Bayern Munich 3-0 Red Star Belgrade: Report, Ratings & Reaction to a Routine Win for FC Hollywood

Bayern Munich ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Red Star Belgrade, on a night when the home side never truly got out of second gear at the Allianz Arena. 
?

?There was less than a minute between Manuel Neuer charging out of his area for a trademark clearance and Kingsley Coman’s header that gave ?Bayern their first-half lead. In between came Ivan Perisic’s smooth stepover and inch-perfect cross from the left. 

FBL-EUR-C1-BAYERN MUNICH-RED STAR BELGRADE-PRESSER

Bayern failed to make their dominance count until the 80th minute, when Robert Lewandowski turned two of the Red Star defenders into the Chuckle Brothers – it was to me, to you as it ricocheted into the Poland striker’s path to slot home. It could have been a different story had Red Star’s Marko Marin curled his strike the right side of the post just minutes earlier however.

There was a late deluge on the Red Star goal as the Serbian side tired. Milunovic turned a cross onto his own bar and a Lewandowski shot was cleared off the line before Thomas Muller added a third.

Here’s 90min’s breakdown of the game below.


Bayern Munich

Key Talking Point


?How exactly
do you replace Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben? It’s a tough question and one of Niko Kovac’s least enviable challenges in his time as Bayern boss. It’s been more than a decade since a Bayern manager was unable to call on the pair!

There was a fresh look and feel throughout this Bayern side, but nowhere more so than the wings – where Ivan Perisic and Kingsley Coman were charged with picking up the iconic duo’s baton. Kovac’s ability has been questioned at times, but when the pair linked up for the opening goal it was certainly a tick in the ‘perhaps he does not what he’s doing’ column.

??


??


??In defence it was out with the old (Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba) and in 

with the new as Benjamin Pavard and Luca Hernandez made their Champions League debuts for the club alongside fellow under 25s Niklas Sule and Joshua Kimmich.

With Red Star picking their moments to counter, Kimmich and Hernandez had licence to roam and, in honesty, were more reminiscent of Robben and Ribery as they stretched play and whipped crosses in with purpose.

Niko Kovac

However, following their tame exit against Liverpool last year, Bayern fans would have been hoping for a little more intensity. There was a nagging doubt they could have stepped it up a gear or two and really put Red Star to the sword. It wasn’t until the final ten minutes that Kovac’s side made their dominance count.

There’s clearly still room for improvement and we’ll have a better idea of how good this Bayern side is when they head to ?Tottenham in a fortnight.


Player Ratings
?

Starting XI: Neuer (7); Kimmich (8), Pavard (6), Süle (6), Hernández (7); Tolisso (7), Thiago Alcántara (7), Perisic (7), Coutinho (8*), Coman (8); Lewandowski (7)

Substitutes: Martinez (6), Gnabry (6), Muller (7)


STAR MAN: 

On a night where Red Star played with impressive defensive shape and put bodies on the line, Philippe Coutinho‘s trickery was key to Bayern’s creativity. In first-half commentary on BT Sport he was described as a ‘man who owns the ball’ and they weren’t wrong as he brought the cliche of lending the ball to his teammates to life.
?
?He was always an option, spreading play, flicking the ball behind the Red Star defence and pulling off a cheeky back heel.

FBL-EUR-C1-BAYERN MUNICH-RED STAR BELGRADE-PRESSER

The only fly in the ointment was the sheer number of pot shots and long-range strikes the Brazilian took. Maybe he was eager to impress on his Champions League debut for Bayern, perhaps he’s still building an understanding with his teammates or more likely greed got the better of him. 


Red Star Belgrade

Player Ratings?

Starting XI: Borjan (7); Gobeljic (6), Milunovic (5), Degenek (7), Jander (6); Cañas (6), Jovancic (6), García (6), Marin (7), van La Parra (6); Pavkov (6)

Substitutes: Vulic (5), Boakye (5), Vukanovic (5)

Looking Ahead
?

?Bayern’s toughest Group B test awaits them on the next ?Champions League matchday when they travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Before that, it’s back to ?Bundesliga action, where the German champions will be expecting maximum points from fixtures against Cologne and Paderborn.

Red Star drew with Napoli and beat Liverpool in Belgrade in last year’s Champions League campaign, so will be hopeful of a positive result when Olympiacos visit in just under two weeks.   

