Unbelievable Defensive Play Denies Lewandowski Goal On Bayern Return

Noussair Mazraoui made the play of the day to help Bayern defeat Barcelona.

Robert Lewandowski was about to mark his return to Munich with a goal against his former club. He looked sure to finish with aplomb as he had hundreds of times before while playing with Bayern. Then, from out of nowhere, came Noussair Mazraoui to save the day. 

Bayern Munich beat Barcelona yet again in the Champions League, spoiling Lewandowski’s return to the Allianz Arena with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. Lucas Hernández and Leroy Sané scored four minutes apart early in the second half as Bayern went top of Group C. 

The German giants have won seven of their last eight matches against Barcelona in the Champions League, including that unforgettable 8-2 in the 2020 quarterfinals. Many of those goals were scored by Lewandowski, who made the move to Barça over the summer in search of a new challenge. 

It was indeed a challenge for Lewa, who has 89 goals in Champions League play but couldn’t find the back of the net on Tuesday. The Catalonians took more shots (18-13) and had a higher xG (2.00-1.58). The difference in stats can be explained by one play from Mazraoui near the end of the first half.

Noussair Mazraoui Block On Lewandowski

After a brilliant drive and layoff from Pedri, Lewandowski had only former teammate Manuel Neuer to beat, except he took a fraction of a second too long as Mazraoui swooped in to block the effort.

That’s how Barcelona had the better stats and still lost 2-0 in the one statistic that matters. 

Amazingly, Mazraoui didn’t even start, only coming on for an injured Benjamin Pavard in the 21st minute. I don’t think Pavard makes that block.

The other big moment in the first half was a penalty claim from Ousmane Dembélé. Maybe it’s my Concacaf bias, but I think Alphonso Davies stood his ground while Dembélé went down easily, and the officials (including the VAR) agreed.

Bayern took control of the match within the first 10 minutes of the second half. First Hernández headed home Joshua Kimmich’s corner, then Sané raced behind the Barça defense and dinked the ball past his compatriot Marc-André ter Stegen. 

That was too easy for Sané. 

Barcelona tried to respond — Pedri struck the post — but couldn’t find a way past Neuer. 

Bayern Munich now tops Group C with six points from two matches, followed by Barcelona and Inter Milan (3 each). Viktoria Plzen, unsurprisingly, is in last with no points.

It was a bad day for Spanish clubs playing in Germany, as Bayer Leverkusen beat Atlético Madrid 2-0 on Tuesday in Group B.

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona Highlights

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