Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski believes he can continue improving with age and does not feel the need to prove himself in another league outside of the Bundesliga.

The Poland international was speaking on Tuesday after collecting the European Golden Shoe award as the continent's top-scoring player in the 2020-21 campaign.

Lewandowski scored an incredible 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga games to surpass Gerd Muller's record for the most goals scored in a single German top-flight season.

That was 11 goals more than Lionel Messi managed in his final LaLiga season with Barcelona and 12 more than Cristiano Ronaldo scored in Serie A for then-club Juventus.

Reigning UEFA and FIFA Player of the Year Lewandowski only failed to score in four of his 29 top-flight outings and found the net more than once on 10 occasions.

He has picked up from where he left off last season by scoring 14 goals in 10 appearances for club and country, including a goal in every game Bayern have played.

Indeed, the 33-year-old has now scored in 15 successive Bundesliga games stretching back to last season, one short of another long-standing record held by the late Muller.

The former Borussia Dortmund man was linked with Real Madrid and Chelsea during the most recent transfer window, but he is in no rush to depart the Allianz Arena.

"I don't have to prove myself in another league," he said when collecting his latest award. "I can compete with the best from other leagues in the Champions League.

"I am 100 per cent focused on Bayern Munich. I don't think about anything else but my team."

 

Lewandowski may face competition from rising star Erling Haaland to finish as the Bundesliga's top scorer this term, with the latter having also scored five goals in seven games.

But Bayern's prolific striker has warned Haaland, who has been touted as Lewandowski's successor in Bavaria, that he may not have even reached his peak.

"I am still here – and I will be here for a long time," he said. "Age is just a number. I feel very good and I have the best stats I've ever had. 

"I know that with my body I can play at the top level for years to come. I'm like a good wine and I hope to get even better."

Bayern Munich midfielder Leon Goretzka says the side "just love playing football" after hammering Bochum 7-0 in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.

The German champions turned on the style with a stunning display, with Joshua Kimmich netting a double, while four others scored along with a Vasilios Lampropoulos own goal.

Bayern raced to a 4-0 half-time lead with first-half strikes from Leroy Sane, Kimmich and Serge Gnabry before the Lampropoulos own goal.

Robert Lewandowski added a fifth on the hour, before Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded out a comprehensive performance as Bayern dominated with 24-5 shots including 15 on target to Bochum's none.

"We just love playing football," said Goretzka who got the assist for Kimmich's second goal.

"We want to develop more, from game to game, and absorb our new coach's philosophy more and more.

"Today was a lot of fun for us, but not so much for Bochum. Of course, I'm always a bit sorry about that from a personal standpoint.

"We didn't give Bochum any breathing space. The first 10 minutes were a bit hectic. That's when they got into playing the game they wanted to play - long balls, a lot of fighting for the second ball.

"But then we gradually found our structure and defended very well. That's just how we dominated."

Bayern have enjoyed an excellent start to life under new head coach Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick in the off-season.

The Bavarians are top of the Bundesliga with 13 points from five games, while they have won their past seven games in all competitions.

Nagelsmann said he was happy with the way his side played and offered praise to Sane, who opened the scoring with a fine free-kick.

"I see [Sane] developing very positively," Nagelsmann said. "He was highly committed but he was also a full throttle in the games before the international break.

"He is fully committed in situations which don’t have anything to do with talent. He rewards himself by getting in these situations.

"I remember a situation in which he kept on defending for 30 metres and won the ball before his own box. He showed the same with the national team and scored today. Offensively he is always in a good position.

"Everyone tries to limit him to the wing but he has now played for the fourth time as a bit of an attacking midfielder. He finds spaces where he can use his qualities."

Former Manchester City attacker Sane has scored two goals and provided two assists from five Bundesliga games this term.

Bayern Munich continued their storming start to the Bundesliga campaign with a thumping 7-0 rout of promoted Bochum at the Allianz Arena.

Leroy Sane's brilliant free-kick opened the floodgates on Saturday and Julian Nagelsmann's side did not look back as they cruised to a seventh straight win in all competitions.

