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Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich. German Bundesliga.

BayArena.

Bayer Leverkusen 2

  • L Alario (9th minute)
  • F Wirtz (89th minute)

Bayern Munich 4

  • K Coman (27th minute)
  • L Goretzka (42nd minute)
  • S Gnabry (45th minute)
  • R Lewandowski (66th minute)

Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich: Leaders bounce back to close on Bundesliga title

Report as Bayern Munich recover from early setback to move 10 clear at top of Bundesliga and to within six points of title

bayern
Image: Bayern Munich moved to within two wins of the Bundesliga title with victory at Leverkusen

Bayern Munich moved to within two wins of the Bundesliga title with an imperious 4-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.

Leverkusen were without talisman Kai Havertz due to injury but threatened to derail Bayern's title charge when Lucas Alario poked the hosts ahead inside nine minutes - the first goal Bayern had conceded away from home in eight hours of Bundesliga football.

But the early setback only aggravated Bayern as they roared into an unassailable lead before the break thanks to goals from Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry.

Robert Lewandowski's 30th Bundesliga goal of the season - his 44th in all competitions - put Bayern out of sight midway through the second half and, with the exception of Florian Wirtz's late consolation, it was a formality for Hansi Flick's side from there.

Bayern's 11th consecutive victory sees them lead Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig by 10 and 11 points respectively with five games remaining, while Leverkusen stay fifth after missing the chance to climb into the top four.

Player ratings

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky (5), Dragovic (5), Bender (6), Tapsoba (6), Amiri (5), Aranguiz (5), Baumgartlinger (5), Bellarabi (4), Bailey (5), Alario (6), Diaby (4).

Subs: Demirbay (5), Wendell (5), Paulinho (5), Volland (5), Wirtz (6).

Bayern Munich: Neuer (7), Pavard (7), Boateng (7), Alaba (7), Davies (8), Coman (8), Kimmich (7), Goretzka (8), Gnabry (7), Muller (8), Lewandowski (7).
Subs: Thiago (5), Martinez (5), Perisic (5), Hernandez (5).

Man of the Match: Leon Goretzka

How Bayern edged towards Bundesliga title

It was quite a collapse on an afternoon that had started so brightly for Bayer, with Alario racing in behind and producing a fine near-post finish past Manuel Neuer. Initially ruled out for offside, VAR stepped in and the goal was awarded, but the hosts failure to capitalise.

coman
Image: Kingsley Coman equalised for Bayern shortly before the half hour

Bayern were able to grow into the match and assert their authority, pushing forward and eventually getting the goal their play deserved in the 27th minute, when Coman was sent scampering through and coolly curled past Lukas Hradecky.

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Bayern were bossing the play in a first half that saw Lewandowski and Thomas Muller pick up bookings which will rule them out of their next league clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Team news

  • With Kai Havertz out injured, Leverkusen made four changes from the win over Freiburg as Tapsoba, Alario, Bellarabi and Diaby returned.
  • Bayern made one change from the 5-0 thrashing of Fortuna Dusseldorf as Jerome Boateng replaced Lucas Hernandez at centre-back.

But the veteran strike duo did keep their cool as Bayern took the lead, breaking from a Leverkusen corner at speed and playing some incisive football before Goretzka fired home a superb left-footed shot from the edge of the box.

Gnabry was prevented from adding to that 42nd minute goal when thwarted one-on-one by Hradecky, but the former Arsenal man would not be denied for long. Leverkusen were all too easily opened up by Joshua Kimmich's ball over the top, with Gnabry coolly lifting the ball over Hradecky on the stroke of half-time.

gnabry
Image: Serge Gnabry scored Bayern's third goal on an afternoon when players wore 'Black Lives Matter' armbands

Bosz's men returned from the half-time break with renewed energy, but Bayern were willing to play on the break and Muller went close to scoring.

A mixture of good defending and poor decision-making was costing Leverkusen as the visitors pushed for a fourth that would come in the 66th minute. Muller swung over a lovely cross and Lewandowski met it with a powerful header that beat Hradecky to put Bayern in cruise control for the remainder of the match.

Lewandowski's 44th goal of the season in all competitions ended the tie as a
contest
Image: Lewandowski's 44th goal of the season in all competitions ended the tie as a contest

But just as the contest was winding down, a lovely cut back and curling finish by teenager Wirtz reduced the deficit and lit things up temporarily, mere consolation for Leverkusen on an afternoon that belonged to Bayern.

What's next?

Bayern host Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday at 5.30pm before Bayer Leverkusen travel to Schalke on Sunday at 5pm.

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