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Clinical Leverkusen punish Bayern's lack of punch

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Clinical Leverkusen punish Bayern's lack of punch

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:55 pm

FC Bayern fell 3-1 to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon. Leon Goretzka put the Bavarians ahead before half-time, but Leon Bailey and Kevin Volland turned the tide around the hour mark, Lucas Alario sealing Bayern's first defeat of the year in the closing stages.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Rafinha, Mats Hummels, Niklas Süle and David Alaba in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Goretzka featured in a twin holding role behind Thomas Müller, James and Kingsley Coman, with Robert Lewandowski as lone striker. Serge Gnabry, winter signing Alphonso Davies and Renato Sanches took over from Müller, James and Rafinha with a quarter-hour to go.

Bayern dominate

The 30,210 full house at the BayArena saw an entertaining first half with half-chances at either end in the opening stages. Goretzka saw an effort blocked before Leverkusen's Julian Brandt miscued a volley. Müller soon set up James, but the Colombian stumbled and Leverkusen cleared. Sven Bender blocked a Lewandowski effort as Bayern asserted their authority.

Leon Bailey fired a free-kick over the bar before Goretzka rewarded Bayern's dominance, converting a fine Müller cross. Lewandowski had the ball in the back of the net with the half-time whistle imminent, but the linesman's flag was raised for a narrowly offside position.

Ruthless Leverkusen punish Reds

The hosts upped the pressure after the restart. Coman fired wide before Leverkusen levelled the scores, Bailey netting a free-kick from 30 yards. Brandt drew a fine save from Ulreich before Peter Bosz' men took the lead, Kevin Volland converting a Karim Bellarabi cross to round off a counter.

Bayern went looking for a reply, but James saw a header blocked, with Leverkusen running down the clock and putting the game to bed with another counter, Alario converting a Brandt cross, and match official Tobias Stieler soon blew for full-time.

The result means Bayern have 42 points from 20 matches, seven short of Borussia Dortmund, who drew 1-1 away to Frankfurt. The German record champions will be back in action on Wednesday, when they travel to face Hertha Berlin in the DFB Cup last sixteen before entertaining Schalke in the Bundesliga next Saturday.

Live match report for by Greg Salmen
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