Bayern Munich frustrate Liverpool in Anfield stalemate

Bayern Munich, Clubs, Liverpool, Story, UEFA Champions League

Liverpool and Bayern Munich cancelled each other out to draw 0-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash on a tense night at Anfield.

Liverpool pressed high up the pitch in the opening moments, but the Bundesliga champions settled and Kingsley Coman dribbled to the edge of the area but was adjudged to have handled when the ball came back to him off Jordan Henderson.

A moment of confusion in the Liverpool defence, keeper Alisson and Fabinho miscommunicating before the ball was cleared, was followed by the home side’s first chance when Mo Salah was unable to get a firm enough touch to Henderson’s pass after 12 minutes.

Two minutes later, Bayern were almost in front when a Gnabry cross hit Joel Matip and was blocked by Alisson.

Sane shot wide before more hesitation in the home defence resulted in an opportunity for Coman who, from an angle, smashed his shot into the side netting.

A wayward Andrew Robertson header gave Gnabry the chance to cross only for the Bayern man to miscontrol at the key moment, and then Salah shot off target for the hosts.

Joshua Kimmich was booked for a foul on Mane, meaning he will miss the second leg in Munich, and with a little over half an hour gone Mane scuffed wide on the turn after Naby Keita‘s strike deflected to him.

Another deflected Keita shot looped to Mane, whose bicycle kick flew well wide, and then Salah and Firmino linked brilliantly before the latter’s low cross was steered wide by Matip under pressure.

Georginho Wijnaldum and Firmino joined forces down the right only for the final cross to be too high as Liverpool ramped up the pressure in the closing moments of the first half.

They continued their momentum in the early stages of the second, Wijnaldum finding Trent Alexander-Arnold, who fired a pass towards Salah before Bayern cut it out.

Coman crossed towards Robert Lewandowski, who was well marshalled by Fabinho, and then Salah was unable to keep the ball in play after Robertson’s attempted strike had broken to him.

Henderson was booked for a foul on Javi Martinez and then Gnabry threatened again for Bayern, fizzing an effort narrowly over from outside the box.

Liverpool were beginning to look frustrated and, after Coman shot over with a quarter of an hour leftg, Jurgen Klopp made a double change, replacing Keita with James Milner and Firmino with Divock Origi.

Franck Ribery came on for Coman for Bayern and, as the game entered its final 10 minutes, Kimmich intercepted a Robertson cross before Matip, lurking on the edge of the area, scooped a shot well off target.

Manuel Neuer clawed away a low Mane header and then Bayern made two more changes, James Rodriguez off for Renato Sanches and Rafinha replacing Gnabry as time ran out with no breakthrough, leaving them in pole position ahead of the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

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