Bayern victorious despite Sessegnon strike
Bayern Munich 3-1 Spurs
Wed 11 December 2019, 22:06|Tottenham Hotspur
A fine goal on his full debut from Ryan Sessegnon was the high point from a Spurs perspective as Bayern Munich won Wednesday night's top-two clash in Champions League Group B.
The former Fulham teenager capped an impressive first-half display on a personal level at the Allianz Arena when he lashed past Manuel Neuer on 20 minutes to cancel out the opener from Kingsley Coman.
But with both teams already assured of a place in Monday's draw for the round of 16, it was the German giants who made the most of the freedom to attack. In truth, they dominated the game in terms of chances, despite a bright spell for our much-changed side in the wake of Sessegnon's strike, which came on his first start in our colours.
They hit the woodwork three times in seven minutes before the break, including one which led to Thomas Müller restoring their lead on the stroke of half-time, while Philippe Coutinho finally beat Paulo Gazzaniga to make it 3-1 shortly after the hour mark. We weren't completely without chances, Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son squandering clear opportunities either side of the interval, but it was the hosts who maintained the upper hand in the second period to make it a clean sweep of victories in the group stage for the first time. As already determined, we go through as runners-up - this result, ultimately immaterial.
The hosts started sharply and Gazzaniga blocked Serge Gnabry's shot one-on-one before a late off-side flag went up against the attacker, but Bayern's high defensive line allowed the likes of Sessegnon and Lucas Moura to really stretch their legs going the other way. Sessegnon's shot was held by Neuer from a difficult angle while a superb double-save from Gazzaniga denied first Benjamin Pavard with a rasping shot and subsequently Thiago Alcántara inside 12 minutes.
Bayern took the lead two minutes later, though, as Gnabry's deflected ball across the box found Coman free on the left to slot into the bottom corner. However, eight minutes later we were boosted by an emphatic equaliser. Intricate passing at the right-hand corner of the box from skipper Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and Giovani Lo Celso saw the latter turn in-field and his pass deflected off Jerome Boateng to Sessegnon in space on the left of the box. He finished with aplomb past Neuer, becoming our youngest ever goalscorer in the Champions League.
We were lifted by the goal but in reality, aside from a golden chance spurned by Sissoko when he neither crossed nor shot after getting in behind the defence in the right channel, it was the hosts who created the bulk of the opportunities. Ivan Perisic planted a header wide and Danny Rose slid in to block substitute Müller's shot before Bayern hit the woodwork three times in the last seven minutes of the first half - the middle one leading to Müller's goal. Gnabry at first struck the far upright with Thiago somehow unable to turn in the rebound from point-blank range before Bayern restored their lead on 45 minutes, Müller converting after Alphonso Davies' effort hit the post. Gazzaniga then got his fingertips to Coutinho's long-range effort as it crashed off the bar and bounced down in the goalmouth in added time.
Having showed our attacking intent during the first period, we never really got going in the second as Bayern pressed us back. Coutinho tested Gazzaniga twice before curling home on his right foot from the edge of the box on 64 minutes. Eriksen sent Son bursting through on the right as we looked to respond, only for Davies to get back with a fine recovery challenge, before the Danish international's dipping free-kick proved awkward for Neuer as he turned it behind.
Bayern kept us largely at bay, though, Coutinho's angled drive turned over the bar late on. Son should have pulled one back in added time as he ran clean through on goal, but Neuer blocked one-on-one.
Bayern regained the lead on the stroke of half-time off the back of a sustained spell of pressure. Davies' cross from the left was headed out to Gnabry by Rose, he played a one-two with Thiago before his cross found Davies, he hit the post and Müller slotted home the rebound. We'd looked a threat for a spell after making it 1-1 but Müller's strike gave Bayern back the upper hand and they maintained control from there.
Jose Mourinho said: "I would prefer a better result, obviously, I would prefer even a 3-2 defeat with a Son goal in the last minute, but that’s what it is and I’m happy with the information that I take back. I take lots of information about players that are going to influence my decisions in the future."
Reaction on Spurs TV
Bayern Munich 3-1 Spurs
Bayern Munich (4-3-3): Neuer, Pavard, Javi Martinez (Goretzka 87), Boateng, Davies, Thiago Alcántara, Kimmich, Coutinho, Coman (Müller 27), Gnabry, Perišić (Zirkzee 86). Substitutes (not used): Ulreich, Lewandowski, Singh, Mai.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose, Dier (c) (Wanyama 81), Sissoko, Lo Celso (Skipp 65), Eriksen, Sessegnon, Lucas (Son 65). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Sanchez, Tanganga, Parrott.
Goals: Bayern Munich - Coman 14, Müller 45, Coutinho 64; Spurs - Sessegnon 20.
Yellow cards: Bayern Munich - Kimmich 36; Spurs - Lo Celso 36.
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA).
Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich.
Weather: Cold, one degree.