FC Bayern beat RSC Anderlecht 2-1 on Wednesday evening, handing boss Jupp Heynckes his ninth win in nine matches. Robert Lewandowski put the Bavarians in front after the interval, Sofiane Hanni levelling the scores in a highly entertaining contest before Corentin Tolisso sealed the final scoreline which, on another day, could have easily been 4-3.
Bayern lined up with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Jérôme Boateng, Niklas Süle and Marco Friedl in a back four. Sebastian Rudy, Arturo Vidal and Tolisso took up station in midfield, with Arjen Robben, Lewandowski and Thiago featuring in a potent attacking trident.
Jupp Heynckes shuffled his deck, making five changes to the team that saw off Augsburg on Saturday. Youngster Friedl, who made his starting debut, Boateng, Rudy, Tolisso and Thiago took over from Mats Hummels, Rafinha, Javi Martínez, Juan Bernat and James.
The Colombian was called into action before half-time, when Thiago sustained a problem and had to be replaced. Martínez took over from Robben shortly after the interval, Hummels coming on for Vidal in the closing stages.
Anderlecht spring a surprise - Ulreich shines
The 20,000 crowd at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium saw an entertaining, up-tempo contest, the attack-minded home side pressing very high up the field. The night almost began with a shock for the German record champions, when Boateng gifted possession away, Ulreich making a fine save to deny the onrushing Lukasz Teodorczyk.
Bayern's netminder was soon called into action again, saving from Dennis Appiah. Midway through the first half Anderlecht did beat Ulreich, and Bayern had to thank Lady Luck as Uros Spajic' header somehow went wide. A Lewandowski effort was blocked, and another fine save from Ulriech against Teodroczyk meant the contest remained goalless at half-time.
Clinical Lewy and Corentin reward Reds
Whatever Jupp Heynckes told his men at half-time, it worked. The Reds shone with crisp passing and pace after the interval, Lewandowski tapping in after a highly perceptive Tolisso pass. The Poland international miscued another finish before Anderlecht's Hanni levelled the scores following a mix-up in the Bayern box. Martínez glanced two headers wide before Vidal skied an effort, but Tolisso connected with a pinpoint Kimmich cross to head home the winner with a quarter-hour to go. Anderlecht keeper Matz Sels made two strong saves to deny Lewandowski and Tolisso before match official Anthony Taylor blew for full-time.
The victory takes Bayern onto ten points from five matches, lying second in Group B, three short of Paris St Germain, who downed Celtic 7-1. The Bavarians are back in action on Saturday, when they travel to face Gladbach in the Bundesliga. Bayern will cross swords with PSG in the top clash of Group B on 5 December.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Sels – Appiah, Spajic, Kara, Deschacht – Dendoncker, Kums, Trebel – Gerkens (Onyekuru 65), Teodorczyk (Harbaoui 82), Hanni (Bruno 71)
Boeckx, Josué, Beric, Harbaoui
Ulreich - Kimmich, Boateng, Süle, Friedl - Rudy, Tolisso - Vidal (Hummels 87) - Robben (Martínez 48), Lewandowski, Thiago (James 44)
Starke, Bernat, Dorsch
Anthony Taylor (England)
0-1 Lewandowski (51), 1-1 Hanni (63), 1-2 Tolisso (77)
Spajic, Dendoncker / Boateng, Lewandowski, Ulreich