Vasilios Lampropoulos' own goal capped off a torrid first half for Bochum, with Joshua Kimmich and Serge Gnabry having previously netted.

Another record fell to Robert Lewandowski in the second half, as he became the first player in Bundesliga history to net in 13 consecutive home matches, and Kimmich helped himself to a second before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting got in on the act to complete the scoring.

The signs were ominous from the first whistle and the only surprise was it taking until the 17th minute for Bayern to hit the front.

Sane made the breakthrough, curling a superb 25-yard free-kick beyond the wall and into the left-hand corner.

Gnabry was denied a wonderful goal by a clearance off the line soon after, though Kimmich swiftly made it 2-0 as his shot on the turn deflected over the helpless Manuel Riemann.

It was 3-0 with just over half an hour played, Gnabry sliding a crisp finish across Riemann, while Armel Bella Kotchap was fortunate not to slice into his own net.

Lampropoulos was not so lucky, panicking under pressure from Lewandowski and skewing into Bochum's goal just before half-time.

Having just failed to turn in a close-range rebound, Lewandowski had no such trouble moments later when he nudged home from a yard out after Sane's cutback was diverted into his path.

Bochum substitute Silvere Ganvoula thought he had snatched a consolation, only for the offside flag to cut short his celebrations. Bayern went down the other end and added a sixth, Kimmich's touch from Leon Goretzka's header clipping in off the upright.

There was time for another, substitute Choupo-Moting converting at the third attempt after a fine double save from Riemann to cap off an emphatic win, with Thomas Muller having a late goal disallowed by VAR.

What does it mean? Bayern purring under Nagelsmann

Since the 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach to start his tenure, Nagelsmann has seen his Bayern side win seven games in a row across all competitions, and just this past week they have beaten both his former side RB Leipzig and Barcelona.

Saturday's win was their largest margin of victory in the Bundesliga under the new coach, and Bayern sit pretty at the top of the table, though they could be overtaken by Wolfsburg should they beat Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

Lewy keeps in the hunt

Lewandowski has now scored in 15 successive Bundesliga matches. Only one player – the late, great Gerd Muller – has ever netted in more consecutive games in Germany's top tier (16).

The Poland star also set a record here, overtaking Muller and Jupp Heynckes by scoring in a 13th straight home match in the league.

Bochum suffer another Bayern defeat

Bayern have now lost only one of the past 28 Bundesliga games against Bochum (W20 D7); 0-1 away from home in February 2004. At home, the Bavarians have lost only one of the 35 top-flight matches against Bochum – a 0-2 loss back in August 1991.

Indeed, Bayern have now won each of their previous seven competitive matches against Bochum. Only between 1978 to 1982 have they embarked on a longer winning run against them (eight).

What's next?

Another promoted side, Greuther Furth, come next for Bayern in six days' time, while Bochum host Stuttgart next Sunday.

Kingsley Coman has undergone a minor heart operation, Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann announced.

The France winger had the procedure on Thursday to correct the rhythm of his heart but is expected to make a swift return to training.

Nagelsmann said there was "a manageable risk" involved in the procedure and explained it was not an uncommon condition.

"His heartbeat rhythm had a slight disturbance with a minor added beat. At times he had a slight shortage of breath," Nagelsmann said in a pre-match news conference ahead of his team's clash with Bochum.

"That's why we opted for long-term ECG monitoring and went ahead with this procedure.

"He is doing very well, he has minimal wound pain. When the wound has healed, he will start training again and will not be absent for more than one and a half to two weeks before he starts team training."

Coman should be able to take part in cardio training by Tuesday, Nagelsmann said.

The Bayern boss further explained the impact on Coman before he had surgery.

“It's not that unusual. Several people have it," Nagelsmann said. "He said every now and then that he wasn't always breathing so perfectly. Then there were several tests, including a long-term ECG.

"The procedure involved a manageable risk. He is doing very well, he has minimal wound pain. When the wound has healed, he starts again with the build-up training."

Coman, 25, joined Bayern initially on a two-year loan from Juventus in 2015 and subsequently made the move permanent.

