Neuer: Bayern 'lucky' Lewandowski did not score on Champions League return

By Sports Desk September 13, 2022

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believes his side were "lucky" not to concede to Robert Lewandowski on his return to Bavaria.

The Poland international has been in sensational form since joining Barcelona, scoring a hat-trick on his Champions League debut for the Blaugrana against Viktoria Plzen last week, but he was unable to add to his tally at the Allianz Arena.

Lewandowski was thwarted by former team-mate Neuer from a close-range header after he had squandered an opportunity on the volley, blazing his attempt over the crossbar.

Both chances could have easily been taken by Lewandowski, and Neuer admitted that Bayern had benefitted from good fortune in their 2-0 victory.

"I think it was an emotional game for Lewy because he was very successful here in Munich. But we also know him as an opponent. Luck was not on his side in crucial moments," he told reporters.

"We're lucky that he sent that volley over the bar and I was there in the second chance. We showed a good defensive performance today."

Julian Nagelsmann also thought Lewandowski performed well despite failing to find the back of the net, acknowledging the majority of the pre-match talk centred on Bayern's reunion with the striker.

"I think he played a good game, I'm happy from our perspective that he didn't score. We saw that he was dangerous, we were able to defend him very well," he said.

"I saw him after the game and hugged him but he plays for a different club now, I have a lot of players I have to look out for.

"This week, I probably had 60 questions on Lewandowski, you can pose those questions to Xavi because he's not my player anymore."

Barcelona head coach Xavi, meanwhile, believes Lewandowski did not get overwhelmed by the occasion, stating: "I don't think he could have been pressured, with his maturity and experience. 

"It is a lack of effectiveness. It's football and this happens. And it happens in the stadium where it couldn't happen."

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