MUNICH (Reuters) -Bayern Munich struck twice in four minutes in the first half to set them on their way to a 4-3 victory over an embattled Manchester United on Wednesday and make a winning start in Champions League Group A.
Bayern, unbeaten in their last 28 Champions League group stage home matches, looked in control despite some sloppy defending at times, and came out on top in a seven-goal bonanza with three of them coming in the final few minutes.
Goals from Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry in the 28th and 32nd minutes put the hosts in the driving seat with injury-hit United, who have now lost their last three matches, scoring in the 49th through Rasmus Hojlund’s deflected effort.
A Harry Kane penalty, awarded for a handball by Christian Eriksen, restored Bayern’s two-goal cushion four minutes later before the game ended with a flurry of late goals with United’s Casemiro scoring either side of a Mathys Tel stoppage time effort.
Bayern also hit the woodwork through Sane and Thomas Mueller.
“Tonight’s result was big for our confidence and development, but there are still things to work on,” said Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, who was not on the touchline as he sat out a suspension from last season.
“We’re posing a threat in every game, creating chances in every game, but we were very reserved in the opening exchanges and lucky not to fall behind. We’re not 100% happy so far, but the reactions to adversity tonight were very good.”
United, who lost 3-1 to both Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal in their previous two games, have conceded three goals or more in three consecutive matches for the first time since December 1978.
Yet it had started well for them with Eriksen’s fourth minute shot parried by Bayern’s Sven Ulreich.
It was a howler by United’s Andre Onana that put the hosts in front, with the keeper letting Sane’s tame shot slip past him and into the net.
With assistant coach Zsolt Loew on the bench, Bayern scored again with Jamal Musiala setting up Gnabry after a fine solo run.
Hojlund’s shot four minutes after the restart gave them some hope but Bayern quickly extinguished it in the 53rd with Kane’s penalty.
In a frantic finale Casemiro first hooked the ball in from close range after stumbling to the floor and then headed their third goal in stoppage time, seconds after Bayern substitute Tel had powered the ball into the roof of the net.
“Disappointed because we should stay in the game,” said United coach Erik ten Hag. “If you score three goals at Bayern Munich you have to take a point.
“We are in a period, a lot is going against us. We have to make our own luck. We’ve played great teams in the last three games.”
In the other Group A game Galatasaray battled back with two goals in the final four minutes to snatch a 2-2 draw at home against 10-man Copenhagen.
Diogo Goncalves and Mohamed Elyounoussi put the Danes 2-0 up before a dramatic finish saw Sacha Boey cut the deficit in the 86th and substitute Tete’s 88th-minute volley earn a point.
Copenhagen’s Elias Jelert was sent off in the 73rd for a second booking.
(Reporting by Karolos GrohmannEditing by Toby Davis)