He first emerged through Paris Saint-Germain's academy and scored the winning goal against the Parisians in the 2019-20 Champions League final, as Bayern won 1-0 in Lisbon.

Germany international Leon Goretzka has signed a new long-term contract with Bayern Munich.

The 26-year-old's future had been the subject of speculation, as his previous deal was due to expire next June.

Goretzka will be staying with the Bundesliga champions after agreeing a new contract until June 2026.

The midfielder told the club's official website: "We've won everything there is to win over the past three years. But what would be even better than winning titles is confirming and repeating these successes.

"We want to build on this in the coming years. The team, the club and the environment are not just highly professional, but also familiar.

"This mixture is one of the things that guarantees success at this club. I'm very happy to be extending my contract until 2026."

Goretzka joined the Bavarian giants from Schalke in 2018 and has won three Bundesliga titles, the Champions League and the DFB Pokal twice.

He has also lifted the DFL Supercup three times, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2020.

Goretzka has scored 25 goals in 118 games for Bayern and put pen to paper on the back of a 3-0 Champions League win at Barcelona on Tuesday.

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn said: "It's crucial for the development of FC Bayern that we keep our top performers long term.

"To be successful as a club, we need players who are permanently motivated - and Leon Goretzka doesn't need to be told about motivation. He always wants to improve and has the ambition to shape an era at FC Bayern.

"This contract extension is also a sign Leon is convinced we’ll continue to be as successful in the future as we have been in the past."

Could Jurgen Klopp and Robert Lewandowski be set to work together again?

The pair enjoyed a successful partnership at Borussia Dortmund.

Now, Klopp is reportedly trying to lure the Bayern Munich forward to Liverpool.

 

TOP STORY – KLOPP WANTS LEWANDOWSKI REUNION

Liverpool are targeting Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, according to Fichajes.

Lewandowski worked with Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund before joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern in 2014.

There has been talk Lewandowski could be ready for a new challenge amid links to Real Madrid and Manchester City, though Klopp is reportedly determined to reunite with the Poland international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bild claims Dortmund have identified Chelsea forward Timo Werner as a possible option to replace Erling Haaland. Club are queueing up to sign Haaland, with City, Manchester United, Bayern, Liverpool, Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain all reportedly interested. Should Haaland leave Dortmund, the Bundesliga outfit reportedly see former RB Leipzig star Werner as a potential successor.

- Fabrizio Romano says Inter forward Lautaro Martinez is nearing a contract extension at San Siro. He has reportedly turned down offers from Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.

Bayern, Inter, Real Madrid and Tottenham are interested in Borussia Monchengladbach defender Matthias Ginter, reports Calciomercato.

Chelsea are looking to sign Jorginho, N'Golo Kante, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to new contracts, according to Romano.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas has defended Real Madrid's attempts to sign Kylian Mbappe despite football's wider economic struggles, adamant their conduct pales in comparison to that of Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid president Florentino Perez was at the forefront of the European Super League scandal earlier this year, as a group of elite clubs attempted to form a closed breakaway competition.

Perez said their intention was to "save" football, convinced the sport was financially unsustainable in its current form, but plans quickly unravelled when the English clubs involved pulled out.

Yet, despite talk of football's doom, Madrid lodged bids for Mbappe in the most recent transfer window, with their offers thought to have started at €160million – only the Frenchman himself (€180m) and PSG team-mate Neymar (€222m) have ever cost more.

Nevertheless, Madrid have raised significant capital through sales over the past four years, turning a profit in transfer fees in three of the five seasons dating back to the start of 2017-18.

As such, Tebas sees little cause for concern over the financial state of Madrid, but he cannot see them having a transfer window like that of PSG, who brought in Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum, Achraf Hakimi, Sergio Ramos and Nuno Mendes.

Speaking at a sponsorship news conference, Tebas told reporters: "I said that Spanish football is not ruined, neither Madrid nor Barcelona.

"There are at least 80 per cent of clubs in Europe that have it much worse. Regarding Real Madrid, I think they have been the club that's been better managed through the pandemic, with enormous rigor in their salary spending. Real Madrid has the capacity to do what they want.

