It was a meaningless game, but don’t tell that to the Bayern Munich players, who worked as hard as they usually do on their way to another victory.
With a 3-1 win over Tottenham, Bayern became one of just a handful of teams to ever win all six of their games in a Champions League group stage campaign. Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller, and Coutinho scored for the Germans, while Ryan Sessegnon’s goal was a nice moment for the visiting Lilywhites.
Spurs will still be taking part in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Bayern had clinched the top spot in Group B a while ago, making this game a glorified exhibition.
As expected, Jose Mourinho opted to heavily rotate his players. Spurs lineup featured players who haven’t been playing often, including Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth, Giovani Lo Celso, and Sessegnon. There was also a place for Christian Eriksen, who has found himself out of favor as he reportedly refused to sign a new contract with the club.
Bayern’s selection was still pretty strong. Robert Lewandowski was on the bench, but there were starts for quite a few of the team’s best players, including Coutinho, Joshua Kimmich, Thiago, and Serge Gnabry.
The first chance of the game fell to the Bavarians. Toby Alderweireld saved a goal by clearing a shot from Benjamin Pavard off the line. Alderweireld’s clearance was hit toward goal by Thiago, but Paulo Gazzaniga was there to stop it.
They were denied there, but the home side capitalized the next time they had a semblance of an opportunity.
Bayern broke forward through Gnabry, the man who decimated Spurs with four goals in the 7-2 drubbing back in October. This time, it was his cross that did the damage. The delivery found its way through to Coman, and the Frenchman slotted the ball past Gazzaniga.
The Germans led, but not for long. Spurs had a surprise response just a couple minutes after the opening goal.
Sessegnon was making his first ever start in the Champions League, and he marked it with his first ever goal in the competition as well. Jerome Boateng mishit a clearance, sending the ball bouncing over to the 19-year-old. Sessegnon took one touch for control before smashing a half volley past Manuel Neuer.
Then there was a weird injury for Coman, Bayern’s goalscorer. The winger appeared to suffer some kind of leg injury when he took an awkward step while pursuing a pass out of bounds. He was replaced by Thomas Muller.
Muller made an impact right away. Alphonso Davies took a shot on a break that came off the post, but it went right to Muller, who finished off the rebound.
The home side almost had a third right before the break. Coutinho came close to scoring via an incredible dipping effort from long range, but Gazzaniga just barely got his fingers on the shot to tip it onto the crossbar.
The second half started out with play that was a bit choppier than the smooth and end-to-end play of the first half. The Bundesliga side still dominated possession and kept a steady hand on their 2-1 lead.
Coutinho had been thwarted by Spurs’ Argentine keeper a few times, but in the 64th minute he finally got the better of Gazzaniga. It was a typical goal from the Brazilian. He created a bit of space from Moussa Sissoko, and curled one into the side netting from distance.
Son Heung-Min and Oliver Skipp came on for Lucas Moura and Lo Celso after the goal, but the game had gotten away from Spurs.
There was a chance for the South Korean not long after he came on. He’d been set up by a link-up between Eriksen and Sessegnon, but Son hesitated on the ball and the opening to shoot passed him by.
Spurs fans and Irish soccer fans would have been hoping to see Troy Parrott in action, but the 17-year-old prodigy was never called upon. Tottenham’s last substitution was Victor Wanyama coming in for Eric Dier.
This hasn’t been an easy season for Bayern Munich. At the moment, they’re in seventh place in the Bundesliga, but they cruised to victory here, other than a couple late chances left untaken by Son and Eriksen respectively.
Spurs await the draw on Monday December 19th, when they’ll find out which group winner they’ll be facing in the round-of-16.