Carlo Ancelotti's team got the three points it needed to start the Champions League campaign. However, the 3-0 win was a tepid affair considering that the runaway favorites and hosts had an extra player for 80 minutes.
Bayern Munich 3 - 0 RSC Anderlecht
(Lewandowski 12' pen., Thiago 65', Kimmich 90')
Allianz Arena, Munich
Bayern Munich's Champions League opener was all but over within 12 minutes, when Anderlecht conceded a penalty and lost central defender Sven Kums all in the same move. Kums tugged lightly on Robert Lewandowski's shoulder as the Pole was breaking clear, and the Bayern No. 9 seemed to decide he'd prefer a spot kick to an off-balance shot, gratefully tumbling under the contact. Lewandowski got to his feet and showed no nerves from the spot, putting the visitors a man and a goal down early.
Briefly, it looked like Bayern might run rampant, still wounded from their 2-0 weekend defeat in the Bundesliga against Hoffenheim.
Yet after a few hectic minutes following the first goal, the spark went out of the Bavarians' attack and the game's pace slowed markedly. Indeed, Nicolae Stanciu probably had the best chance of the half from open play, but couldn't find his footing in time to put a close-range shot on target. Soon after the restart, Manuel Neuer had another scare in goal, as the post came to his rescue and denied Alexandru Chipciu.
Nevertheless, Bayern dominated possession against 10 men, and eventually picked the lock on 65 minutes, before, in the dying seconds of the match, securing the kind of scoreline one might expect.
"After going a man up, really, we should have shot them off the park," Arjen Robben conceded on German Sky television after the game, saying that the fans deserved a little entertainment. Robben also issued what might have been a veiled barb at Robert Lewandowski, whose recent critical press interview rose eyebrows on Säbener Strasse.
But Carlo Ancelotti's 3-0 was small fry compared to Group B rivals Paris St Germain, who slotted five past Celtic in Glasgow to take the group lead. Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were both on the scoreboard.
Elsewhere in the Champions League on Tuesday, Barcelona beat Juventus 3-0 at the Nou Camp, Chelsea hammered six by Qarabag, Benifca beat CSKA Moscow 1-0, Manchester United beat Basel 3-0 and Sporting Lisbon won 3-2 in Greece against Olympiacos.
You can re-read our live updates from Bayern vs. Anderlecht below.
90' -- GOAL! Bayern 3-0 Anderlecht (Kimmich). Fancy footwork from Bayern's right-back Joshua Kimmich, sidestepping Sels and knocking it into an open goal. Jerome Boateng with the assist. The scoreline, 3-0, now gives this match the optics that were lacking during the action itself.
89' -- Thiago fires from distance but the shot keeps on climbing. Cameras still cutting constantly to Ribery looking like a seagull ate his ice cream.
Over in Glasgow, Paris St. Germain now lead 5-0 against Celtic. They will take the early lead in Bayern's Group B.
87' -- Kimmich with a corner for Bayern. Robben flicks it on at the near post, and Thomas Müller fails to divert it towards goal.
85' -- And sub Bayern: James leaves, Kingsley Coman jogs on.
84' -- Sub Anderlecht: Striker Lukasz Teodorczyk makes way for Hamdi Harbaoui.
82' -- Cameras show Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamovic heading over to Ribery on the bench to try to make nice. Lots of gesticulating and chatter, not much sign of progress. Where's a lip-reader when you need one?
78' -- Another Bayern sub: Ribery's not a happy chappy as he makes way for Thomas Müller, who himself is no doubt delighted at the prospect of 12 junk minutes in the second half.
77' -- Sub Bayern, Jerome Boateng on for Javi Martinez. Boateng's back from injury sporting his summer look, peroxide white/silver/blond on top.
74' -- Yellow card for Tolisso who seemingly wanted to give a little back after being the victim himself.
72' -- Corentin Tolisso's hurt after a clash with Teodorczyk although the midfielder's staying on the pitch for now.
69' -- Arjen Robben has a pop from range and his strike's just a few inches too high.
67' -- Another Goal Bayern, but disallowed! Niklas Süle headed home a corner at the back post, but the ref pulls him back. Süle pushed off, if not very much, against his marker before the header.
65' -- GOAL! Bayern 2-0 Anderlecht (Thiago). A top team goal puts this tie to bed, rather later than expected. Corentin Tolisso's brilliantly weighted pass out to the right to Joshua Kimmich set the move in motion. Kimmich was able to run on to the curling pass and cross first time, Thiago was arriving in the middle before Anderlecht's central defenders had realized the danger.
60' -- James Rodriguez with the pass of the game to create a chance for Robben - a chip over the defense with the most impossible trajectory. Robben's shot dealt with by Sels though.
54' -- Great save Matz Sels. Niklas Süle rose highest to meet James Rodriguez's free kick, but Sels was able to tip it over the bar. The ensuing corner came to nothing for Bayern.
53' -- Nicolae Stanciu booked for a chop on Ribery.
52' -- Lewandowski, fed by Robben, can't bring the ball under control on the run and fires wide with his left foot.
