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Reds rewarded for fightback

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Reds rewarded for fightback

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:45 pm

FC Bayern beat VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. Daniel Didavi handed the home side the lead early in the contest, Bayern dominating proceedings in the first half but lacking inspiration. The champions were awarded a penalty early after the restart, but Arjen Robben missed from the spot. Sandro Wagner levelled the scores after the hour mark, Lewandowski converting Bayern's second penalty in the closing stages to seal three points.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Rafinha, Niklas Süle, Javi Martínez and Juan Bernat in a back four. Sebastian Rudy filled the holding role behind Robben, Thiago, Corentin Tolisso and Franck Ribéry, with Wagner as lone striker.

Jupp Heynckes comprehensively shuffled his deck, making eight changes to the XI that saw off Schalke last weekend. Ulreich, Ribéry and Robben were the only survivors.

Early shock

The 30,000 capacity crowd at the Volkswagen Arena saw the visitors signal their intent from the off. An early Bernat effort was blocked before Wolfsburg's Robin Knoche cleared Martínez' scissor-kick. But the Wolves were ravenous on the break, Dadavi handing them the lead when he connected with a Yunus Malli cross to head home.

Bayern were looking for a reply, netminder Koen Casteels saving a deflected Robben free-kick. The champions struggled against the increasingly disciplined home side, their attacks proving uninspired. Rudy volleyed the ball over the bar from 20 yards, but presentable chances proved few and far between after the first quarter-hour. Shortly before the interval Ribéry teed up his fellow winger Robben, who hit the crossbar, but the linesman had already raised his flag for offside, and Bayern were trailing at half-time.

Robben misses, Wagner levels

Whatever Jupp Heynckes told his men during the break, it worked. The Bavarians played much more vertically now, with the Wolves increasingly tame, parking the bus. Bayern were soon awarded a penalty when Renato Steffen upended Thiago in the box, but Casteels directed Robben's spot-kick to the post.

Heynckes played his first card on the hour, Müller taking over from Thiago, who made his comeback after a long injury spell. It paid off almost immediately, Müller gaining possession in Bayern's half and teeing up Robben. The Dutchman charged down the right, his pinpoint cross finding Wagner, who headed past Casteels and into the far corner of the net. Alaba came on for Ribéry now, Wagner seeing another header sail over the bar before Robert Lewandowski replaced Wagner.

Lewy rewards Reds from the spot

Wolfsburg's Jeffrey Bruma blocked a Robben effort before the latter miscued a curler from 20 yards. Heynckes will have felt vindicated with his decisions with the final whistle imminent. Gian-Luca Itter fouled Robben in the box, match official Sascha Stegemann pointing to the spot for a second time on Saturday. Sub Lewandowski stepped up and proved a cool customer, overcoming Casteels to hand Bayern the next victory on their way to a sixth German championship title on the bounce.

The result means Bayern have 59 points from 23 matches. The Reds are back in actionin just three days, when they face Besiktas in the Champions League last sixteen before entertaining Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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