Champions League: Bayern Munich complete perfect October as they edge Celtic

Celtic 1-2 Bayern Munich
(McGregor 74’ – Coman 22’, Martinez 77’)

A bloodied Javi Martinez was the matchwinner as his thumping header gave Bayern Munich yet another victory under Jupp Heynckes.

The treble winning coach of four years ago has breathed new life into the club and, while this wasn’t vintage Bayern, their ability to grind out a victory in the cauldron that is Celtic Park has seen them through to the knockout stages again.

Just under two weeks ago, Bayern outperformed Celtic in every department but it was a different story this time around as Brendan Rodgers’ side were the sharper side in the early stages.

And five minutes after another rousing rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone — an anthem Bayern will be sick of hearing by the end of this week — Celtic should have taken a shock lead when Stuart Armstrong popped up at the far post to meet a cross by James Forrest, but somehow put it wide.

When it wasn’t the effervescent Forrest causing Bayern problems, it was Moussa Dembele. The Frenchman provided a glimpse of what he can do when he outstripped Jerome Boateng for pace, but dragged his shot wide, much to the groans around Celtic Park.

Just as it was looking like the makings of a difficult night for Bayern, the Bundesliga side struck — and it wasn’t without a slice of good fortune for Heynckes’ side.

Latching onto Sven Ulreich’s speculative punt downfield, Kingsley Coman took advantage of indecisive Celtic defending, brought the ball down and tucked it in from the edge of the box after goalkeeper Craig Gordon committed himself. However, replays showed Coman brought the ball down with his arm.

That deflated the home fans, but their sides still conjured another huge chance when Armstrong’s cross almost reached Dembele, who was waiting for a tap-in — only for David Alaba to make a vital interception.

After the break Bayern seemed to get control of the game a bit more and James Rodriguez, who was used as a makeshift striker in the absence of the injured Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller, struggled to fill the void. His only chance of note came in the second half when he wriggled free to find space 12 meters from goal, but snatched at his shot which went straight at Craig Gordon.

Celtic maintained their intensity and eventually drew level with a goal of the highest quality. James Forrest was again the provider, wedging a perfect through ball into the path of McGregor, who fired under the advancing Ulreich to raise the roof in East Glasgow.

But the stadium was only bouncing for two and a half minutes. Javi Martinez leapt high to meet a bending Alaba cross and slammed his header into the net. The Spaniard took a heavy hit to the head in the process, which led to a lengthy delay as Martinez and Celtic defender Nir Bitton received treatment for head injuries.

Bayern absorbed some late Celtic attempts to draw level again to chalk up another win under Heynckes. It was their sixth in succession as they completed a perfect October for the first time since 1980. Next up for Bayern: the small matter of a trip to Dortmund in the Bundesliga.


As it happened:

22:43 — Sven Ulreich modest after his assist for Kingsley Coman while talking with German broadcaster Sky: “It was nice that we took the lead and the lads played well.”

22:39 — Fulltime thoughts

  • James Rodriguez did not work well as a false nine, and Jupp Heynckes moved him to the wing because of that. But Bayern still had players get into the penalty area for crosses, a tactic that worked as Javi Martinez jumped on an David Alaba service and scored the winning goal. 
  • Bayern’s defense had difficulty adjusting to Celtic’s pace. James Forrest had a few opportunities when he dribbled from the right wing. One of his runs resulted in a goal for Celtic as Forrest played the ball that Callum McGregor eventually scored.

90+7′ — Fulltime!

90+5′ — Another match-up between Moussa Dembele and Rafinha, but this time the Celtic striker tries to combine with Callum McGregor and Joshua Kimmich steps in.

90+4′ — Moussa Dembele loses another battle with Rafinha as he tries to dribble past the Bayern right back. Rafinha steps in to clear the ball for a throw-in. 

90+4′ Bayern substitution — Thiago replaces Arjen Robben as Jupp Heynckes tries to kill the game off. Robben gives the captain’s armband to Jerome Boateng.

90+3′ — A bad pass from Rafinha towards Jerome Boateng as Leigh Griffith jumps on the loose ball. He tries to play Moussa Dembele in on the right wing, but Rafinha adjusts to stop the chance. 

90+2′ — Bayern much more cautious with the ball in stoppage time. Arjen Robben had a chance to break, but decided to pull back and pass to Jerome Boateng. 

90+1′ — Six minutes added onto the second half, presumably for the break there was after Javi Martinez and Nir Bitton received medical attention. 

88′ — James Rodriguez has moved back to the center and Kingsley Coman to the left as Bayern try to see out the victory. 

85′ — Leigh Griffiths wins a ball in the air over Jerome Boateng and heads it down for Tom Rogic. Rogic switches the play for Kieran Tierney, who crosses in the ball from the left wing. Moussa Dembele tries to adjust to the pass and get a shot off, but his effort flies over the crossbar. 

83′ Bayern substitution — Joshua Kimmich replaces Corentin Tolisso, another like-for-like switch from Jupp Heynckes as Kimmich settles in midfield. 

