Crazy flood of opportunities against Bayern: Lewandowski’s explosive return “from the heart”

When your feet fail: Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world, but he misses a few chances against his former club from Munich. His comeback is explosive due to a change in theatre, but Bayern fans and Hasan Salihamidzic are surprising.

This feeling is familiar to both professionals and amateurs. The latter is of course much better. Sometimes, often at the most unpleasant moments, the ball simply did not obey. He doesn’t do what the kicker asks of him. What he can even ask in his mind. This is how world football players sometimes feel, probably very rarely. In the 0-2 score of his Barcelona in Munich, it’s Robert Lewandowski who just doesn’t read the ball from his feet. No matter how sensitively, creatively or powerfully the scorer handles the playing technique, the strong Pole fails to score a goal, despite the best opportunities for his explosive return to Bayern.

After a real soap opera, Lewandowski will move to Barcelona in the summer. So now the first, early reunion with his former teammates. It’s an explosive comeback, that’s clear even before the game. Transfertheater is over, but far from forgotten. What broke in the relationship of the 34-year-old footballer with the fans and his former club?

The Catalan team entered the field with Lewandowski shortly after the Munich team. Compulsory whistles follow first. But the Pole confidently raises his arms and claps his hands in the direction of each bend – and lo and behold: good applause, of course, no more stormy, drowns out the whistles. Shortly thereafter, the stadium announcer thanked the centre-forward for many goals, and again more positive than negative feedback followed, especially from the south corner. Reading the composition of the team is similar.

Opportunities in minutes

It’s an honest act on both sides, so the Pole didn’t ruin everything with his soap opera. But it was with emotions. There are no tears, no “real” love and affection, no hate. This somehow fits in: the often unapproachable Lewandowski never got to the absolute favorite of the public a la Franck Ribery or such a legend as Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern.


Bayern fans thank the outstanding striker.

(Photo: IMAGO/NurPhoto)

Then the return of the Pole will be much more emotional in terms of sports. Due to the fact that the ball for once did not obey him, due to the fact that he left big chances for three games, Lewandowski must have been annoyed that evening. The striker uses the first big chance twice: he counterattacks on the right with another Barça newcomer Rafinha. When the Brazilian loses the ball, the Pole boldly follows him, returns the ball, and Pedri then fails in the center only thanks to a brilliantly reacting Manuel Neuer (9th).

Soon after, Lewandowski gets his first chance to head but it clearly goes wrong. In the 14th minute, Neuer hits a mega-bucks, which sends the ball right to the feet of his former colleague. But he’s just pushed back by Dayot Upamecano and he can’t finish. It had more. Lewandowski shakes his head: good luck for Bayern.

Still “heart for Bayern”

The Pole is right in the game and shows why he is so dangerous and in demand. Lewandowski has scored an incredible 344 goals in 375 competitive matches for Bayern and arguably has the largest share of multiple titles. His start in Barcelona could hardly have been better. The world footballer is also showing in Spain why he was the Bundesliga’s top scorer in modern times and still remains one of the most accomplished strikers on the planet. In five league matches, the Pole scored six goals and provided two assists. In the first match of the Champions League against Viktoria Pilsen, he scored a hat-trick and has been scoring in every game for almost a month now. At Barcelona, ​​he only needs 52 minutes to score a goal.

In the game with Bayern, he needs almost only 18. Ousmane Dembele leaves behind the entire Bayern midfield in a counterattack. Lewandowski tells him to go left. The ball travels from there through Pedri back to the centre-forward, who shakes off Upamecano but kicks the ball freely in front of Neuer from eleven meters with his rise over the box. Next high carat. Again without purpose. Unclear! The Pole treats his former club well.

Bayern president Herbert Hainer joked after the game that Lewandowski still “loves Bayern” because he missed so many chances. “Of course it was a joke,” Neuer explained shortly after. The goalkeeper believes it was an “emotional game” for the striker and that he has “big plans”. “But of course we also know him, the defense and me as a goalkeeper. Luck was on our side today.”