49' -- Anderlecht hit the post, Alexandru Chipciu had beaten Neuer to his left. That's two scares, one either side of half time, for the hosts.
Second half begins.
Half time analysis: Bayern have struggled to make very much of their one-player advantage, save for Robert Lewandowski mercilessly converting the penalty he won. The hosts looked most dangerous immediately after taking the lead and seemed to lose momentum in the last half hour or so. Possession stats (76 percent to Bayern) and shots taken (9 for Bayern and 2 for Anderlecht) seem to tell a tale of a team in total control, but Nicolae Stanciu will be most upset that he missed the target with probably the best chance all game from open play. If Carlo Ancelotti was hoping for a definitive answer to his detractors, his team's yet to deliver it.
HALF TIME. Bayern Munich 1 - 0 Anderlecht.
45+1' -- Corner for Bayern as first half stoppage time begins. Thiago delivers, and a first shot on goal from James is blocked in the box. Javi Martinez then gets creative, acrobatically volleying it towards goal. Saved by Matz Sels.
44' -- Lewandowski's goal earlier was a milestone in the Ancelotti era, his 50th since the Italian took charge at Bayern. Nobody else has more than 16 in that time.
Around the grounds: PSG make it 3-0, Cavani this time from the penalty spot. Celtic's improbable unbeaten domestic record remains just that, domestic.
41' -- Huge chance for Stanciu in front of Bayern's goal but he pulls it wide - a useful warning siren for the hosts.
38' -- Chance Robben. One-club man and 36-year-old veteran Olivier Deschacht with a splendid sliding block to deny the Dutchman a shot from close range.
Around the grounds: Add a Kylian Mbappe goal to Neymar's earlier on. PSG now lead Celtic 2-0. That makes the French star the first ever player to scorer Champions League goals for two different clubs as a teenager. Meanwhile, Marouane Fellaini has shot Manchester United into a 1-0 lead against FC Basel.
33' -- There's nothing like an early home lead for the favorites to take the sting out of a game. Except perhaps when the underdogs also lose a player. As Anderlecht are a goal and a man down in Munich, we're being treated to a case study in these phenomena. Bayern have not been very assertive or effective going forward, while Anderlecht struggle to penetrate a superior side that also outnumbers them.
25' -- Sub Anderlecht, a forced move with an injury. Dennis Appiah comes on to replace Andy Najar.
22' -- James Rodriguez and Lewandowski again hover over Bayern's second dangerous free kick of the night. They've taken one each now. Lewandowski hit the wall with his, while James couldn't get his strike to dip.
Around the grounds: PSG lead 1-0 against Celtic in the other Group B match this evening. Neymar the scorer in Glasgow.
20' -- Penalty appeal, waved away. Arjen Robben needs to take tumbling lessons from Lewandowski.
17' -- It's been one-way traffic since the goal, but with the rank outsiders a man down in the Allianz Arena that could become par for the course for the remaining 70 minutes. If nothing else, this will be a good test of the Belgian champs' conditioning so early in the season.
12' -- GOAL! Bayern 1 - 0 Anderlecht (Lewandowski pen). Lewandowski fires the penalty low and to his left, sending Sels the wrong way. The Pole won the penalty, including making sure the referee couldn't miss what little contact there was, and then slotted it home himself.
11' -- Penalty Bayern!! And, a red card for defender Sven Kums, and a yellow for Franck Ribery too. Kums pulled Lewandowski back for the spot kick.
9' -- Chance for James Rodriguez, arriving late at the back post to head a Franck Ribery cross from the left. The header was easy pickings for Matz Sels in Anderlecht's goal.
5' -- Well, it only took five minutes until Thiago's first "did he really just play that?" pass, a diagonal ball over the top to Robert Lewandowski. Nothing of note came from it, but still that was a chunk of the admission fee repaid by the Spanish playmaker.
3' -- Lukasz Teodorczyk picks up an early knock and leaves the field for treatment but is able to continue.
-- Coach Carlo Ancelotti could use a strong showing after Bayern's 2-0 loss away to Hoffenheim on Saturday, dropping them down to sixth at this very early stage in the Bundesliga season. A home match to against arguably the weakest team in their Champions League group could be just what the doctor ordered.
-- Bayern Munich's starting XI is out for the evening. James Rodriguez starts in a very attacking Bayern midfield, also including Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago. Striker Robert Lewandowski leads the line despite his rather choreographed media critique of the team in recent days. German international center back pairing Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are both sharing the bench, along with Thomas Müller.
Belgian Eerste Divisie champions Anderlecht can't claim nearly the same star power. France-born Algerian international Sofiane Hanni, 26, is wearing the captain's armband.
-- Good evening and welcome to DW's live coverage of Bayern Munich's Champions League opener.
Here's what's in store for us today:
Bayern Munich vs. Anderlecht
Barcelona vs. Juventus
Roma vs. Atletico Madrid
Celtic vs. PSG
Manchester United vs. Basel
Chelsea vs. Qarabag
Benfica vs. CSKA Moscow
Olympiacos vs. Sporting