Let’

Twitter Reacts as Real Madrid Becoming the Laughing Stock of the Champions League

?Real Madrid. The Real Madrid team who just recently won three Champions League trophies in a row and four in five years. The Real Madrid who have won the competition 13 times. The Real Madrid who are the biggest club in the world. Well, that Real Madrid, are now a team who just can’t seem to hack it in Europe. They can’t really seem to hack it anywhere right now.

After being thumped by Ajax in the round of 16 last season, their European woes continued with another bruising at PSG.

Madrid just never got going. Aside from Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, no one even played remotely well. It was worse than poor.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

To rub salt in the wounds, it was former Real Madrid man Angel Di Maria who scored the goals to inflict defeat on the Spanish side.

Di Maria’s first goal came from an error from ?Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian has struggled in Spain, and this remarkable stat just about sums it up.

You can imagine Chelsea fans right now, revelling in the failings of their former goalkeeper, making a howler on the biggest stage. Chelsea Twitter was having a field day.

It seems like Blues fans had already forgotten about their loss to Valencia, and if anything, a Courtois mistake was as good as a Chelsea win.



If only ?Madrid had a top goalkeeper in their ranks to take the Belgian’s place. Oh wait, he was on the other team…


Angel Di Maria really loves the big stage. Every time you switch on to watch a PSG game in the Champions League, he seems to score one or two goals.

Real Madrid should be looking at signing a player like him. Seems exactly like a potential Los Blancos player…



A lot of eyes were on Real Madrid new signing ?Eden Hazard. A joyful footballer. One of the world’s best. Surely the man to turn around Madrid’s fortunes.

Based on this performance, probably not…

In the future maybe though…once he loses a bit of weight.




In all seriousness, praise has to go to PSG. They are heading in the right direction, and they seem to have – finally – struck the right balance between defence and attack.

A lot of that seems to be down to the signing of Idrissa Gueye. Twitter was impressed too.




A pleasant night then all in all for PSG, but they shouldn’t get too excited though. They’ll face a lot more difficult challenges in Europe this season and across the next few weeks – for example, Brugge and Galatasaray.

I’d say I feel bad for Real Madrid fans. But I don’t. Three back to back Champions League wins is enough success to last a lifetime. They’ll just spend hundreds of millions of pounds next summer to sort out their problems and get back to the top again. They’ll be just fine.

Let’

PSG 3-0 Real Madrid: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Angel Di Maria Outclasses Former Side

?A much anticipated Champions League group game between two of Europe’s strongest teams ended with PSG claiming all three points, as the French champions were simply too good for a Real Madrid side who looked short of ideas. 

PSG started the better team, with a goal inside the first 15 minutes, courtesy of Angel Di Maria. However, huge questions will be raised over Thibaut Courtois, who let the ball in at his near post.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

Real Madrid posed one or two early problems for the PSG defence. Eden Hazard fizzed an early shot just wide shortly after Di Maria’s goal.

That was the best Madrid could hope for. They were just not in the game at all after that. Di Maria then doubled the lead for the French side 20 minutes later, with a cracking shot from the edge of the box.

Later in the first half, Gareth Bale thought he had scored an unbelievable goal, volleying the ball over the head of Keylor Navas, but it was ruled out, after VAR intervention, for a handball. 

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

The second half continued in the same fashion, with PSG dominating and creating chance after chance, and Madrid unable to outdo the magnificent Idrissa Gueye in midfield.

?Karim Benzema thought he had scored Real’s first goal of the game, but again, ruled out for offside.

PSG made it three in added time, with the full backs linking up superbly when through on the Madrid goal. Thomas Meunier ended up slotting home after some brilliant play between himself and Bernat.


PSG

?

Key Talking Point

With no ?Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, how would PSG cope? Their two best players were out with an injury and suspension respectively.

However, Argentine Angel Di Maria stepped up in their absence. Di Maria enjoys these big Champions League nights. He showed that again with a high quality performance.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

His confidence on the ball and ability to go past players is of the highest order, and it was capped off with two goals to put the game to bed early on.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Navas (7); Meunier (8), Silva (7), Kimpembe (6), Bernat (7); Marquinhos (7), Gueye (9*), Veratti (7); Sarabia (7), Icardi (7); Di Maria (8)

Subs: Choupo-Moting (7), Herrera (6), Diallo (N/A)


STAR MAN

It’s not often that a player who scores twice and plays brilliantly doesn’t get the star man award. I could have easily given it to Di Maria.

