Leroy Sané shines in opening win of Champions League campaign
He sprinted away from his marker, took the ball in his stride and rounded goalkeeper André Onana before slotting into the empty net: Leroy Sané's goal in FC Bayern's 2-0 (1-0) victory over Inter Milan in their Champions League opener was further evidence of the 26-year-old winger's blistering pace. But it's not only on the pitch that Sané is quick: on just his 19th Champions League appearance for Bayern, the attacker scored his 10th goal. Only Roy Makaay (10 games) and Robert Lewandowski (16 games) needed fewer matches to reach double digits for FCB.
UEFA honour Sané performance
"I saw the space and knew they had gaps in behind. Then I made the run and Jo [Joshua Kimmich, editor's note] had great vision to find me," Sané said of his 25th-minute opener - the highlight of his electric performance at Milan's legendary San Siro stadium. With his searing runs, the German attacker led one attacking foray after the next and was a constant thorn in the side of the Inter defence with his silky dribbling. After the final whistle, he was deservedly named UEFA's Man of the Match.
Sané also had a hand in the next decisive moment of the match. After a one-two with Kingsley Coman, the winger put the ball into such a dangerous area in front of goal that Inter captain Danilo d'Ambrosio could do nothing but turn it into his own goal. With 66 minutes on the clock, Bayern's second goal all but sealed the win. "Leroy had two great moments that led to goals," enthused coach Julian Nagelsmann. For the first goal, Sané made a "super run", explained the 35-year-old. Kimmich's chipped ball was "difficult to deal with", but Sané did "very well".
Nagelsmann: Sané's "greatest asset"
For the second goal, Sané demonstrated "his greatest asset" - namely his ability "to shift the tempo of the game when the opposition steps up", as Nagelsmann went on to explain. Sané's "first few yards" were "very difficult to defend against". Despite the praise and his impressive display, Sané remained modest: "I just want to play well, feel good and leave the pitch happy."
Sané seems to have found his home in the Champions League, in any case. Since the beginning of last season, he has been directly involved in 13 goals in Europe's elite club competition (seven goals, six assists). Only centre-forwards Karim Benzema and Lewandowski have posted greater numbers across the same period.
In six days' time (Tuesday, 9 pm CEST), Sané will have the chance to build on his strong record in the Champions League, when Bayern welcome Group C rivals FC Barcelona to the Allianz Arena.