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Champions League ratings, takeaways: Inter Milan get Lautaro wonder goal, but fall flat after Alexis red

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Bayern Munich and Liverpool became the first teams to punch their tickets to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Bavarians made it through after a 7-1 thrashing of Red Bull Salzburg on an 8-2 aggregate, which featured a 22-minute Robert Lewandowski hat trick at Allianz Arena. The Reds, meanwhile, suffered a rare 1-0 defeat at Anfield to Inter Milan in the second leg, though the 2-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg gave Jurgen Klopp's side enough of a cushion to advance.   

These matches couldn't have been more different, so let's break down what you need to know.

Bayern and Lewandowski run riot

The Polish superstar was back to his absolute best with a record treble inside of 23 minutes with two of those coming from the penalty spot as he moved level with Sebastien Haller at the top of the scoring charts for this edition of UCL. Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sane and Thomas Muller (twice) got in on the act, with Kingsley Coman teeing up the former and Leroy Sane assisting Muller twice before Lewandowski thanked him as Julian Nagelsmann's men ripped into the Austrian side with their attack-minded setup.

What could have been for 10-man Inter

Despite finishing with an xG of 0.30 on the night, Inter Milan became the first team to defeat Liverpool at Anfield in over a year (March 7, 2021 to Fulham) but they fell one goal shy of sending the match to extra time. Simone Inzaghi will wonder what could have been, especially after his side had 29 minutes after the opening goal to find another breakthrough.

A great goal from outside the box from Lautaro Martinez put Inter ahead 1-0 in the 61st minute, but only two minutes later before they could celebrate being ahead, they were reduced to 10 men. Alexis Sanchez was dismissed due to a second yellow card for his studs-up challenge on Thiago. While it was a bit of a sell on the card by Thiago, Sanchez put himself in a situation that hurt his team. After being reduced to 10, they had no bite in a winnable match. Lautaro's goal would be Inter's last shot on the night. 

Salzburg can hold their heads high

The nature of this defeat should not take away from what has been a historic Champions League outing for Salzburg. Matthias Jaissle's men have put Austria back on the soccer map with this showing and will not be underestimated next time around. Will the German even be at Red Bull Arena in Wals-Siezenheim next campaign after winning plenty of admirers this season? The same can be said for young Brenden Aaronson, who has caught Premier League attention and was a rare bright spot in this disappointing ending to their adventure.

Wicked woodwork

Defensively, Liverpool did more than enough to see the match through thanks to another strong performance from Virgil van Dijk at the back, but up front, they hit the woodwork there times during the match showing how thin margins are when it comes to finishing. Joel Matip had the best chance in the 30th minute hitting the post with a header following a great delivery from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Then it was Mohamed Salah's turn hitting woodwork in the 51st and 75th minutes when Liverpool looked to close out the tie. Those two misses -- Salah normally puts those home with ease --  had a combined xG of 0.67. The cherry on top of Liverpool's finishing woes was Luis Diaz's missed chance in the 91st minute thanks to a timely intervention from Arturo Vidal. 

While the misses won't matter as they're off to the next round, it's something that the Reds will need to clean up because the margins only get tighter in the business end of the Champions League. It could also be the difference between pipping Manchester City for the Premier League title or coming in second.

Goal of the Day

Bayern Munich vs. Salzburg may have had eight goals scored, but none measured up to Martinez's finish from outside the box.

Player Ratings

Robert Lewandowski: A record hat trick and an assist made for a very impressive return to form for the Poland international. Rating: 9

Leroy Sane: Two goals and an assist in one of the most convincing Champions League displays with Bayern so far for the German. Rating: 8

Brenden Aaronson: The USMNT star kept going until the end and provided the assist for Salzburg's only goal, but it was a disappointing outing collectively given how brightly they started. Rating: 6

Maximilian Wober: Few Salzburg defenders covered themselves with glory, but the 24-year-old was particularly at fault early on as he was called for two penalties on Lewandowsky, which promptly decided the tie in Bayern's favor. Rating: 2

Virgil van Dijk: What a performance as van Dijk and the Liverpool defense. Mo member of the backline lost an aerial duel on the night. He didn't lose a single ground duel either, and could have had an assist late when he played in Andrew Robertson. Rating: 9

Diogo Jota: Another anonymous performance since returning from injury, Jota was a ghost on the pitch and couldn't get off a single shot. Rating: 6

Milan Skriniar: A large reason for Jota's ineffectiveness, Skriniar again showed why he's one of the best defenders in Serie A. Nine clearances and four recoveries helped protect his keeper. Rating: 8

Inter Milan midfield: While no Nicolo Barella was a blow, every midfielder combined created three chances and took two shots only one landing on goal. None were particularly effective in driving the ball upfield and made Alexis Sanchez and Lautaro Martinez come deep far too much. Rating: 4

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Munich mauling

Well, that was painful to watch for the Austrians. Bayern will be delighted after crushing an initially stubborn opponent second time around. Salzburg's impressive run ends in ignominy, but they will be back. Nagelsmann's men march on and will be considered among the favourites despite some vulnerabilities being seen over both legs.


And that's it as Liverpool and Bayern are the first teams to punch their tickets to the next round!

March 8, 2022, 9:59 PM

This could be it...

Liverpool are holding the ball to kill things off and now they have a corner as Virgil van Dijk played in Andrew Robertson. Milan Skriniar was able to keep Inter in it for a few more minutes, however.

