Bayern Munich got off to an intense start and they generated the first clear chance within the first ten minutes, when Robert Lewandowski failed to convert a close-range header. Benfica recovered their composure as the game progressed however and managed to contain Bayern in the final third. Even though the Bundesliga giants created some decent opportunities to score, Benfica could’ve scored in the 32nd minute when Darwin Núñez’s thunderous strike from inside the box was brilliantly denied by Manuel Neuer. Bayern then had a goal disallowed in the 43rd minute when Lewandowski sent the ball home with what appeared to be his chest, but VAR showed it was a handball from the Poland international and the goal was correctly ruled out to ensure it remained goalless at HT.
Bayern stepped it up a gear in the second half and Benjamin Pavard came close to opening the scoring just two minutes after the break with a shot that rattled the crossbar, which Thomas Müller fired home on the rebound before the goal was ruled out due to a previous offside. However, and just like in the first half, Benfica eventually settled and posed a decent threat in the final third – both Diogo Gonçalves and Lucas Veríssimo responded with clear opportunities that were either wide or denied by Neuer.
With both sides trading chances, it seemed a moment of magic was the only thing that would turn this game one way or the other, and Sané was responsible for accomplishing that. The former Manchester City standout put Bayern in front in the 70th minute with an excellent free-kick from 25-yards out that left Odysseas Vlachodimos helpless. Benfica melted after conceding the opener, and Bayern took advantage to score three goals in an astonishing five-minute span – which included an own-goal from Everton, a tap-in from close range scored by Lewandowski, and Sané’s double sealed the deal with five minutes of the 90 left to play.
While Bayern won this match fair and square, there’s no question the four-goal differential seemed excessive given how the match played out. With the win, Bayern are now close to securing a spot in the Round-of-16, while Benfica have seen their undefeated start come to an end in what was an unfortunate performance.