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Setback in icy Rostov

Reds stumble to frustrating defeat

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FC Bayern lost their second competitive match on the bounce as they fell 3-2 away to Russian outfit FC Rostov in the Champions League on Wednesday evening. Douglas Costa put the Munich men ahead and Juan Bernat scored a second-half equaliser for the German record champions, but Sardar Azmoun, Dmitry Poloz and Christian Noboa sealed Rostov's maiden victory in Europe's elite club competition.

Bayern lined up with Sven Ulreich between the sticks and a back four comprising Rafinha, Jérôme Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Bernat. Philipp Lahm, Thiago and Renato Sanches took up station in midfield, with Costa and Franck Ribéry out wide and Robert Lewandowski as an orthodox centre-forward.

Carlo Ancelotti comprehensively shuffled his deck with six changes to the team that faced Dortmund on Saturday. Ulreich deputised for Manuel Neuer, who missed out with a tight calf. Rafinha, Badstuber, Bernat, Sanches and Costa replaced Mats Hummels, David Alaba, Joshua Kimmich, Xabi Alonso and Thomas Müller. Boateng's role ended when he took a knock and was substituted for Hummels early into the second half, and Müller came on for Sanches with 20 minutes to go.

The 15,840 capacity crowd who braved temperatures well below zero at the Olimp-2 stadium saw Bayern dominate proceedings from the off, but the first chance fell to the hosts. Holger Badstuber mis-hit a clearance and Rostov's Erokhin had the ball past Ulreich, but Bernat scrambled the ball off the line. Carlo Ancelotti's troops now camped out in Rostov's half, with Lewandowski, Sanches and Costa missing chances to make the Bavarians' possession count.

It was none other than Brazil international Costa who proved he is accustomed to the early winter conditions in Eastern Europe. He joined Bayern from Donetsk in 2015, some 300 kilometres away from Rostov, and struck after the half-hour, pouncing on a rebound following a mix-up in the hosts' box. It initially seemed the opener might unlock the floodgates, but Azmoun levelled the scores before the break after Bayern squandered possession in midfield.

Reds' night turns sour after half-time

The second period started with a shock for the visitors: Boateng felled Noboa in the box, with Poloz netting the ensuing spot-kick. Bayern responded almost immediately when Ribéry cut inside from the left wing, his pass inviting Bernat to blast the ball under the bar, netting the equaliser. But the next blow for Munich came midway through the second half when Thiago gave away a free-kick 20 yards from goal. Up stepped Noboa with a curling shot that left Ulreich powerless. The visitors upped the pressure and pace in an effort to level the scores, but Müller, Thiago and Lewandowski missed presentable chances and Rostov defended with every man on the field, preserving their lead until the final whistle.

The result means Bayern have nine points from five matches in Group D, three short of Atlético who face PSV later on Wednesday. On a more positive note, the German record champions have already booked a berth in the last sixteen of Europe's elite club competition. The Reds are back in action on Saturday, when they entertain Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

Live match report for by Gregor Salmen

FC Rostov - FC Bayern 3-2 (H-T: 1-1)

FC Rostov

Dzhanaev - Kalachev (Terentyev 87) , Mevlja, Navas, Granat, Kudryashov - Erokhin, Gatskan, Noboa - Azmoun (Grigoryev 82) , Poloz (Ezatolahi 90+3)


Medvedev - Doumbia, Bayramyan, Prepelita

FC Bayern

Ulreich - Rafinha, Boateng (Hummels 58), Badstuber, Bernat - Lahm, Thiago, Sanches (Müller 73) - Costa, Lewandowski, Ribéry


Starke - Alonso, Alaba, Kimmich, Green


Artur Dias (Portugal)

Attendance 15,840 (capacity)
Goals 0-1 Costa (35), 1-1 Azmoun (44), 2-1 Poloz (49, pen), 2-2 Bernat (52), 3-2 Noboa (67)
Yellow cards

 Granat, Gatcan / Boateng