Barcelona flop Coutinho and Lewandowski fire Bayern to top of table

By AFP: Sunday, September 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Bayern Munich's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho reacts after a penalty during the German First division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich and 1 FC Cologne in Munich, on September 21, 2019. [AFP]

Philippe Coutinho’s first Bayern Munich goal and a brace from Robert Lewandowski helped the German champions go top of the Bundesliga with a 4-0 thrashing of 10-man Cologne yesterday.

Poland star striker Lewandowski put Bayern ahead with just 150 seconds gone at the Allianz Arena after Joshua Kimmich split the Cologne defence before then doubling the hosts’ lead with a header from a corner at the start of the season half to take his league tally to nine in five games.

Coutinho, on loan from Barcelona, claimed his first Bundesliga goal on the hour by converting a penalty at the second attempt, after Lewandowski gave the Brazilian the chance despite being on a hat-trick.

“It was a spontaneous decision, we didn’t talk about it before the game,” Lewandowski said of giving Coutinho the spot-kick.

“It was important for him here at the Allianz Arena, for the future and his confidence. He is a great player and we must all help him.”

Kingsley Ehizibue had been shown a straight red card just before the penalty for bringing down Coutinho in the area when he was one-on-one with Cologne stopper Timo Horn.

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Coutinho capped a superb display by setting up Ivan Perisic to compound Cologne’s misery by slotting Bayern’s fourth on 73 minutes.

Bayern are top for the first time this season after the win, one point ahead of Freiburg, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, who can replace them with a win at Werder Bremen.

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