"They can never be PSG, because PSG cheats. They have a salary expense close to €600m, which is impossible. Madrid are not a state club either, so they can't."

Talk of Spanish football's demise intensified following Barcelona's latest comprehensive Champions League defeat on Tuesday, losing 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, while Sevilla stuttered to a 1-1 draw at home to Salzburg.

For Barca, it was the first time since Opta records began (2003-04) that they had failed to get a shot on target in a Champions League game, and Bayern's superiority condemned Ronald Koeman's men to three successive home defeats in the competition for the first time.

Prior to 2020-21, Barca had only ever lost two Champions League home games by three or more goals but that has occurred three times since – with Messi no longer there, many would expect their standard to plummeting further.

But Tebas insists the odd Champions League result does not necessarily mean anything, pointing out the Premier League arguably enjoyed its greatest period of growth during a European trophy drought.

"There is still a lot of the Champions League to go," he continued. "Last year it was the same and then everyone went through to the knockout phase.

"The level of LaLiga does not depend on a few Champions League games. When the Premier League grew the most, it was in a phase of six years without winning the main elite competition."

Lionel Messi's departure to Paris Saint-Germain "ripped out" the soul of Barcelona, former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said after the Blaugrana's heavy Champions League defeat to the Bundesliga champions.

Barca may have avoided another demolition job at the hands of Bayern, who defeated them 8-2 in the Champions League quarter-finals 13 months ago, but Tuesday's 3-0 loss was a damning indictment of the gulf between them and the teams likely to challenge for European club football's biggest prize this term.

It was the first time since Opta records began (2003-04) that Barca have failed to get a shot on target in a Champions League game, and Bayern's superiority condemned Ronald Koeman's men to three successive home defeats in the competition for the first time.

Barcelona's crippling financial state – which has seen their debts approach €1.4billion – has contributed to a situation where such heavy losses to Europe's elite are no longer a surprise.

Prior to 2020-21, Barca had only ever lost two Champions League home games by three or more goals but that has occurred three times since – with Messi no longer there, many would expect their standard to continue plummeting.

Barca were unable to keep Messi due to salary cap restrictions and Rummenigge sees a hollow shell of a club left without him.

Speaking to Bild TV, Rummenigge – who left his role as Bayern CEO earlier this year – said: "When you looked at the team and how they performed tactically… with Messi [leaving], their souls were ripped out. They are facing difficult times.

"They had to let him leave, but LaLiga scored an own goal with it [his departure]."

Rummenigge was asked if bringing Messi to Bayern was ever a possibility, but he pointed to the Barca's financial mismanagement around the six-time Ballon d'Or winner that made signing him impossible.

"That couldn't be, that was not a subject [considered]," he continued. "You can't think about that.

"His salary is at such dizzying heights, and don't forget, this has a knock-on effect. Then the others want more too.

"That has resulted in Barcelona having staggering debts."

But while Barca are left tending to an institutional crisis, their bitter rivals Real Madrid appear to be in a far less dire situation.

Although club president Florentino Perez stressed Madrid football was running out of money earlier this year when he fronted up the attempted formation of a European Super League, Los Blancos were comfortable enough to lodge bids of at least €160m for PSG's Kylian Mbappe.

PSG did not entertain any offers but the Frenchman will become a free agent next year and Rummenigge believes there is a strong change both he and Erling Haaland could end up in Madrid in 2022, rather than the Norwegian going to Bayern.

"[Robert] Lewandowski is the best centre-forward in the world. Haaland is the second best," he said. "I think Bayern is interested in Robert staying after his contract expires in 2023. Haaland is an investment.

"I don't think he's going to Liverpool. I know the owner very well and he is not known for splashing out.

"With Haaland, I wouldn't rule Real Madrid out. Maybe they'll open the chequebook a little more in the summer and possibly get Haaland and Kylian Mbappe."

Harry Kane's attempt to leave Tottenham did not go according to plan before the transfer window closed.

Despite interest from Manchester City, Kane remains in London with Spurs.

