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Off-colour Bayern fall to Leipzig

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Off-colour Bayern fall to Leipzig

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:25 pm

Below-par FC Bayern fell 2-1 to RB Leipzig on Sunday evening. Sandro Wagner opened the scoring early in the first half, but the home side upped the pressure, Naby Keita scoring a deserved equaliser before the break. Timo Werner put the hosts in front before the hour mark. Bayern regained their composure and camped out in their opponents' half in the last quarter-hour but failed to make their late pressure count.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich between the sticks and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels and David Alaba in a back four. Sebastian Rudy anchored a midfield featuring Thomas Müller, Arturo Vidal, James and Juan Bernat, with Wagner as lone striker.

Jupp Heynckes shuffled his deck, making six changes to the XI that beat Besiktas on Wednesday. Kimmich and Süle replaced Rafinha and Jérôme Boateng in defence, with Rudy, James, Bernat and Wagner taking over from Javi Martínez, Thiago, Franck Ribéry and Robert Lewandowski.

Reds score but ease off

The 42,558 full house in Leipzig saw both sides signal their intent from the off, but stray passing both spoiled promising moves and caused danger at either end. Bernat soon charged down the left, but Leipzig's Ibrahima Konaté caught up with him and defused the situation. Ulreich was called into action at the other end when he beat Bruma to a stray Kimmich pass. Bayern scored the opener when James' pinpoint cross found the unmarked Wagner, the winter signing nodding past netminder Peter Gulacsi.

But the hosts went looking for the equaliser and enjoyed a spell in command now. Bayern had to thank Ulreich for preserving the lead when he made two saves to deny Yussuf Poulsen, who beat the rearguard to a long ball. A Bruma free-kick forced Bayern's shot-stopper into another strong intervention before Ulreich deflected a Werner effort from a tight angle, Süle acrobatically scrambling off the goal-line.

A goal was coming and arrived when Süle shone with another strong block, but Naby Keita crashed the rebound past Ulreich. Kevin Kampl miscued a free-kick from 20 yards, Ulreich beating Keita to the ball before match official Marco Fritz blew for half-time.

No reward for late pressure

The sides felt each other out in the first ten minutes of the second half. The day turned sour when Timo Werner latched onto a long ball, slotting past Ulreich. Werner hit the side-netting from a tight angle before Hummels warmed Gulacsi's gloves. Heynckes played his first card, Franck Ribéry taking over from Bernat. A Kimmich cross found Vidal in the box, but the Chilean nodded over.

Robert Lewandowski and Rafinha came on for James and Kimmich. Hummels miscued a header as Bayern upped the ante, the hosts increasingly parking the bus. Ilsanker blocked a Vidal cross before a Wagner effort was deflected wide, and Fritz blew for full-time.

The result means Bayern have 66 points from 27 matches. A large number of Bayern pros will be away on national team duty during the international break before the Reds return to action on 31 March, when they entertain Borussia Dortmund in a mouth-watering heavyweight clash.

Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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