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Bayern Munich down Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 as Bundesliga restarts

Bayern down Leverkusen 3-1 as Bundesliga restarts
By Reuters

12/01/2018 at 22:41Updated 12/01/2018 at 23:35

Champions Bayern Munich survived some late pressure to win 3-1 and end Bayer Leverkusen's 12-game unbeaten league run as they stretched their lead at the top to 14 points on Friday when the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.

Javi Martinez and Franck Ribery scored either side of the break for Bayern before Kevin Volland pulled one back for the hosts to set up a frantic finale.

The visitors made sure of the three points when James Rodriguez curled a free kick into the top corner in the first minute of stoppage time to lift them to 44 points.

Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (L) celebrates scoring with his teammate Rafinha during the German First division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Bayern Munich on January 12, 2018 in Leverkusen, western Germany.

Bayern Munich's French midfielder Franck Ribery (L) celebrates scoring with his teammate Rafinha during the German First division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Bayern Munich on January 12, 2018 in Leverkusen, western Germany.Getty Images

Second-placed Schalke 04 are in action at RB Leipzig on Saturday while Leverkusen stay fourth on 28.

Leverkusen initially showed the fine form they have displayed over the past few months with a strong start that saw them press Bayern high and launch lightning quick counter attacks with speedy wingers Leon Bailey and Karim Bellarabi.

Dominik Kohr's 18th minute header narrowly missed the target but was their best chance before Bayern gradually took control.

The visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute when Martinez fired in from close range after Leverkusen failed to clear an Arturo Vidal header.

Bayern Munich's midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the German First division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Bayern Munich on January 12, 2018 in Leverkusen, western Germany.

Bayern Munich's midfielder James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring during the German First division Bundesliga football match Bayer Leverkusen vs FC Bayern Munich on January 12, 2018 in Leverkusen, western Germany.Getty Images

Ribery, battling for a contract extension, added the second goal on the hour, shaking off two players to score with a low shot past Bernd Leno before Volland's 70th minute deflected strike saw Leverkusen get back into the match.

However, Rodriguez's free kick dashed home hopes as Bayern won at Leverkusen for the first time since their 2013 treble-winning season.

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