bayern won 3-2 in Piraeus two weeks ago to remain five points clear of Tottenham Hotspur at the top of Group B. A Robert Lewandowski brace plus a Corentin Tolisso strike did the business for the Bavarians, who had made life difficult for themselves by falling behind.
GUTEN ABEND! Welcome to DW's live coverage of Bayern Munich vs. Olympiacos in Champions League Group B.
After Saturday's 5-1 thumping at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt, the German champions begin the post-Niko Kovac era at home to Greek side Olympiacos. Bayern may have slipped to fourth in the Bundesliga but interim coach Hansi Flick can secure qualification for the Champions League knock-out stage with victory this evening.