by Dan Gaichas
In Arjen Robben’s homecoming, Robert Lewandowski scored a brace as Bayern came from behind to defeat PSV Eindhoven, 2-1, and clinch a spot in the Round of 16 with two matches to spare. Both PSV and FC Rostov (2-1 loses to Atletico Madrid), are now consigned to play for a Europa League spot.
The visitors took the lead on 14 minutes when Santiago Arias headed in from close range on a rebound after Manuel Neuer initially denied Davy Propper. though replays showed that the former was offside as the latter during the initial shot. That lead lasted 20 minutes as Bayern were awarded a penalty after Andres Guardado handled a cross in the area. Lewandowski, who had a penalty appeal denied earlier, converted the spot kick.
It was mostly one-way traffic after that towards Remko Pasveer’s net and Bayern were ultimately rewarded in the 73rd minute after a combination play between Douglas Costa and David Alaba led to the latter finding Lewandowski in close range for what turned out to be the match-winner.
“It was tough at the start but we slowly got into the game and just about managed to win in the end,” said Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti. “It was important to control their counter-attacks and not to lose confidence after going 1-0 down. We played quicker after the break and created more chances. Bringing on Coman and Costa I tried to change the system to send in more crosses. It was good. We are through to the last 16, which is important. We now have two games to win the group.”
Bayern can win the group with a win at FC Rostov and a two-goal win over Atletico Madrid. But first, they host Hoffenheim in the league on Saturday at 9:30am CT on FS2.