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Football

Lewandowski stunner secures Bayern Munich top spot in Group E

Robert Lewandowski was on target for Bayern Munich against Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday, 23 Nov 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Robert Lewandowski extended his latest Champions League scoring form in staggering style as Bayern Munich clinched the top spot in Group E with a 2-1 win at Dynamo Kiev.

Lewandowski netted for the ninth game running in Europe’s elite club competition – becoming the only player to achieve such a streak twice – with a stunning overhead kick in the Olympic Stadium snow to put Bayern ahead early in the first half.

Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski scored an overhead kick against Dynamo Kiev in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, 23 November 2021. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Bayern, needing only a point to secure first place, was far from comfortable, but Kingsley Coman doubled their lead before half-time to ensure Denys Harmash’s belated response counted for little.

Difficult conditions underfoot hindered the quality of the contest with one obvious exception. Lewandowski had plenty to do after the ball looped up off Illia Zabarnyi in the area, but his acrobatic finish was sensational.

That goal was almost canceled out in a cool fashion, however, as Leon Goretzka prodded towards Manuel Neuer and was grateful to see the post come to his rescue when the goalkeeper failed to make any contact at all with an attempted clearance.

Instead, shortly after Lucas Hernandez survived a tangle with Vitaliy Buyalskiy inside his own area, Thomas Muller dummied Corentin Tolisso’s pass and Coman fired in Bayern’s second to put the visitors two to the good.

Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Bayern

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has now scored in nine Champions League fixtures in a row achieving the feat for the second time. | PHOTO: Getty Images |

Again Dynamo might have responded as Neuer scrambled to save Mykola Shaparenko’s deflected effort early in the second half, but the same man could not turn in the rebound.

The home side finally found a way to goal for the first time in this campaign as substitute Harmash nutmegged Neuer, although they lacked the class to then add an equalizer that was perhaps merited, even if Viktor Tsygankov’s speculative late strike clipped the post.

This win was not of the standard of Bayern’s previous Champions League triumphs this season, their narrowest victory of the group stage so far, seeing them pass up the opportunity to become the first team to net four in four consecutive matches in the competition since the European Cup was formed.

But with only a draw required, Julian Nagelsmann would have been delighted to avoid a repeat of Friday’s slip-up at the hands of Augsburg in the Bundesliga.

The last time Lewandowski scored in nine straight Champions League matches, his goals took Bayern to the 2019-20 final. That first sequence made him only the third player to net in at least nine in a row even once (also Ruud van Nistelrooy, nine, and Cristiano Ronaldo, 11).

The Poland international now has a competition-leading nine goals this season in the Champions League, a tally only he has ever topped through matchday five (10, again in 2019-20).

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made his 124th Champions League appearance, moving level with Gianluigi Buffon behind only Iker Casillas (177) among goalkeepers with most Champions League experience. But that experience was never really on show, instead of continuing his shaky Bundesliga form.

Only one of Neuer’s four saves was truly convincing, while he was extremely fortunate to escape after his wild swipe at Goretzka’s lunging pass, and Harmash eventually forced the ball beneath him.

Bayern returns their focus to the Bundesliga, where they will hope to bounce back to winning ways against Arminia Bielefeld. That fixture is on Saturday when Dynamo is also in action at Mynai.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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