81′ — The game has kicked off again after Javi Martinez and Nir Bitton both needed medical attention for gashes on their head. Martinez needed just a bandage above his eye as Bitton’s head was bandaged up.

79′ Celtic substitution — Leigh Griffiths replaces Stuart Armstrong, a tactical substitution as Brendan Rodgers brings on a second striker. 

77′ GOAL! — Bayern Munich comes up with a quick response! Kingsley Coman passes to David Alaba on the right wing and the Austrian defender crosses the ball in. Javi Martinez meets it and fires a header in, collecting a gash on his head after colliding with Nir Bitton. 

74′ EQUALIZER — James Forrest plays Callum McGregor into the penalty area and McGregor finishes through the legs of an on-coming Sven Ulreich. Celtic 1, Bayern 1

73′ — Tom Rogic floats a cross from the left wing towards James Forrest on the opposite side of the field. Forrest fires a shot but it is blocked again by Niklas Süle. 

71′ — James Forrest makes a run in from the right wing and fires a shot from the right side of the penalty area, but Niklas Süle blocks the shot out for a corner. Stuart Armstrong’s ensuing corner flies wide and out of bounds.

70′ — Bayern Munich and Celtic have pretty much split possession in the game, Bayern with 54 percent and Celtic with 46 percent. at this point.

68′ — Corentin Tolisso uses the outside of his right foot to play a ball over to James Rodriguez. Rodriguez dribbles into the penalty area and fires a shot from the left side, but Craig Gordon stopps it with his left leg for the save.

65′ — Callum McGregor tries to play a ball forward towards Moussa Dembele, but Rafinha steps forward just in time to catch the Celtic striker in an off-side position. 

64′ Celtic substitution — Tom Rogic replaces Scott Sinclair, a like for like substitution from Brendan Rodgers.

63′ — Kingsley Coman plays a ball in space to Arjen Robben. Robben switches the play to James Rodriguez on the left, who takes the ball into the penalty area, but his cross is topped by Nir Bitton.

62′ — Kingsley Coman is now leading the line for Bayern Munich as James Rodriguez moves to the wing.

60′ — James Rodriguez tries to flick a ball past Kieran Tierney but is unsuccessful. The Bayern midfielder, who started in place of Robert Lewandowski, does not have a touch in the penalty area.

UEFA Champions League - Celtic FC v Bayern Muenchen (Reuters/L. Smith)

James Rodriguez (middle) started up top for Bayern Munich, but was eventually moved to the wing

59′ Bayern substitution — Sebastian Rudy replaces Arturo Vidal, a like-for-like swap from Jupp Heynckes.

59′ — Rafinha crosses the ball towards Kingsley Coman in the penalty area, but Dedryck Boyata clears the pass for a throw in. 

54′ — David Alaba releases a shot in space from the left wing, but Craig Gordon scoops it up for an easy save.

52′ — Jerome Boateng plays a ball over the top towards Arturo Vidal, but Vidal is called for off side. Vidal then crashes into Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, but nobody seems affected by the collision.

51′ — Corentin Tolisso unleashes a shot from distance, but the ball slides across the goal and out for a goal kick.

50′ — Jerome Boateng tries to intercept a pass towards Stuart Armstrong and clips his foot for a foul. Nir Bitton fires the free kick and Sven Ulreich has trouble handling it, but Ulreich collects it in time to make the save.

48′ — Callum McGregor feeds Stuart Armstrong at the top of the penalty area. Armstrong turns quickly and fires, but Sven Ulreich goes down to make the save. 

46′ — Second half kickoff

21:32 — Halftime analysis

  • Celtic are not only doing a good job of getting players behind the ball, but they are also meeting Bayern at the point of attack. They have had the better chances in the game despite what the scoreline says.
  • Bayern Munich are playing without a center forward as James Rodriguez, Arturo Vidal, Kingsley Coman, Arjen Robben and Corentin Tolisso have all made runs into the penalty area in the absense of Robert Lewandowski.
  • Bayern have also been terrible clearing the ball. A clearance from Rafinha is one of a handful of punts that have made it past the halfway line.

45′ — Halftime!

44′ — A decent volley from Corentin Tolisso! Kingsley Coman cross in a ball from the right towards his compatriot near the penalty spot, but Tolisso cannot keep his side volley down and the shot flies over the crossbar.

43′ — Stuart Armstrong crosses the ensuing free kick towards Mikael Lustig, but his shot is blocked in the penalty area. 

42′ — Arturo Vidal picks up a foul after James Forrest tries to put a ball by him on the right wing.

41′ — Niklas Süle clears Armstrong’s corner from the right. James Forrest tries to head it towards the penalty area gain, but Javi Martinez boots the ball clear to ease the danger.

40′ — James Forrest cuts a ball back for Callum McGregor, who feeds Stuart Armstrong. Armstrong fires a shot from distance, but Arturo Vidal slides in the way. Niklas Süle heads away the ensuing corner and Moussa Dembele sees it out for another corner. 