Kane could be prepared to sign another contract at Tottenham…

 

TOP STORY – NEW DEAL FOR KANE?

Tottenham star Harry Kane is open to a contract extension if the offer includes a release clause, according to Eurosport.

Kane wanted to leave Tottenham in the off-season, but a move did not materialise, despite interest from Premier League champions Manchester City.

The England striker, though, could be willing to re-sign on one condition.

Paris Saint-Germain, JuventusReal Madrid and Barcelona have previously been linked with Kane.

 

ROUND-UP

Juventus could face competition from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for City forward Gabriel Jesus, reports Calciomercato. Juve are keen to bolster their attack following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit but face a battle should Robert Lewandowski leave Bayern. Lewandowski has been linked with the likes of City and Madrid.

- Fabrizio Romano claims United are planning to offer Luke Shaw a new contract at Old Trafford. However, United are prioritising new deals for Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Liverpool are among the contenders to sign Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, says 90min. Haaland has been linked with United, City, Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Juve and PSG but 90min claims Liverpool have held talks with his agent Mino Raiola.

Robert Lewandowski described Bayern Munich's trip to Camp Nou as the "perfect day" after the red-hot striker scored twice in a 3-0 Champions League win over Barcelona.

Bayern kicked off their 2021-22 Champions League campaign with a comprehensive victory at Barca thanks to Lewandowski's brace and Thomas Muller's opener on Tuesday.

Lewandowski has scored in his last 18 appearances for Bayern, netting 29 goals in a run that stretches back to February in all competitions.

In the last three seasons since the start of the 2019-20 season, Lewandowski has scored 113 goals in 93 appearances for Bayern – 36 more than any other player in Europe's big five leagues in that time (Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo on 76 goals each).

"It's always nice to be on the pitch and hear the UCL anthem with the crowd. That's a great feeling," Lewandowski said post-match.

"Sure, the stadium wasn't quite full, but hopefully everything will be back to normal soon."

Barcelona offered little going forward and failed to get a shot on target, the first time they have posed such a meek threat in a Champions League game since at least 2003-04, according to Opta.

Bundesliga titleholders Bayern have won their opening match in each of the 18 Champions League seasons by an aggregate score of 45-2.

"We can be satisfied with our performance. It was good. We showed from the very first minute that we wanted to win," Lewandowski added.

"We were in control of the game, that was important. Barca rarely threatened our goal. It was a perfect day."

 

Julian Nagelsmann promised to enjoy Bayern Munich's 3-0 win at Barcelona with "a couple of drinks" as he pointed to how obviously the hosts are missing Lionel Messi.

Argentine great Messi played 149 Champions League games for Barcelona, scoring 120 goals and claiming 35 assists, but his switch to Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in August has left a void.

Without him, Barcelona offered little going forward and failed to get a shot on target, the first time they have posed such a meek threat in a Champions League game since at least 2003-04, Opta said.

When they were thumped 8-2 by Bayern in the Champions League quarter-finals 13 months ago, Barcelona at least had five shots on target, with Messi managing two of those.

"In different moments, Lionel Messi would have helped in special things," said Bayern head coach Nagelsmann. "It's obvious a big player left the club, but still it's a very strong team.

"We played strong defence. We changed towards the second half as well and in the second half we were definitely a bit better in control and built better chances. We certainly had the space to get more chances."

Thomas Muller gave Bayern a half-time lead and Robert Lewandowski grabbed a double after the break to make it a cruise to victory for the German champions.

Nagelsmann arrived from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig in the close season as successor to Hansi Flick and relished the moment of victory, which he planned to enjoy for the rest of the evening.

He described it as "a great start" and said Bayern would push to be "one of the top contenders" to be champions.

"I didn't ask in the hotel if they have proper glasses, but we're going to enjoy this win with a couple of drinks," he said.

"Winning the first game in the Champions League is always important, especially at a new club."

Asked about the evergreen prowess of veterans Muller and Lewandowski, Nagelsmann said: "I'm super happy to have these world stars on my team. It's great to work with them.

"Thomas is like a playing co-trainer who knows so much about football and tries to pass on those experiences to other players."

