Corentin Tolisso's late winner means Bayern Munich still have a slim chance of topping group B, despite a flawed display against Anderlecht. But injuries to Thiago and Arjen Robben mean the night wasn't a total success.
Anderlecht 1 - 2 Bayern Munich
(Lewandowski 51', Tolisso 77' - Hanni 63')
At the start of this game, much of the talk was about how many Bayern would rack up against an Anderlecht side yet to provide an answer to the 15 goals they’d conceded in their previous four matches in the competition.
But Jupp Heynckes never bought in to that and after an eighth straight European win - a new German coaching record - the veteran boss may well have been more preoccupied by the loss of the key duo than a win that's unlikely to do his side any real good. He told German broadcaster ZDF after the match that Thiago had suffered a "serious" muscle injury but Robben's complaint is thought to be less serious.
Heynckes named a strong side, the only surprise was the inclusion of debutant left back Marco Friedl, but the Belgian outfit troubled the German champions from the off. They hurried Jerome Boateng in to a pair of misplaced passes, the first of which sent Lukas Teodorczyk through on goal, but the Polish striker could only find Sven Ulreich’s legs.
The Bayern keeper was a busy man in the opening period, dropping well to save Dennis Appiah’s arrowed drive at the near post on 17 minutes just before a brief interruption when rolls of fake €500 notes landed on the pitch. The referee picked up the ‘money’, a protest at the perceived high price of tickets for away fans, and the game resumed.
But the pattern continued, Uros Spajic nodding over for the hosts before Teodorczyk again got through, taking advantage of the huge space between Niklas Süle and Joshua Kimmich on Bayern’s right. But, again, he wasted his opportunity.
The hosts passed up more chances before Thiago exited the stage just before the break, followed by Robben the other side of the interval. But Bayern soon had some better news, when Lewandowski showed his compatriot Teodorczyk how to be clinical. Bayern’s frontman had enjoyed only a half chance before the break but, after some fluent approach play from James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso, Lewandowski peeled away at the back post to give the visitors the lead with a tap in.
If Teodorczyk couldn’t match Lewandowski in the scoring stakes, he did at least have a telling part to play in his side’s equalizer. The gangly forward outmuscled Friedl to nod down for his captain Sofiane Hanni, who got between Boateng and Süle and rifled home from close range.
When Javi Martinez missed a free header from six yards with fifteen minutes left, it looked like Bayern’s match in Paris on December 5 may be entirely meaningless. But Tolisso made no such mistake from a similar postion shortly after, glancing James’ cross in to the far corner.
There was just time for a late scare when Anderlecht’s Hamdi Harbaoui tucked home a low cross a minute from the end, but he was flagged offside.
With Paris Saint-Germain romping to a 7 –1 win over Celtic, Bayern will need a four goal win against the French side but a hard fought, if somewhat fortunate, win does ensure their chances of topping the group aren’t gone. The prognosis on Robben and Thiago may well play a bigger part in determining whether this side can go even further in this competition.
As it happened
FULL TIME: That's it. Not a convincing win but a win, and one that just about keeps Bayern's hopes of topping the group alive. Stay tuned for our match report, that'll be here shortly.
90+2 -- Hummels finds himself at center forward but still looks like a center back as he hammers a chance in to the stands.
89 -- Anderlecht think they've nicked it when substitute Harbaoui tucks home a low cross/shot at the back post. But he's flagged offisde. And he was. Just.
87' -- Hummels on for Vidal, which is a sign of Bayern's concern.
85' -- Lewandowski goes through one on one but hits it straight in to the chest of Sels.
84' -- Vidal is now fouled himself on the edge of Anderlecht's box and it's Bayern's turn to have a pop. But Lewandowski hits the wall.
82' -- A clumsy foul by Vidal on Bruno gives the Belgians a free kick on the edge of the box. Trebel strikes with his left foot but it flashes just wide of the post.
77' -- There is another goal in this. Kimmich whips in a brilliant ball and Tolisso rises highest to glance it in to the far post.
76' -- Close for Anderlecht. Vidal loses the ball and Anderlecht work it quickly to the pacy Appiah. He stands it up for Teodorczyk, who looks to have taken too long but gets a decent effort off that curls just wide. Feels like there's another goal in this.
73' -- Martinez should score. James whips in a free kick from the left that begs to be put away but Martinez can only head wide from six yards out.
71' -- Anderlecht's goalscorer Hanni is replaced by Bruno.
67' -- Lewandowski gets his studs to a James cross but Sels keeps it out.
63' -- GOAL! Anderlecht aren't done yet. Teodorczyk outmuscles debutant Friedl and nods down to Hanni, who evades Boateng and rifles home.
60' -- Anderlecht come back again, with Appiah putting in a good cross, which Rudy clears. Then Spajic, who has already been booked, avoids a second card despite a questionable challenge on Lewandowski.
