Kingsley Coman’s late goal earned Bayern Munich a 1-1 at Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday night, cancelling out substitute Chukwubuike Adamu’s early opener to set up an intriguing second leg in their Champions League round of 16 tie.
Few would have expected total domination, but Bayern were nonetheless hugely disappointing as they struggled to build cohesion and fluidity up top for the second match running.
It was, however, Coman’s late poacher’s strike that saved a result in what was a game of two halves, with Julian Nagelsmann’s side’s second-half showing deserving of a draw.
In what was a predictably exciting and open beginning to the game, both sides enjoyed flowing attacking moves and gave the respective goalkeepers things to think about. With an enticing ebb and flow to proceedings, it was evident from early on that this wouldn’t be so one-sided.
Bayern came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening ten minutes, when Serge Gnabry cut into the penalty area before forcing Philipp Kohn into a smart save down to his right, although it would be Salzburg that managed the opener in the 21st minute.
After sustaining a period of pressure, the hosts embarked on a quick breakaway with Karim Adeyemi collecting a long ball before surging over the halfway line and into the final third. The starlet kept his composure and found Brenden Aaronson, who in turn laid the ball off to early substitute Chukwubuike Adamu – who replaced the injured Noah Okafor in the 12th minute – before the 20-year-old deliciously bent the ball round a sprawling Sven Ulreich.
What a finish by Chukwubuike Adamu ?
Just 10 minutes after coming on as a sub, he’s stunned Bayern Munich…
Salzburg off to a flyer!#UCL pic.twitter.com/zEuxzmCsbG
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2022
Manuel Neuer’s stand-in showed his capabilities just minutes later, denying the hosts a second as he leapt to his right to produce a brilliant stop from Aaronson’s 12-yard effort on goal.
Nagelsmann’s side regained some of their composure after that shock, and should have been level before the interval. Leroy Sane flashed wide from around ten yards out after collecting Thomas Muller’s pass, before Coman could only direct a Gnabry cross straight down the goalkeeper’s throat – much to the distaste of his boss.
The first half, though, would end on a controversial note, with a symphony of home-fan whistles overpowering Michael Oliver’s half-time blow up.
Adeyemi was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty after Benjamin Pavard sloppily swung his leg at Niklas Sule’s lazy throw-in, causing the Salzburg forward to collapse to the ground following what looked like a clip to the ankle. Replays, however, confirmed that Chris Kavanagh’s decision to conclude his VAR check very quickly in favour of ‘no penalty’ was correct.
Trailing at the break, Bayern came out positively for the second half and established control over proceedings. Even so, Die Roten couldn’t quite find a penetrative conclusion for all of their possession and offensive phases.
Wave after wave of attack looked dangerous for the hosts, however, with Coman in particular looking likely to get the visitors back into the game with his tricky artistry and unforgiving drive. The Frenchman was unsurprisingly heavily involved as Bayern squandered their best opportunity with 15 minutes remianing.
Taking the reins of a blistering counter attack, Coman eventually managed to find Sane in the penalty area, only for the German to sum up his evening with a meek effort from six yards out that was well saved by Kohn, who reacted quickly to jump on the loose ball and shut Bayern out.
Nagelsmann’s side was reminded of their hosts’ threat shortly after, when Benjamin Pavard was forced into making a sensational goal-line clearance as Adamu narrowly failed to cap off yet another fluid breakaway move.
Bayern’s superiority and sustained pressure, however, eventually told in the match’s final minute. With Muller’s ball into the box falling at the feet of Coman, the Frenchman made no mistake in converting his second-half showing into a tangible product, firing the ball into Kohn’s near post.
It was a near miss for Die Rekordmeister, who take a valuable result back to the Allianz Arena for the second leg.
Niklas Sule got away with a few bloopers, but was largely solid / KERSTIN JOENSSON/GettyImages
Sven Ulreich (GK) – 6/10 – Nothing he could do about the opener, but produced a good stop to keep the deficit down to one just minutes later.
Benjamin Pavard (CB) – 6/10 – Much more decisive in every facet of his game than he has been of late, notably making a fantastic goal-line block, but was still fairly average and was caught upfield for the deadlock-breaker.
Niklas Sule (CB) – 5/10 – Always looked capable of a howler and almost gave the neutrals what they wanted twice in the first half. Generally solid, though, managing three tackles.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – 6/10 – Very resilient on the back foot, making four ball recoveries, but underwhelmed when trying to play out from the back.
Heartbreak for Salzburg ?
Moments away from a huge win in their first #UCL knockout game, and Kingsley Coman sneaks in at the back post!
Bayern left it LATE ?#UCL pic.twitter.com/d6PIwBU76J
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 16, 2022
Serge Gnabry (RWB) – 7/10 – Lively on the right flank, showing some nice touches and producing some exciting moments; one of his side’s brightest operators.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 7/10 – Characteristically composed and authoritative in the middle of the pitch, sweeping up cleverly and keeping things ticking over, although lacked a penetrative impact.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) – 7/10 – Provided the midfield industry that was missing at Bochum, while also pinging the ball around Toni Kroos-style at times.
Kingsley Coman (LWB) – 9/10 – More wing than back and, following a quiet opening period, sparked to life in the second half, proving pivotal to everything positive. Bayern’s most threatening presence for large parts, eventually getting the crucial strike.
Thomas Muller got a late assist / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages
Thomas Muller (RF) – 6/10 – Showed flashes of his creativity, floating around and managing two key passes, but simply looked off the pace throughout. Came good eventually, though, getting the assist for Coman’s late equaliser.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 3/10 – Provided some nice moments of link-up play but struggled to get into the game.
Leroy Sane (LF) – 2/10 – Lacked bite on the front foot. Missed a very good chance to equalise in the first half and was generally lacklustre where it mattered. Needs to improve – sharpish.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (ST) – 5/10
Marcel Sabitzer (CM) – 5/10
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