Kimmich strike maintains Bayern Munich’s record run in Europe
Joshua Kimmich’s second-half winner secured a record 13th straight Champions League victory for holders Bayern Munich on Tuesday as they held off a plucky challenge to triumph 2-1 at Lokomotiv Moscow.
After Leon Goretzka gave Bayern an early lead in Russia, Lokomotiv deservedly equalised when midfielder Anton Miranchuk finished off a counter-attack on 70 minutes.
However, Germany midfielder Kimmich made sure Bayern stayed top of their group when he turned just outside the area and fired a superb strike into the bottom corner on 79 minutes.
Lokomotiv squandered an early golden chance when forward Fyodor Smolov headed straight to Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at point-blank range.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski shot wide before the European champions took the lead with a goal created by France internationals Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard.
Midfielder Tolisso passed across the penalty area to Pavard, who deftly volleyed the ball with the inside of his boot.
Goretzka was waiting to expertly head inside the near post on 13 minutes.
Bayern’s French pair linked up to great effect again to set up a chance for Kingsley Coman, who hit the post on 25 minutes.
However, Lokomotiv started to find space to exploit down the flanks, with Smolov and left-back Maciej Rybus forcing Neuer into saves at the end of the first half.
Bayern head coach Hansi Flick made a double substitution at the start of the second half with Germany winger Serge Gnabry — making his first appearance since recovering from coronavirus — and Javi Martinez introduced.
Bayern came within centimetres of a second goal just before the hour mark when Gnabry fired in a quick cross, but Kimmich’s shot clipped the boot of Lokomotiv centre-back Slobodan Rajkovic and goalkeeper Guilherme gratefully gathered the loose ball.
At the other end, only a good challenge from David Alaba prevented Moscow’s Cape Verde striker Ze Luis finishing a counter-attack.
When Lewandowski went down in the area on 65 minutes, referee Istvan Kovacs pointed to the spot, but the decision was overturned when the VAR spotted an offside in build-up.
Lokomotiv grabbed the deserved equaliser when Ze Luis burst free down the right and squared to Miranchuk who turned home.
Kimmich settled any nerves in the Bayern ranks when he received the ball outside the penalty area, needing one touch to control and drive home.