57' -- Kimmich finds Lewandowski with a lovely through ball. He takes two touches then drags one wide of the far post with his left foot. Tough angle.
54' -- Lewandowski almost gets on the end of Rudy's nod down. But Anderlecht clear.
51' -- GOAL! There it is. The reason why Anderlecht needed to score while they were on top. Robert Lewandowski taps in the opener at the back post. James Rodriguez drove through the middle and delayed his pass to Tolisso smartly. The Frenchman then picked out Lewandowski with a square ball and he did the rest.
47' -- Spajic gets a yellow for chopping down Robben, who immediately grabs his leg and signals that he needs replacing. More injury troubles for Bayern, who have already lost Thiago in this game. Martinez is on.
46' -- We're back underway in Belgium. Will we see more from Bayern this half?
HALF TIME: Well, that was unexpected. Anderlecht have been the better side and have had plenty of chances to take a shock lead tonight but have wasted all of them. Bayern have looked exceptionally shaky at the back and haven't had a whole lot to shout about going forward either. But, given the nature of this game, perhaps the biggest news is the enforced substitution of Thiago just before the break. The Spaniard is a key man for the German champions.
45+ 2 -- Robben and Lewandowski stand over a free kick 25 yards out. Robben takes it but balloons it over the bar. And that's the half.
44' -- James Rodriguez replaces Thiago. A substitution that close to the break must mean the Spaniard is injured.
41 -- Anderlecht appeal for a penalty as Süle nudges Gerkens to the ground. Nothing given.
39' -- Another chance for Teodorczyk, another save by Ulreich. The Anderlecht target man has found space well but been hugely wasteful. It's no exaggeration to say he could've had a hat-trick by now.
35' -- Appiah whips in a cross from the right and Teodorczyk stoops to head just wide. There have been a lot of chances for a 0-0. There's been a fourth in Paris where Cavani has made it 3-1 to PSG.
33' -- Robben gets in a decent area and floats one in to VIdal, who is free at the back post. But the keeper gets there with his legs and Lewandowski's follow up is headed away.
30' -- The channel between Kimmich and Süle has been open all night but there's acres of space this time as Anderlecht find Teodorczyk with plenty of time to set himself. It's the best chance of the night but it's a weak effort that trickles wide. The home side really should be ahead here. Bayern's defending has been woeful so far.
28' -- Anderlecht are having less of the ball but more of the chances. Spajic beats Ulreich to a deep cross but heads just wide with the keeper nowhere. The Serbian had a decent opportunity just before that too but failed to make contact.
26' -- Robben drives inside from the right, skips past two challenges and.......his shot is blocked.
24' -- Teodorczyk, Anderlecht's big man up top, is causing a few problems tongiht but he's flagged offside this time. Meanwhile, Neymar has now given PSG the lead against Celtic.
18' -- Strange one here. A roll of - presumable fake - €500 notes have been thrown on the pitch, seemingly at protest at the high ticket prices charged by Anderlecht to the away fans. The referee chucks them away and we move on.
17' -- Ulreich called in to action again. Anderlecht work the ball neatly out to Appiah who arrows one towards the near post, but the keeper is down well.
16' -- Rudy has a shy from outside the box but it's tame and easily dealt with by Sels.
13' -- Boateng gives the ball away again on the halfway line and Anderlecht break, but it's snuffed out.
10' -- Bayern with a rare foray forward as Tolisso breaks through the midfield and slips through to Robben. But the Dutchman is offside. PSG are now level with Celtic, Neymar with the goal there.
8' -- Bayern have been trying to play out of the back a lot and it's got them in to big trouble here. Boateng's pass is intercepted and Teodorczyk is through on goal but hits Ulreich's legs.
6' -- Celtic have scored an early goal in Paris, which is good news for Bayern.
3' -- Anderlecht having a decent bit of the ball early on but not much happening so far, the sides feeling each other out.
1' -- The captains have exchanged pennants, the anthem has been sung and we're off!
A couple of stats while we wait for the teams to warm up. Arjen Robben's inclusion in the XI means he'll match Lothar Matthäus' 64 European games for Bayern tonight while Heynckes will set a new German coaching record if Bayern win - it would be his eighth consecutive victory in Europe.
Thirteen goals and three points seperate Bayern Munich and PSG at the top of group B, with the two qualified teams set to play each other in the last round of matches next month. Taking Bayern's 3-0 loss in Paris in to account too, the Bundesliga champions' chances of topping the group are remote but a visit to Anderlecht shouldn't pose them any great problems.
The Belgian side have yet to score or earn a point in the competition this season and face a team rejuvenated by Jupp Heynckes. The veteran coach has named a strong line up but handed a debut to 19-year-old left back Marco Friedl - probably in order to give David Alaba a rest.