Lewandowski has scored in his last 18 appearances for Bayern, netting 29 goals in a run that stretches back to February in all competitions.

In the last three seasons since the start of the 2019-20 season, Lewandowski has scored 113 goals in 93 appearances for Bayern – 36 more than any other player in Europe's big five leagues in that time (Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo on 76 goals each).

He said that Lewandowski "just doesn't stop".

"And there's a definite reason why he scores so many goals," Nagelsmann said. "His whole life is directed to being a professional athlete and you can see that on the pitch."

Bayern Munich were disappointed only to beat Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou, again proving far too strong for their Champions League rivals.

The sides met for the first time since Bayern's sensational 8-2 success 13 months earlier, a victory in the quarter-finals that broke all manner of records.

The final scoreline was slightly more respectable for Barca this time, yet they were completely outclassed again by the Bundesliga champions on Tuesday.

Ronald Koeman's Barca did not muster a single shot on target for the first time in a Champions League match since Opta records began in 2003-04.

At the other end, Bayern were rampant, led by Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.

Lewandowski scored twice after Muller's opener maintained his outstanding record against Barca, now standing at seven goals from six matches.

No player in Champions League history has more goals against Barca – Muller passed Ukraine great Andriy Shevchenko's five in the 8-2.

"We didn't allow much at the back, and up front we could have scored one or two more goals," Muller told Amazon.

"Playing here is just fun, the guys enjoyed it. If you win 3-0 here, that's a very important signal. We are very happy."

Muller was asked to explain why he scores so regularly against Barca, having netted once every 73 minutes in their Champions League meetings, converting seven of 16 shots.

"That's because Barcelona are a playful team, and as an attacking player, you get a little more space than against defensive blocks," he said. "But you can say that I like to score against Barca."

Muller was not alone in enjoying himself on Tuesday, however, as one of nine Bayern players to share 17 shots between them.

Bayern star Joshua Kimmich, who attempted one and created three, said: "We didn't get into the game that easily. The longer the game went on, the more we got control.

"We then happily make it 1-0 because it was a bit lucky. Nevertheless, we were already the better team in the first half. We could have won by even more.

"We let the ball run properly, although we still made a few simple mistakes. The bottom line is that we can be satisfied."

"It's shameful," a shellshocked Gerard Pique said in the aftermath of Barcelona's 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich. "Shame is the word."

The sentiment was different on Tuesday, as Barca at least this time battled, but Bayern were comfortable again, 3-0 winners in the Champions League at Camp Nou.

The Blaugrana's remarkable August 2020 humiliation was so significant because these sides were supposed to be rivals of a similar standard. Thirteen months on to the day, Bayern were backed to win big again. The only surprise was that Barca limited their opponents to three.

The Catalan club eventually heeded Pique's calls for "changes at all levels" – new president, new coach, new team – but it is tough to sincerely suggest this is a better outfit, even if they have a little more fight.

While Pique was one of six players in the XI remaining from the line-up in Lisbon, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were among the five to make way. Antoine Griezmann, called off the bench in the quarter-final, has also now departed. Those three outstanding attackers accounted for Barca's seven shots in that tie.

Instead, Luuk de Jong debuted on Tuesday, with Barca still searching for a post-Messi formula. Griezmann was one of two players to have moved on from Barcelona since starting their previous match at the end of August.

Perhaps Ronald Koeman deserves credit then for forging some sort of coherent unit in the interim. A three-man defence made Ronald Araujo a star in the opening stages as he battled Leroy Sane, helping Barca reach the 31-minute mark unbreached – the 2019-20 clash brought a record four Bayern goals in the same period.

But pressure was building and the breakthrough followed three minutes later as Araujo's defensive colleague Eric Garcia turned his back to a long-range Thomas Muller attempt and inadvertently deflected the ball beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Koeman, coach of the Netherlands when Barcelona were taking their drubbing last year, told this week of how "several players suffered a lot" in Portugal, possibly explaining a reluctance to come out of their shell after going behind.