But for years, PSG have been wondering why they just can’t crack the Champions League? They have all the best offensive players in the world, but what’s missing?

The answer may just be Idrissa Gueye. He was phenomenal. Signed from Everton for around £30m (a bargain in this day and age), the midfielder was EVERYWHERE. Single-handedly, he ran the Madrid midfield ragged.

Adding a vital balance in midfield alongside Marco Verratti and Marquinhos, Gueye might just be the missing piece in PSG’s attempted conquest of Europe. 


REAL MADRID

?

Key Talking Point

Many were curious as to how Real Madrid would bounce back – especially in Europe – after a very average 2018/19 campaign. 

However, things are looking bad for Spanish side. They were awful on the night. Their midfield was pedestrian, full backs woeful, and their forwards – barring Bale – played like they were pulling a tractor.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

If things continue like this, then Madrid fans will be worried. They could be in for another long season.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Courtois (4); Carvajal (4), Militao (6), Varane (5), Mendy (4); Casemiro (5), Kroos (4), James (7); Bale (7), Benzema (6); Hazard (4).

Subs: Vasquez (5), Jovic (6), Vinicius Junior (6).


STAR MAN

Zinedine Zidane was so desperate to get rid of Bale all summer, yet the Welshman was by far, Real Madrid’s best player. Alongside James Rodriguez, he was really the only player who played well.

Bale was lively and aggressive in the first half, looking to take on Bernat at every opportunity. On his day, the winger is simply unplayable.

He even had a truly stunning goal ruled out by VAR for handball. That goal would have capped off a very good first half performance for Bale, as he seemed to disappear a bit more in the second half.


Looking Ahead

PSG are genuine Champions League contenders. We say this every season, but this year, something feels right about them.

The balance in midfield that has been sorely lacking year after year is spot on, with Gueye adding that bite. They really should go deep in the competition this year.

FBL-EUR-C1-PSG-REAL

Real Madrid, on the other hand, don’t have a chance. It is as simple as that. Their swagger is gone. They are no longer formidable. An ageing midfield accompanied by some weak defenders is a recipe for disaster.

The players just don’t seem to be up for it either. They don’t care anymore. Something has to change at the club, but regardless, Madrid are in for a long, long season.

Let’

Newcastle vs Brighton Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Brighton make the long voyage up to St. James’ Park this Saturday for their sixth game of the new Premier League season.

The two sides are separated by a single point, both winning just one match so far this term. A late long-range effort from Jeff Hendrick denied the Seagulls victory last time out; the Irishman drawing Burnley level at one goal apiece in stoppage-time.

Jeff Hendrick,Ashley Barnes,Dwight McNeil,Matej Vydra

Meanwhile, opponents ?Newcastle United went down 3-1 at Anfield as ?Liverpool overturned an early deficit. Jetro Willems’ stunning opener had seem the Magpies take a shock lead, but they were ultimately denied anything from the trip to Merseyside and remain on four points.

Here’s our preview of the ?meeting in the north-west.


Where to Watch

?When Is Kick Off? Saturday 21 September?
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?17:30 (BST)
?Where Is it Played? ?St. James’ Park
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?Sky Sports Main Event
?Referee? ?Martin Atkinson

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams’ official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.


Team News

?Brighton have a fully fit squad, with the exception of Leandro Trossard. The Belgian is suffering from a groin problem and looks set to remain on the sidelines until mid-October.

Graham Potter

There are a couple more injuries for Steve Bruce to contend with. He is without defensive pairing DeAndre Yedlin and Florian Lejeune, both of whom have been missing since early August.

Winger Allan Saint-Maxim is likewise unavailable, with a thigh strain against ?Tottenham Hotspur seeing the Magpies’ last three fixtures.


Potential Lineups

?Newcastle United ?Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett, Willems; Almiron, Hayden, Longstaff, Atsu; Joelinton.
?Brighton ?Ryan; Duffy, Dunk, Webster; March, Stephens, Propper, Gross, Burn; Murray, Maupay.

Head to Head Record

If Newcastle beat Brighton, the overall record will be level at ten victories for either side. There have also been five draws since they first locked horns in February 1930, the latest coming last Easter.

