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Bayern extends winning streak, reaches Champs League last 16

Robert Lewandowski scored again to help Bayern Munich reach the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-1 win over Salzburg on Wednesday, the defending champion’s record-extending 15th straight win in the competition.

Lewandowski gave Bayern the lead in the 43rd minute with his 71st Champions League goal, matching Spanish forward Raúl’s tally. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (131) and Lionel Messi (118) have more.

Bayern’s 20-year-old American defender Chris Richards started for his Champions League debut, taking the place of the injured Lucas Hernández on the left. Spanish midfielder Marc Roca also made his first European start for Bayern. But the former Espanyol midfielder, who had made only one Bundesliga appearance since joining in the offseason, was sent off in the 66th minute with his second yellow card for a late challenge on Zlatko Junuzović.

Salzburg's goalkeeper Cican Stankovic falls into net during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)

The game was preceded by a minute’s silence in the largely empty stadium for Argentina great Diego Maradona, who died earlier Wednesday. No fans were at the game due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Austrian champions took the game to their hosts but were unable to capitalize on the spaces and chances they created.

Dominik Szoboszlai could have scored on a counterattack in the 35th minute but fired well over when he only had goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to beat.

Bayern's Marc Roca walks off the pitch after seeing a red card during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)

Salzburg was to rue its lack of efficiency when Lewandowski broke the deadlock. The Poland striker set up Thomas Müller with his heel, and was in the right place to fire in the rebound after Cican Stanković saved his teammate’s effort.

Bayern needed some luck for the second goal. Leon Goretzka did well to win the ball and Kingsley Coman cut past a defender before his shot was deflected in by Salzburg defender Maximilian Wöber in the 52nd.

Leroy Sané headed in Bayern’s third goal two minutes after Roca’s debut was cut short, but lost the ball to allow Rasmus Kristensen cross for Mergim Berisha’s consolation in the 73rd.

Bayern's Marc Roca walks off the pitch after seeing a red card during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)

Luka Sučić missed another good chance for the visitors 10 minutes later.

Bayern has 12 points from four games in Group A, seven more than Atlético Madrid, which was held 0-0 by Lokomotiv Moscow. Bayern next visits Atlético on Dec. 1 before completing the group at home against Lokomotiv on Dec. 9.

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Bayern's Leroy Sane, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides third goal during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)

Salzburg's Mergim Berisha, center, takes a free kick during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)

Salzburg's Maximilian Woeber, right, challenges Bayern's Robert Lewandowski during the Champions League Group A soccer match between Bayern Munich and RB Salzburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Czech Republic, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. (AP PhotoMatthias Schrader)