Match day six of the UEFA Champions League group stage was supposed to be a simple one for F.C. Bayern Munich: get a point and win Group E. Ajax Amsterdam would be the only thing standing in the way with qualification to the Round fo 16 already secure. It was all about positioning for both clubs tonight as Ajax had also clinched their spot in the knockout round. Both teams fought diligently but in the end it would be Bayern who would prevail in a drama filled 3-3 draw.
The first half was certainly not as exciting as the second, but it did have some moments. Polish star Robert Lewandowski netted his seventh Champions League goal of the season in the 19 minute to make it 1-0 Bayern. It was one that could not have come easier for Lewandowski as Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico totally switched off, giving the Pole feet of space. 1-0 would be the score going into half time.
The second half started with Ajax equalizing via Dusan Tadic off a sharp cross in the 61 minute. Then both teams were shown red cards for rash tackles. The first was awarded to Ajax center-back Max Wober on a slide tackle to Leon Goretzka which left the German limping. The next was awarded to forward Thomas Muller for kicking Tagliafico, studs first in the head in the 75 minute.
With both clubs at ten men and the score level, Bayern would advance if the match had ended there. However, Jerome Boateng conceded a penalty with less than ten minutes to play which was converted by Tadic making the score 2-1. Boateng’s blunder was saved when Thaigo drew a penalty at the other end that was again scored by Lewandowski in the 87 minute.
Stoppage time was an abnormally long seven minutes which gave both teams chances to win the match. Kingsley Coman confirmed manager Niko Kovac’s decision to sub him on by curling home a beauty which looked to give Bayern the victory. However, a Niklas Sule own-goal equalized again for Ajax making the game 3-3 after the full 90.
Lewandowski praised Ajax after the game and urged his side to do better.
“That was a very offensive game. But what we showed in the possession game wasn’t good. That was missing.”
“Ajax had more ball possession. We still had a lot of opportunities, but we didn’t use them.
“[Ajax goalkeeper Andre] Onana also did a great job. We have a lot more potential.”
Bayern had every opportunity to win this game and they blew it like they have so many times this season. It is starting to become a bad trend for the Bavarians. Luckily it did not cost them on the day, but int eh future it may. Bayern’s next match is this Saturday in the Bundesliga against Hannover 96.