Revenge had been on the Barca boss's mind as he discussed looking "for our style to hurt the opposition", but that felt optimistic here. Before and after the opener on Tuesday, Dayot Upamecano dominated De Jong and Memphis Depay, winning nine of 15 duels, making four tackles and four interceptions.

Bayern have now won eight of 12 games against Barca but rarely can they have been so clearly superior, not tallying an eye-catching score but controlling proceedings with a conviction that the five-time European champions lacked the attacking talent to trouble them. The hosts did not muster a shot on target in a Champions League game for the first time since at least 2003-04, Opta said.

That gulf should not have come as news to Koeman, even if he wore a concerned expression when Robert Lewandowski stabbed in a simple second, Alphonso Davies' shot having been blocked and Jamal Musiala's follow-up striking the post. Offering some of his more sobering thoughts earlier this week, Koeman had pondered: "Can you get back to the level where you will really win Champions Leagues and be the best in Spain for years in a row? That is not the case at the moment. Let's hope that it will come again."

The crowd appear to have come to terms with the same realism. Having been absent when Barca's oldest Champions League XI played out the previous meeting, they stuck with a team that featured four teenagers by full-time. The veteran Pique was still on the pitch, too, to hopelessly fall at the feet of Lewandowski following another rebound five minutes from the end, giving the forward time to find the net once more.

Pique led the applause in a show of appreciation for those supporters at the final whistle, as attention now turns to simply getting out of the group. It is a modest ambition, but this is the first time Barca have lost a Champions League opener since 1997-98.

Beyond that, the financial rewards surely provide more achievable aims than the prizes on offer for Bayern and Co. Revenge in this fixture will have to wait. For how long, who knows?

Barcelona lost their opening Champions League match for the first time in 23 seasons as a Thomas Muller strike and Robert Lewandowski's brace earned Bayern Munich a 3-0 win on Tuesday.

The hosts were seeking revenge following their 8-2 loss against the same opponents in the 2019-20 quarter-finals, but Bayern proved far too strong once again in the Group E opener between the two heavyweights.

Muller opened the scoring in that humbling defeat for Barca 13 months ago and did likewise in the first half at Camp Nou before Lewandowski's simple finish gave Bayern breathing space early in the second period.

Lewandowski doubled his tally late on to seal a routine win that moves the German champions into top spot after the first round of fixtures, while Barca sit bottom after Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica played out a goalless draw.

Sergi Roberto was one of six players in Barca's line-up from the memorable previous clash between the sides and the wing-back blasted over a good chance in what was a bright start from the hosts.

Bayern soon started to get to grips with the game and would have been ahead if not for Marc-Andre ter Stegen's one-handed save to keep out a powerful Leroy Sane drive.

Barca relied on some last-ditch defending to keep them level, but Muller found a way through after 34 minutes with a shot from outside the box that took a heavy deflection off Eric Garcia and left Ter Stegen wrong-footed.

Ter Stegen was again required early in the second half to keep out a low Sane shot after the winger, who had set up Muller's goal, waltzed his way through as Bayern pushed for a second.

That duly arrived after 56 minutes when Jamal Musiala's shot cannoned back off the post and Lewandowski was in the perfect position to prod the rebound into an unguarded net using the bottom of his boot.

Bayern were eager to add a third and they did so five minutes from time through Lewandowski, the prolific striker converting another rebound after Serge Gnabry this time rattled the post.

Barcelona lost their opening Champions League match for the first time in 23 seasons as a Thomas Muller strike and Robert Lewandowski's brace earned Bayern Munich a 3-0 win on Tuesday.

The hosts were seeking revenge following their 8-2 loss against the same opponents in the 2019-20 quarter-finals, but Bayern proved far too strong once again in the Group E opener between the two heavyweights.

Muller opened the scoring in that humbling defeat for Barca 13 months ago and did likewise in the first half at Camp Nou before Lewandowski's simple finish gave Bayern breathing space early in the second period.

Lewandowski doubled his tally late on to seal a routine win that moves the German champions into top spot after the first round of fixtures, while Barca sit bottom after Dynamo Kyiv and Benfica played out a goalless draw.

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