Liverpool vs Bayern Munich Match Report: Late stunner by Bayern settles seven-goal thriller

So ends the 2023 edition of the Singapore Festival of Football, and what a match to finish on. Bayern Munich edged out Liverpool in a seven-goal thriller, but in truth, either of them could have been walking home with the Singapore Trophy at the end.

49,983 cheering supporters were in attendance at the National Stadium and they got to witness the two football giants provide an action-packed match for fans to savour, with the last goal being the highlight — but more on that later. 

Liverpool named a strong starting eleven to begin the match, perhaps an indicator of what we will see when they face Chelsea in their Premier League opener. And with people barely getting settled into their seats, they got themselves into a very early lead.

Playing a one-two with Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo manages to evade the Bayern defence and go through on goal. With players rushing back to deal with him, he cracks a left-footed shot that beats Yann Sommer at his near post. Cheers erupt around the ground and it’s not even been two minutes on the clock yet.

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: Gakpo Goal
Cody Gakpo scoring the first goal

A minute later and Liverpool were again through. A through pass by Andrew Robertson to Jota slices through the Bayern backline again, who then squares the ball to free Mohamed Salah in the centre. Fortunately for Die Roten, Jota’s pass lacked power and allowed new signing Kim Min-jae to come across and deal with it before Salah could get a proper shot.

The early scares did not faze Bayern Munich. As the minutes went by, they controlled the possession and eked out a few chances at the Liverpool end. The biggest of which came from Benjamin Pavard, who incredibly missed his two headers in front of the goal during a corner.

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: Pavard Chance
Benjamin Pavard misses two chances right in front of goal

However, despite consolidating the majority of the possession, Bayern conceded again as Liverpool extended their lead.

After winning a corner, Robertson whips a perfect ball to newly-installed captain Virgil van Dijk to thump a powerful header past a rooted Sommer. Nobody was picking up the big centre-back’s run and they were duly punished. 

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: van Dijk Goal
New captain Virgil van Dijk powering a header to extend Liverpool’s lead

But the two-goal lead would not last long. Just over five minutes later, Bayern had the goal in the Liverpool net.

A long ball by Kim Min-jae catches the Liverpool defence out and Serge Gnabry cuts past Joel Matip to slot past Alisson Becker. A simple, but deadly move.

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: Serge GnabryGoal
Serge Gnabry gets one back for Bayern

And in the 42nd minute, it was all level. Bayern starts a quick counter which sees youngster Mathys Tel evade a Liverpool player and slide a ball into Gnabry on the wing. Despite the presence of covering Liverpool defenders, the German is able to pick out national team colleague Leroy Sane to sweep it into the net unmarked.

Letting a two-goal lead slip, especially so close to half-time, will surely frustrate manager Jürgen Klopp, but it was no less than what Bayern Munich deserved.

Sensing a need to start the second half brightly like the first, Liverpool made just three changes at the break — one of which was a precaution for Alexis Mac Allister who sustained a knock at the end of the half — as Klopp elected to keep a strong line-up.

One of those substitutes, Darwin Núñez, was behind a big chance early in the half. From a free-kick set-piece, Robertson’s cross was met by Núñez, but the number 9 could only nod it wide.

Bayern themselves also crafted their own dangerous play. Substitute Kingsley Coman gets on the end of a lobbed pass from Gnabry and requires a big stop from Alisson to stop his snap shot from finding the back of the net.

It was end-to-end from both teams, with big chances created whenever one of them advanced up the field. And it was Liverpool who once again regained the lead.

Luis Diaz pings the ball across to Salah and then sprints up the field to meet his pass, dancing past Josip Stanišić to strike the ball past Sven Ulreich into the bottom corner — a sensational goal by the Colombian who started the play.

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: Luis Diaz Goal
Luis Diaz regains the lead for Liverpool in the second half

The goal seemed to stir both teams as big chances were created soon after.

Ryan Gravenberch couldn’t find a way past Alisson, while Bobby Clark could only shoot straight at Ulreich after being found unmarked in the six-yard area.

LC-LVBM-120 Bobby Clark Chance
Bobby Clark could only direct his effort straight at Sven Ulreich

With the many chances in open-play, it was a set-piece that eventually got Bayern level. Arijon Ibrahimović floats a lovely ball into the box which finds Matthijs de Ligt. His effort is saved by Alisson, but the keeper could only parry it into the path of Stanišić who strokes the rebound in.

At 3-3, both teams were desperate to score the winning goal, with Liverpool having the biggest chance to do so coming from Núñez, but he couldn’t sort his feet out in time and allowed Ulreich to come across and save his shot.

But if there ever was a way to win the game, it would have been this.

Into stoppage time, a long ball finds Frans Krätzig in behind the Liverpool defence and he cracks a stunning half-volley at the edge of the box which finds its way into the top corner. The 20-year-old could hardly believe it himself.

LC-LVBM-120 Krätzig Goal
Frans Krätzig’s volley catches everyone in the stadium by surprise

And there was time for one more chance. Bayern tried to settle the game but Alisson produced two exceptional saves to keep the scoreline tight.

Alas, the game remained at 3-4 and Bayern Munich were able to lift the Singapore Trophy in front of their fans at the away end, who were vocal throughout the match.

Liverpool vs Bayern Munich 2023: Trophy Lift
Bayern Munich lift the Singapore Trophy on the last day of the Singapore Festival of Football

Bayern will be delighted by the fightback produced, particularly in the later stages. Their youngsters were key performers during the match and remained unfazed against Liverpool’s senior players. It will be interesting to see how they will be ahead of the upcoming Bundesliga season.

Die Roten will still be looking to add to this squad before the season starts. Should they sign Harry Kane as the rumours suggest, the squad will have decent options in each area, making them a formidable contender in both the domestic league and the Champions League.

Liverpool, on the other hand, will need reinforcements. Bayern’s four goals add up to a total of ten conceded so far in the Red’s pre-season campaign. A worrying sign for Jürgen Klopp would be how Bayern were continuously exploiting Liverpool’s right side. 

Three out of the four goals came from the right side of the defence, two of them from simple long balls into the area — it is concerning how easy all of them happened. With Trent Alexander-Arnold’s new inverted role, it is now imperative that they find solutions in the transfer market, whether by getting a new number 6, centre-back, or both.

However, Klopp will be pleased with the attack. They are well-stocked in that area and all of them have the ability to cause any team trouble. Ben Doak will be especially exciting to follow considering his performances in this match and against Leicester.

Though this match ends Liverpool and Bayern Munich’s time in Singapore, both teams still have games to play before they start their season.

Liverpool’s last preseason match will be against Darmstadt 98 on 7 August, while Bayern will play Monaco on 7 August as well. 

This marks the end of the Singapore Festival of Football 2023, we hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of the matches. Here’s to seeing you again for next year’s preseason matches! You can continue to follow us for updates on our Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok pages.

Photos by Leo Chia and Lau Lup Yun of the DANAMIC Team.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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