37′ — James Forrest collects the ball and fires an in-swinging cross towards Moussa Dembele at the far post. Dembele heads it down but wide of the target.

36′ — Callum McGregor starts a counter attack for Celtic in midfield and slides the ball out towards Moussa Dembele. Jerome Boateng takes down Dembele for a foul as the Celtic Park crowd whistles at referee Danny Makkeile for not showing Rafinha yellow.

35′ — Arjen Robben plays the ball into Kingsley Coman on the right side of the penalty area, but Coman’s cross near the goal line was blocked and cleared by Dedryck Boyata. 

30′ — Stuart Armstrong chests a long pass down for Moussa Dembele, who plays Armstrong into the left side of the penalty area. Armstrong then crosses a ball towards Dembele at the far post, but David Alaba clears the ball out for a corner before the Celtic striker can get onto it. Armstrong passes the ensuing corner short to Kieran Tierney and Tierney tries to play a ball over the top, but the lob falls in too far in front of Dedryck Boyata for the central defender to do anything with the pass.

27′ — Arturo Vidal goes to ground after a challenge from Celtic captain Scott Brown. He collects the ball with his hands expecting a foul from referee Danny Makkelie, but Makkelie calls Vidal for a hand ball instead.

26′ — Corentin Tolisso tries to find the run of Arturo Vidal with an over-the-top ball, but Vidal is called for off side.

22′ GOAL! — Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon and central defender Mikael Lustig misplay a long pass from Bayern’s Sven Ulreich. Kingsley Coman settles the ball at the top of the penalty area before firing in an open goal. Celtic 0, Bayern Munich 1

21′ — Kingsley Coman tries to dribble by James Forrest but is unsuccesful. His cross flies over the goal line.

20′ — Bayern use two-touch football to get the ball out to David Alaba on the wing. Alaba crosses it towards Kinsgley Coman, but Nir Bitton blocks Coman’s shot out for a corner. Celtic clear Alaba’s ensuing corner. 

19′ — Kingsley Coman mistimes a diagonal ball from countryman Corentin Tolisso from the right wing and the ball skips out for a goal kick. Bayern have yet to have a shooting opportunity in the penalty area.

17′ — David Alaba unleashes a shot from distance that slices way over the cross bar. Both of Bayern’s shot attempts have come from distance as they have only had a handful of touches in Celtic’s penalty area.

15′ — Moussa Dembele runs at Jerome Boateng on the right wing and uses a step-over or two to create space for a shot, but it rolls across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.

UEFA Champions League - Celtic FC v Bayern Muenchen (Getty Images/I. MacNicol)

Moussa Dembele (right) beats Jerome Boateng but fires a shot wide

14′ — James Forrest makes a run and breaks free on the right wing after combining with Stuart Armstrong, but his cross is cleared away by Javi Martinez.

13′ — Celtic pressing high up the field, trying to keep pressure on the German Champions. James Forrest deflects a David Alaba pass towards Arturo Vidal, which then deflects off of Vidal before goin out for a throw. 

11′ — Javi Martinez swings and misses on a volley from distance after a Bayern throw-in, then fouls Celtic captain Scott Brown when trying to win the ball back. 

10′ — Strong wing defense in the early going from Celtic. Kieran Tierney tackles the ball away from Arjen Robben before the Bayern captain can do anything with it, and Kingsley Coman gets dispossessed on the other side shortly thereafter. 

7′ — Javi Martiniez commits the first foul of the game as he lunges for the ball in front of Moussa Dembele. Martinez is playing in midfield again for Bayern, a position he has consistently played under Jupp Heynckes. 

4′ — Celtic put together a strong counter-attack off of a Bayern Munich corner, but Stuart Armstrong could not direct a cross from James Forrest on target.

UEFA Champions League - Celtic FC v Bayern Muenchen (Reuters/R. Cheyne)

Stuart Armstrong (middle) fires a shot wide after a Celtic counter-attack

3′ — The first touches from James Rodriguez come in midfield, which would support the tactical theory that he is playing as a false nine. He has also taken Bayern’s first corner of the game. 

2′ — James Rodriguez is indeed playing as a center forward with Robert Lewandowski not able to make the trip to Glasgow.

2′ — Arturo Vidal launches a shot from range but it is way off the mark.

1′ — Kickoff!

20:43 — Celtic Park is at full volume as the spectators drown out the Champions League theme music. 

20:29 — The last time Bayern Munich lost to a Scottish team? 1989. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFarrin was the song of the year, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was released and Germany was still two countries.

20:10 — Plenty of speculation about who will fill the center forward void left by the injured Robert Lewandowski tonight. Thomas Müller is out too, which means James Rodigruez could fill the void, flanked by Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben.

20:00 — Joshua Kimmich is now a permanent fixture in the Bayern team, and it’s stats like this that tell you why…

19:50 And the starting XI for Celtic…

19:45 — Hello everyone. Welcome to live updates of Celtic versus Bayern Munich. Here’s how Bayern – minus Robert Lewandowski – line up tonight:


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