EThere’s this story, which has been told in ever new variations over the past few years: An ambitious Bundesliga club, sometimes Borussia Dortmund, sometimes RB Leipzig, often wins, fans dream of the title, but at some point FC Bayern Munich will come and – gladly in a direct duel – it’s clear who the hegemon of the Bundesliga is. On Saturday evening Bayer Leverkusen welcomed Bayern as championship leaders and held a 1-1 draw until stoppage time. Until Robert Lewandowski scored the winning goal to make it 1: 2. Bayern had struck again.
“What a year we played,” said the Pole, who was awarded on Thursday by the world association Fifa, on Sky. “We always want more. And I hope that we will continue to score like this next year. ”His team had“ the game under control ”. “A big compliment for what we did as a team,” he said. “That was a sensational year.”
Conceding a late goal was bitter for Bayer 04. They were the clearly better team in the first half hour and took the lead early with a nice trick. Six days earlier against TSG Hoffenheim, Leon Bailey had scored after a clever corner variation, now they pretended to try a copy of this goal, which Bayern must have studied in their game preparation.
The first phase of the corner looked just like the coup the week before, but then Nadiem Amiri hit the ball in the back of the Munich penalty area, where Patrik Schick lurked and volleyed to make it 1-0 (14th). Another gem in the large collection of wonderful seasonal goals that Bayer Leverkusen now has. And the Champions League winner was 1-0 down for the sixth time in a row.
It didn’t work out for Bayern, who had enormous problems under constant pressure from the Werkself to get something like a structured play structure. After half an hour, Kingsley Coman, who was so in shape, had to be replaced with an injury, Leroy Sané came into the game, but the Munich team did not succeed in organizing their own pressure phase for a long time. The enormous energy they played with Bayer 04 took their breath away. But it is probably not possible to maintain the intensity of the Leverkusen initial phase twice for 45 minutes.
The closer the break got, the more small mistakes crept in, and they also made a large chain of mistakes: The otherwise strong Edmond Tapsoba played a bad pass, the ball landed on Thomas Müller via Sané, on whose cross the Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky and defender Jonathan Tah got in such a way that no one got the ball and Lewandowski, meters in front of goal, had no trouble hitting the empty goal with his head.
That noticeably unsettled Leverkusen, Lewandowski had another good chance to head after a free kick from Serge Gnabry, this time he missed the goal (45th). Bayer had to survive a few moments of uncertainty, but recovered. The game was open after the break, swaying back and forth. Hradecky kept a dangerous shot from Gnabry strong (67th), a minute later Joshua Kimmich made his comeback after a meniscus operation. The international came together with Jamal Musiala, who replaced Sané. Apparently, coach Hansi Flick was very dissatisfied with the performance of the attacker, who only came on after half an hour.
Musiala livened up the game, hit the post (78th), Bayern looked a bit more dangerous after the break. But the winning goal of world footballer Lewandowski with an oblique shot from 14 meters (90 + 3) was happy. Over Christmas, the Leverkusen-based team could not maintain their lead in the standings, and when it comes down to it, FC Bayern is obviously a size too big this year. But that doesn’t mean that the Rhinelander can’t keep up in the long run. They lost this close game. But Bayern are vulnerable, that was also evident that evening. “That’s damn annoying. But life goes on, we played a strong year and at least today on a par with Bayern. We lost undeservedly, ”said Bayer goalkeeper Hradecky.