Side kick from Rummenigge

In fact, Bayern were very lucky in the first 45 minutes. At the 21st minute again Lewandowski with the next important thing. On a cross from the left, he easily beat Hernandez and took a relatively easy header. The newcomer reacted brilliantly. In fact, it is unbelievable that a Pole does not use such opportunities. Is he nervous about his return? “I just spoke briefly with Lewandowski,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn says afterwards, adding with surprise and laughter. “He had really big chances today and he missed them.”

“It must be said clearly and unequivocally: he is also doing great at Barcelona – for the third time in a row,” praised Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge in an interview with tz before the game. But Kahn’s predecessor can’t help but give the Pole a little pre-game digging. Asked about the best transfers in the club’s history, Rummenigge replied: “Ribery, Robben, Neuer, Lewandowski, in that order.”


Lewandowski missed many, many good opportunities.

(Photo: IMAGO/Revierfoto)

Coach Xavi loudly praises his striker. “He gives us a lot of opportunities in attack. His understanding of the game is simply fantastic, ”said the Spaniard at a press conference before the match with Bayern. “He’s a leader on the field.” The Pole is fit and rested before the game against his old club: Xavi only used him in the last half hour of the league against Cadiz, but it was enough to go 2-0 in a 4-0 win.

Bayern against the trend

Lewandowski himself does not communicate with the media before the game. He wants to give his answers on the field. But his return turns into a tragic evening for him. In the 26th minute, the world footballer deftly sent a pass from Rafinha right back to the Brazilian, who shot wide from the right. Soon after, a strong Pedri runs into the box and is not attacked. He can safely pass on Lewandowski, which, however, takes too long a few meters ahead of Neuer and is blocked by Nussair Mazraoui. If he had locked it immediately, he would probably have rung. Next mega chance, no goal again! What’s going on here?

But even without a goal, Lewandowski creates exactly the danger in the center of the penalty area, which at the moment is not enough for Munich. Bayern no longer have a world-class centre-forward, although this type of player has seen a resurgence in recent years and it is largely thanks to him (personally: Karim Benzema) that Real Madrid won the premier class title. Even star coach Pep Guardiola, who always relies on small, nimble, noble technicians, now has Erling Haaland.

So is the system without a real centre-forward gone out of fashion now that Bayern are trying it out for the first time? Well, the Munich team is even more volatile in attack than before, although there are often problems with the withdrawal. A smooth and incredibly fast attack saw five players score two or more goals in the first matchdays of the Bundesliga. A strong second half, especially creatively played with a 2-0 score of Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane, proved the Munich team right that evening.

Lewandowski’s last sprint

This is a new game for Lewandowski in the second half. Suddenly he is defending himself in the center of the action. At 0-1, he concedes a corner from Joshua Kimmich, so Hernandez can go after him. Barcelona then converted another brilliant moment that was not rewarded: Pedri circled two Bayern players and placed them on Lewandowski, who immediately freed his teammate perfectly. Pedri, however, hits the outside of the post too lightly in front of Neuer.

Shortly before the end, Lewandowski falls down again after dribbling in the right corner of the penalty area. He personally prepares the ball for a free kick from a dangerous position. A piercing whistle follows, with which the fans certainly want to prevent their ex-bomber from scoring a goal. It works, the free kick stays halfway and gets stuck harmlessly in the wall. It doesn’t have to be that evening for a world footballer.

final whistle Lewandowski claps his hands and hugs his former colleagues. Quick talk here and there, that’s all. A little later, he emerges from the catacombs, joking with sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. An amazing sight, because after a dirty fight, they both did not call each other the most pleasant words. All of the operators present briefly chase the scorer to the team bus, but Lewandowski doesn’t want to say anything. Why use your mouth when your legs won’t move all evening?

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