Lewandowski strikes again as Bayern see off Red Star in 3-0 win

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) – Robert Lewandowski scored as Bayern Munich eased to a 3-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in their opening Champions League group-stage match at the Allianz Arena early yesterday.

After Kingsley Coman gave Bayern a first-half lead, Lewandowski poked home 10 minutes from time for his ninth goal in six matches before Thomas Mueller added a stunning late third.

Bayern visit last season’s runners-up Tottenham, who blew a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw at Olympiakos early yesterday, in their second Group B game in two weeks’ time.

The hosts were stuttering to a slender win before Lewandowski capitalised on two mistakes in the Red Star defence for a classic poacher’s goal.

“We had the whole game under control, we just scored too few goals,” Lewandowski told Sky. “I’m very happy that I scored and that we played well as a team.”

The margin of victory pleased Bayern head coach Niko Kovac after his side peppered the Serbian team’s defence and enjoyed a huge share of possession.

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski shoots the ball during the match. PHOTO: AFP

“I believe we can be very satisfied, the team concentrated very hard on the job at hand,” said Kovac. “We scored three goals, that’s standard for us.”

However, Red Star came within a whisker of equalising just before Lewandowski struck when their captain Marko Marin fired narrowly wide with Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer beaten.

The German champions are not having things their own way so far in the Bundesliga and last weekend’s 1-1 draw at early leaders RB Leipzig left Bayern fourth in the table, two points adrift.

However, they remain a force to be reckoned with and last lost a Champions League group game at home in December 2013.

It took just over half an hour for them to take the lead, capitalising on 70 per cent possession.

With the away defence hanging back, understandably worrying about Lewandowski, Coman slipped his marker and headed home from fellow winger Ivan Perisic’s pin-point cross from the left flank in the 34th minute.

It could have been 2-0 going into the break as Philippe Coutinho, on loan from Barcelona, audaciously flicked the ball into the net with his heel, but was narrowly offside.

Lewandowski squandered an open goal, firing over with an extravagant volley rather than a simple tap-in, with an hour gone just after Perisic had hit the crossbar.

Marin caused nervous looks in the Bayern defence when he fired wide of the diving Neuer, and the post, before Lewandowski struck.

Substitute Mueller showed his class, having replaced Coutinho, when he fired home a floated Thiago Alcantara free-kick for the best goal of the night in injury-time.