Robert Lewandowski outlined his importance to Bayern Munich as his early penalty helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Anderlecht in their Champions League Group B opener.
Having been publicly criticised by Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge following his comments regarding the Bundesliga champions’ transfer policy, Lewandowski wasted no time in making an impact when he drew a clumsy foul from Sven Kums 11 minutes in.
Though the initial contact may well have been outside of the area, a penalty was awarded – and Kums was given his marching orders – with Lewandowski making no mistake from 12 yards.
Bayern came into Tuesday’s clash on the back of their first defeat of the season, which came at the hands of Hoffenheim, and Die Rotten were far from at their best once more, with the visitors squandering two excellent opportunities to restore parity either side of half time.
But, Bayern finally clicked into gear just after the hour, Thiago Alcantara tucking home from Joshua Kimmich’s pinpoint cross.
12′ GOAL! Bayern 1-0 Anderlecht (Lewandowski) And Anderlecht are down to 10 men! A long ball over the top of the defense is brilliantly controlled by Lewandowski, who is hauled to the ground by Kums. The midfielder leaves the referee with no choice but to point to the spot, while also producing a straight red card. The Polish striker steps up and calmly sends Sels the wrong way for what is his seventh goal of the season already! The hosts lead and it promises to be a long night for Anderlecht.
40′ WHAT A CHANCE! The visitors have just wasted a glorious chance to equalise! Dendoncker gets in behind the defence and pulls the ball back to the penalty spot, where Stanciu can only fire wide of the target.