Kingsley Coman scored late to salvage a 1-1 draw for Bayern Munich at Salzburg on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 meeting.
Coman, who scored Bayern’s winner in the 2020 final, equalized in the last minute to prevent the Bavarian powerhouse from slumping to its second consecutive defeat after its 4-2 loss to promoted Bochum in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Bayern, which had come from behind to win 6-2 on its previous trip to Salzburg in the group stage last season, was forced to do it again after Junior Chukwubuike Adamu’s 21st-minute opener for the Austrian champions.
“It wasn’t enough in the first half. Salzburg came up with dangerous counterattacks. We controlled it better in the second half,” said Bayern midfielder Joshua Kimmich. “The team realized we wanted to win the game. That we can is not in question. We have to bring that on the field in every game. We’re not in a flow where everything just happens.”
In the night’s other game, Liverpool beat Inter Milan 2-0 in Italy to take a comfortable lead back to Anfield for the second leg.
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Salzburg was playing in the Champions League knockout phase for the first time, and the home team showed no sign of fear against the six-time European champion.
Adamu was only playing due to an injury to Noah Okafor, who went off in the 12th. The 20-year-old Adamu eluded Niklas Süle and curled his shot inside the right post after a long ball from Mohamed Camara found Karim Adeyemi on the right wing.
Adeyemi, reportedly a transfer target for Bayern’s Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund, surged past Lucas Hernández before American midfielder Brenden Aaronson helped the ball onto Adamu, who swept it in.
Sven Ulreich, in Bayern’s goal for the injured Manuel Neuer, did well to save an effort from Brenden Aaronson minutes later.
The home side had a penalty appeal before the break, after Benjamin Pavard’s attempted clearance caught Adeyemi, too. A VAR check decided in favor of the Bayern defender.
Bayern pushed hard after the interval, pegging the home players back and restricting their counterattacking opportunities.
Coman drew a good save from Philipp Köhn in the 73rd, and the Salzburg keeper did even better to deny Leroy Sané and gather the rebound ahead of the Bayern forward minutes later.
Pavard produced a vital block to deny Adamu a second goal in the 81st, and the home fans were to rue to the miss when Coman beat Köhn at the near post to fire in the equalizer from Pavard’s hopeful cross after Thomas Müller helped it on.
“In the end it feels like a defeat. But 1-1 is something to be proud of,” Adeyemi said. “We’re ready for the next game.”
Bayern hosts Salzburg for the second leg on March 8.
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