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Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich: Champions now nine points ahead with thumping victory

The relentless goal machine that is Bayern Munich continued their Bundesliga assault with a thumping 4-2 comeback win against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday afternoon.

Lucas Alario actually gave Leverkusen the perfect start as he broke the offside trap and slotted past Manuel Neuer, with VAR eventually awarding his opening strike. Kingsley Coman equalised just before the half-hour mark as his rapid pace took him beyond the Bayer defence to stroke home.

The equaliser seemed to jolt Bayern into life as quickfire strikes from Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry seemingly put them in control. A Robert Lewandowski header after the break saw the Pole notch his 30th Bundesliga goal of the season before youngster Florian Wirtz reduced the arrears late on but it mattered not as Bayern claimed a thumping three points.

Champions pegged back

With two of the best footballing sides in the Bundesliga going head to head, it was no surprise to see the game open at an exciting pace. The hosts even took the lead within the opening ten minutes as Julian Baumgartlinger managed to prod the ball on towards Alario, who raced beyond the Bayern defence. With a cool finish, the Argentine poked the ball underneath Neuer. The offside flag originally appeared to deny him his 11th league goal of the season but VAR correctly awarded the strike.

Predictably, it was the Bundesliga’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski who had the next opportunity in the first-half. Leon Gortezka’s lofted pass reached Coman, who attempted to nod towards the unmarked Pole. However, he could not get enough power from just a few yards out, allowing Lukáš Hrádecký to collect.

Coman fires Bayern level

Hansi Flick’s men were level not long after though as Goretzka nicked the ball in midfield and played through Coman one-on-one. With Hradceky advancing, the Frenchman coolly converted into the far corner of the net with a low finish.

The visitors then got another before the break as Goretzka’s tremendous form continued. Breaking from a Bayer attack, Coman flicked the ball to Muller, who in turn passed to Goretzka. The midfielder took his time before pulling the ball across Hradecky and into the far corner.

Serge Gnabry could have notched another for Bayern as he was played through but he could not beat the keeper. He made no mistake only seconds later as Joshua Kimmich’s perfect long-ball picked out the former Arsenal man. With Hradecky sprinting out of his goal, a fantastic chip was all that was required for Gnabry’s 19th goal of the season.

Champions run riot

Peter Bosz must have been furious with his side’s showing as at the break, he made three changes, bringing on Kerem Demirbay, Wendell and Florian Wirtz. Chances continued to come for Bayern to make the scoreline even more emphatic though as Muller and Gnabry wasted opportunities.

Lewandowski did eventually get on the scoresheet as more sloppy play from the hosts saw Bayern break. Coman’s initial cross was blocked but fell to Muller, who produced a perfect centre towards his strike partner. He then scored with a powerful header for his 30th league goal of the campaign.

Despite cruising in the last few moments, Bayern were given another reality check by the hosts as they bookended the scoring. 17-year-old Wirtz was afforded far too much space in the penalty area to check back onto his left foot and curl a great effort beyond the grasp of Neuer to conclude what was another fantastic match and victory for the reigning champions.

Final Thoughts

Ahead of the game, it looked like it would be an entertaining and enthralling clash and that is exactly what happened. Both sides displayed great commitment to attacking football and it looked like Bayern would be in some trouble as Alario scored the opener. The champions reacted well though, with their considerable talents proving just too much for the hosts. Flick’s troops now look sure to lift the Bundesliga, meanwhile Bayer will hope to get back on form as they aim to secure a UEFA Champions League place.

Match Report

Bayer Leverkusen: Hradecky (6); Dragovic (6), Bender (6), Tapsoba (5); Amiri (5) (Wirtz (6), 45′), Aranguiz (6), Baumgartlinger (6) (Paulinho (6), 62′), Bellarabi (4) (Demirbay (6), 45′); Bailey (5) (Wendell (6), 45′), Alario (7) (Volland (N/A), 76′), Diaby (6).

Bayern Munich: Neuer (6); Davies (7) (Hernandez (N/A), 85′), Alaba (7), Boateng (6), Pavard (7), Goretzka (7) (Martinez (6), 74′), Kimmich (7); Gnabry (7) (Thiago (6), 74′), Muller (8), Coman (7) (Perisic (), 66′); Lewandowski ().

Goals: Alario (9′), Coman (27′), Goretzka (42′), Gnabry (45′), Lewandowski (66′) Wirtz (89′)

Referee: Manuel Grafe

Yellow Cards: Coman (8′), Amiri (30′), Lewandowski (32′ ), Bellarabi (35′), Muller (40′)

Red Cards: N/A

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