Rostov recorded their first UEFA Champions League group stage win with a memorable Group D success at home to Bayern München.
Beaten 5-0 in Munich on their debut in the competition proper back in September, Rostov were up against it again when Douglas Costa capitalised on a loose ball inside their penalty area to fire Bayern into a 35th-minute lead.
Either side of half-time, however, the match turned on its head as first Sardar Azmoun cut out on a misplaced Costa pass before showing great composure to cut back and slot beyond Sven Ulreich.
And then, when Jérôme Boateng tripped Christian Noboa, Dmitri Poloz converted from the penalty spot to give Rostov the lead. Bayern’s response was swift, Juan Bernat lashing high into the net, but the already qualified visitors had no response to Noboa’s beautiful curling free-kick midway through the second period.
Key player: Christian Noboa (Rostov)
The Ecuador midfielder charged forward to win the penalty that enabled Rostov to move 2-1 ahead five minutes into the second half, before scoring a delightful free-kick that prefaced a famous victory.
Danilants spot on with tactics
Rostov set up in a defensive 5-3-2 formation, yet the two attackers were a sign of Ivan Daniliants’ intention to attack hard on the counter. The Russian side defended valiantly to snuff out the Bayern attack for most of the 90 minutes, and attacked bravely whenever given the chance.
Rotation not to blame for Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti made plenty of changes, but it was mistakes from first-team regulars that cost Bayern tonight. Costa’s misjudged pass and Boateng’s mistimed challenge were pivotal to Rostov’s first two goals, while Thiago Alcántara conceded the free-kick in a dangerous position that resulted in Noboa’s winner.
Jordan Maciel (@UEFAcomJordanM)
Like many, I predicted a comfortable win for Bayern tonight. Rostov did superbly to pull off the victory, yet Ancelotti’s men were in the driving seat at 1-0 and caused their own problems. First place in Group D is surely out of reach now and the pressure on Bayern will only increase after this latest setback.