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ROBERT Lewandowski outlined his importance to Bayern Munich as his early penalty helped Carlo Ancelotti’s side to a 3-0 victory over 10-man Anderlecht in their Champions League Group B opener.

Having been publicly criticised by Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge following his comments regarding the Bundesliga champions’ transfer policy, Lewandowski wasted no time in making an impact when he drew a clumsy foul from Sven Kums 11 minutes in.

Though the initial contact may well have been outside of the area, a penalty was awarded – and Kums was given his marching orders – with Lewandowski making no mistake from 12 yards.

Bayern were far from at their best once more, with the visitors squandering two excellent opportunities to restore parity either side of half-time.

But they finally clicked into gear just after the hour, Thiago Alcantara tucking home from Joshua Kimmich’s pinpoint cross.

An argument between Lewandowski and Arjen Robben and the touchline antics of Franck Ribery threatened to overshadow Bayern’s return to form, but Kimmich’s late effort ensured a routine victory ended on a high note.

The result is a strong indication of how Celtic’s group will shape up over the coming weeks with the Scottish champions and the Belgians expected to slug it out for third place.

Meanwhile, Manchester United made a winning return to the Champions League with a 3-0 home victory over Basel.

Marouane Fellaini, who came on for the injured Paul Pogba in the first half, rose highest to head United ahead from an Ashley Young cross with 10 minutes to go to the break.

Romelu Lukaku strengthened their grip on the game by converting from among a group of players in the box from a Daley Blind cross following a short corner.

Marcus Rashford fired in his side’s third from a Fellaini low cross seven minutes after coming on. 

Chelsea got their campaign off in style with a 6-0 thrashing of FC Qarabag at Stamford Bridge.