March 8, 2022, 9:53 PM


Oh my, now Sane has done it. 7-1 on the night and 8-2 on aggregate


On second viewing, it's all about the art when getting a player carded

March 8, 2022, 9:44 PM

Muller at the double

It is that man against as Bayern add another goal to their tally. This has been chastening for Salzburg who are now taking a 7-2 aggregate pasting.


Salah off the post again!

Liverpool have had every chance to put this match away, but just can't find the finishing touch in this one. You don't expect Salah of all people to hit woodwork twice.

March 8, 2022, 9:41 PM

While he's on an island now, at least Lautaro Martinez's goal was a good one

March 8, 2022, 9:35 PM


Salzburg get one back through substitute Kjaergaard. Surely they are not getting back into this, but they could make the 6-2 aggregate showing closer than it is at present.


And we have a goal! It's Lartaro Martinez! But... Inter will be up against it as Sanchez was sent off

We've got a match, after missing a chance less than a minute earlier, Martinez hit a stunner from outside the box to put Inter Milan ahead 1-0. They still need another to get back into things but that'll be hard after Sanchez has been dismissed with a second yellow for his two-footed challenge on Thiago. 

March 8, 2022, 9:28 PM

Martinez turns, sets, and misses

While the ball went out for a corner, a striker of Lartauro Martinez's caliber expects to hit chances in the box when in space. It's a match of wasted chances as neither team seems too bothered about scoring.

March 8, 2022, 9:24 PM

How did Salah not score!

Jota forced a good save but Inter were saved by the post as Salah's follow up rattled off of the post instead of going into the net. Liverpool are playing like a team that wants to put this match to bed sooner than later.

March 8, 2022, 9:17 PM

Muller time!

There it is -- the German's predicted goal. Bayern are 5-0 up and cruising into the quarterfinals.


Salzburg surrender?

As the second half gets underway, will Bayern rack up more goals, or will their visitors try to keep it respectable?


We've reached the half of Liverpool vs. Inter level at 0-0

While Inter Milan are happy that Liverpool hasn't scored, they'll need to be more adventurous in the second half as the longer that the match is level, the more that things shift in Liverpool's advantage already holding a two-goal advantage.

March 8, 2022, 9:00 PM

It's a record hat trick for Lewandowski!

March 8, 2022, 8:45 PM

Jota is yellow carded as Inter has a free-kick

Hakan Calhanoglu almost knocked it in too! A knuckler across the box was just parried by Alisson but it's the closes Inter has come to finding the scoresheet.

March 8, 2022, 8:44 PM

The Crossbar is rattling!

Almost a moment of magic from Trent Alexander-Arnold. Following Sadio Mane winning a free kick, Alexander-Arnold struck it sweetly but rattled bar. His corner kick delivery that followed was also a good one that almost ended in a goal. After the break, it seems like Liverpool are finding their attacking intent.

March 8, 2022, 8:33 PM

Four for Bayern!

Gnabry gets in on the act as the Germans are running absolute riot against Salzburg. Just over 30 minutes gone and it is already safe to say that the Austrian Champions League adventure is over...


As a supporter receives medical attention play will stop as Liverpool host Inter Milan

Hopefully, everything is okay but this break will be a good time for Jurgen Klopp to go over things with his team as they've only mustered one shot so far in the match. While this is similar to Inter Milan, Liverpool would expect to do more with their possession advantage.

March 8, 2022, 8:29 PM

Lethal Lewandowski

Make that 3-0 Bayern! The Pole is on fire (again) and has completed his hat-trick inside of 23 minutes at Allianz Arena. Brutal reality check for Salzburg here.


Woeful Wober

Bayern get a second penalty with the Salzburg man having a shocker so far and Lewandowski scores it to make it 2-0 on the night, 3-1 on aggregate and he is also level with Sebastien Haller as top scorer this edition.


18' Robertson breaks up an inter chance

They're pushing to get back in this tie as Alexis Sanchez pushed the ball up the field finding Perisic. It seems like Perisic is the attacking target for Inter Milan so far but Andrew Robertson was there to break things up. It's Inter who are looking more settled early as their back five are holding Liverpool to only a 66 percent passing percentage in the final third.

March 8, 2022, 8:21 PM

13' Right idea for Bastoni

Already putting his long passing on display, Bastoni sprung Perisic on the counter. While the Croatian wasn't able to get a good touch, Inter will need to take advantage of coordinated counters to skip the Liverpool press as it's causing issues as they move forward.

March 8, 2022, 8:16 PM

Bayern from the spot!

Lewandowski's trickery wins the hosts a penalty and the chance to open the scoring which the Polish superstar does with aplomb. This could get tough for the Austrians who have given a good account of themselves so far during an open start. Bayern lead 1-0 on the night and 2-1 overall.


Just passing about so far

Denzel Dumfries has the only shot of the match so far but it was an easy save for Alisson. Each team is waiting for the other to make a mistake so they can strike but as Liverpool has the lead, they will need to push the pace sooner than later if nothing changes.

March 8, 2022, 8:10 PM

A reminder that the away goals rule no longer matters so if a match is level after 30 minutes of extra time, it will go straight to penalties instead of the team with more away goals scored advancing.

March 8, 2022, 8:04 PM


Here we go! Looking forward to seeing how both of these play out, but I will be keeping a particularly close eye on Bayern vs. Salzburg. Level as we get underway in Bavaria and it has been a wild start with Kohn already denying Lewandowski.


And we're off!

Inter Milan's comebck bid starts now.

March 8, 2022, 8:01 PM
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