Manuel Veth –
Olympiacos v Bayern Munich – October, 22 – Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis, Piraeus, Greece
Instead of stamping their authority on the match the Rekordmeister had no urgency in the final third, Thomas Müller and Philippe Coutinho, in particular, occupied too much of the same space. Instead, Olympiacos scored on the other end in the 24th minute. Youssef El-Arabi was left wide open inside the box, Manuel Neuer got his hand on the header but goal-line technology indicated the ball had crossed the line.
Bayern’s defence struggled but thankfully the club have Robert Lewandowski, who scored the equaliser in the 34th minute with a close-range finish. Just four minutes later Coutinho should have scored the go-ahead but he tapped the ball over the crossbar from just a few yards out.
Olympiacos almost retook the lead within moments of the rekick. First El-Arabi missed an open header in the 46th minute and then Giorgos Masouras was left open one minute later, but also missed his header. But at least the Bayern head coach can rely on striker Lewandowski, who poked home his second of the game after a corner in the 63rd minute. The job was not done yet, as Olympiacos pushed for an equaliser.
Their attacking football, however, was punished in the 74th minute when Corentin Tolisso scored a beautiful goal with a hammer of a shot from outside the box. Even then the Greeks did not give up and in the 79th minute Guilherme unleashed a shot from outside the box that was deflected by Thiago’s arm and from there beat Neuer.
Olympiacos v Bayern Munich – Three Stars
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Robert Lewandowski cannot stop scoring goals. The striker scored both the equaliser and Bayern’s second goal of the game. That makes it 18 goals in just 13 games for the Polish forward. The 31-year-old is in the form of his life and with the Ballon d’Or around the corner would be a good shout to win that competition.
Youssef El-Arabi (Olympiacos)
El-Arabi caused countless headaches for Bayern’s defence. Not even Olympiacos’ number one striker at the moment the 32-year-old Moroccan forward should have scored perhaps more than just the one goal against a Bayern defence that should do better to contain a player of his caliber.
Guilherme’s goal in the 79th minute gave the Greeks some hope to perhaps salvage a point. Ultimately, the goal made no difference. Nonetheless, the midfielder was excellent throughout the 90 minutes completing over 80% of his passes and was at the centre of every single Olympiacos attack.
GOALS: 1-0 (El-Arabi 24’) 1-1 (Robert Lewandowski, 34’) 1-2 (Lewandowski, 63’), 1-3 (Tolisso, 74′), 2-3 (Guilherme, 79′)
Bayern won the game, but the talk will once again focus on the record champions defence. Talk that will be amplified by the fact that Lucas Hernández went down with, what appeared to be, a serious injury in the 59th minute. That injury will cause further headaches for Kovač, who will already be without Niklas Süle until the end of the season.
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Injury or not. The result against Olympiacos, despite the win, will raise further concerns in Munich. The club has now conceded two goals in the last five games and cannot rely in every match for Lewandowski to rescue his teammates. “The problem is that we always have to score three goals to win,” Neuer said after the game. That means that Kovač will have to go back to the drawing board when it comes to his defence.
Olympiacos v Bayern Munich – Line-ups
Jose Sá – Tsimikas, Meriah, Ruben Semedo, Elabdellaoui – Guilherme – G. Masouras (Guerrero, 79′), Camara (Randjelović, 88′), Bouchalakis (Lovera, 69′), Daniel Podence – El-Arabi
Neuer – Kimmich, Pavard, Hernández (Boateng, 59′), Alaba – Martínez (Tolisso, 46′), Thiago – Müller (Perišić, 86′), Coutinho, Gnabry – Lewandowski
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.