Never-say-die Bayern consolidated their grip on first place in the Bundesliga and maintained their record start to the league season thanks to a last-gasp but ultimately deserved victory over Hamburg on Saturday, a morale-boosting success in the build-up to the midweek Champions League trip to Atlético Madrid. The struggling home side put up terrific resistance but it was finally broken with two minutes left when Joshua Kimmich netted the only goal of the game.
A fifth straight league win takes the Bavarians up to the maximum 15 points, three clear of Dortmund in second and five clear of Köln in third, although the Billy Goats can cut the gap to two on Sunday. Carlo Ancelotti’s team are back in action on Wednesday night in the mouth-watering trip to the Spanish capital.
Mindful of the midweek showdown in Madrid, FCB supremo Carlo Ancelotti made four changes to the team that cruised to victory over Hertha Berlin last Saturday, with Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Renato Sanches and Kingsley Coman starting the game in place of Franck Ribery, Xabi Alonso, Arturo Vidal and Jerome Boateng.Few first-half chances
Despite the gloom and angst at Hamburg after a poor start with just a single point from four games, the 57,000 full house at the Volksparkstadion were in boisterous mood and saw the first half-chance of the match fall to their team, but Nabil Bahoui’s weak shot was straight at Neuer.
Under-fire Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia was certainly up for the occasion and was ordered by referee Felix Zwayer to calm down after a vigorous early protest, before David Alaba drew a first save from home keeper Rene Adler with a header.
However, the northerners were fighting like lions and chances proved very thin on the ground for the league leaders, with a Robert Lewandowski header wide of the target the only real opening in the rest of the first period.Late, late show
There was bad news for FCB on 51 minutes when Hummels, who received treatment in first-half stoppage time for a knock to the knee, indicated he could no longer continue, with Boateng taking the centre-half’s place.
The visitors kicked on now and Adler made a fine reaction save from Lewandowski on 57 minutes, Javi Martinez saw his shot deflected wide, and Lewandowski had a good shout for a penalty waved aside.
Ancelotti sent on Ribery and Vidal for Coman and Sanches after an hour in an effort to raise the momentum, but Adler was equal to Alaba’s curling 70th-minute free-kick, Kimmich’s shot was blocked and Lewandowski stumbled with the goal at his mercy. The lively Alaba whipped a centre across the face of goal, before Adler beat out a fierce Kimmich drive and then saved superbly from Thomas Müller.
It was frustrating for the champions but just as it seemed Hamburg would hold out, Thiago produced a stunning pass to release Ribery, whose driven cross was met at the back stick by Kimmich who put away the 88th-minute winner.Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris HamleyHamburger SV - FC Bayern 0-0 (H-T: 0-0)
Adler - Sakai, Djourou, Spahic, Douglas Santos - Ekdal, Jung - N. Müller, Holtby, Bahoui (Kostic 67) – Wood (Gregoritsch 84)
Neuer - Lahm, Hummels (Boateng 52), Javi Martinez, Alaba - Thiago - Kimmich, Renato Sanches (Vidal 61) - T. Müller, Lewandowski, Coman (Ribery 61)
Ulreich, Rafinha, Robben, Xabi Alonso
0-1 Kimmich (88)