Ayoze Perez broke the deadlock at the Amex with an exquisite attempt that soared into the top corner of Martin Dubravka’s net, but the Magpies couldn’t hold onto their advantage.


Glen Murray sent a looping header into no man’s land with time running out, Pascal Gross beating Mat Ryan to the ball to nod home a priceless equaliser as the Seagulls staved off the threat of relegation.


Recent Form

It’s been a familiar story for the two clubs in question. The results haven’t necessarily been there and performances have often been disjointed, yet there are still reasons to be cheerful.

£40m import Joelinton is beginning to enjoy his role as the sole striker in Steve Bruce’s lineup; the Brazilian looking increasingly confident and capable of damaging opposing sides.

There’s no shame in losing to Jurgen Klopp’s ravenous Liverpool outfit, with Newcastle once again causing problems for supposedly-better teams.

TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-NEWCASTLE

Just like the Magpies defence, Brighton’s seems assured and difficult to break down. ?Manchester City hit them for four prior to the international break, but drubbings such as that will be handed out to many visitors at the Etihad Stadium. 

Graham Potter’s men are solid at the back when playing other clubs outside the Big Six, whilst there is a clear style of play that’s in the process of being perfected.

Here’s a look at the two teams’ last five results:
?

Newcastle? United Brighton?
?Norwich City 3-1 Newcastle United (17/8) ?Brighton 1-1 West Ham United (17/8)
?Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Newcastle United (25/8) ?Brighton 0-2 Southampton (24/8)
?Newcastle United 1-1 Leicester City *(2-4) (28/8) ?Bristol Rovers 1-2 Brighton (27/8)
?Newcastle United 1-1 Watford (31/8) ?Manchester City 4-0 Brighton (31/8)
?Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United (14/9) ?Brighton 1-1 Burnley (14/9) 

Prediction

Since the pair were promoted from the ?Championship in 2017, Newcastle have won neither of their home games against Brighton. It appears the 350 mile journey up from the south coast isn’t too taxing.

That doesn’t mean the Seagulls will have it easy at St. James’ Park, however. Bruce has got his recruits organised and they will prove a stern test for the seasiders. Of course, Potter’s team are also no pushovers.

Fabian Schar,Florin Andone

Expect a tight encounter in the north-west – goalscoring opportunities are likely to be at a premium. A point would satisfy both of them and a point is what they may well get.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Brighton

Let’

Tottenham’s Calamitous Defence Crumbles as Spurs Roll Back the Years to Throw Away a Two-Goal Lead

?It was a pulsating night in Greece, as Spurs cruised to a 2-0 victory over Olympiacos, and showed the steel everyone associates with the North London warriors.

Oh wait, that was my half-time notes, sorry everyone. 

Spurs threw away that two goal advantage against Olympiacos (or is it Olympiakos, who knows?) with some exceptional self-sabotage, the likes of which we haven’t seen from Mauricio Pochettino’s men in years. 

FBL-EUR-C1-OLYMPIAKOS-TOTTENHAM

If only we had an expression for when Spurs bottle a seemingly unassailable lead… it’ll come to me. 

But let’s rewind for a second and enjoy that magic 43 minutes when all was right and cheery in the Spurs camp.

Actually…let’s just skip to the funny bits. 


Pochettino’s team selection raised questions about the Argentine’s short-term memory, or worries that he’d recently suffered a strong blow to the head. The Spurs boss started ?Davinson Sanchez at right-back despite his horror-show performance in the North London derby. 

His ability on the ball is definitely questionable, and well, we spotted that from the off. 

Mind you, actual left-back Ben Davies didn’t survive the Twitter outrage either. 

So, we’ll jump 40 minutes into the match if you don’t mind, and Spurs are winning 2-0. They then decide to – what is that expression? Anyway, they throw it away in a spectacular way. 

???Spurs were cut open by some smart play for the first goal, but the second goal was all their own doing. Despite his error leading to the penalty, everyone was convinced ?Christian Eriksen was fully committed to the Spurs cause, putting in a solid performance full of heart and desire. 


Some people didn’t agree with this Eriksen bashing. 


Most people did though. 

He was pretty lucky not to be the three poo emoji’s for me. 

The main takeaway from this game was that Spurs’ defence was back to its glorious best, which ironically, is its worst. 



??And finally, we must appreciate the karma of such a tweet as this. Spurs, you really did Spursy it up once more. Hey, I got there in the end! 

Let’