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Franck Ribery late winner sees Bayern Munich close gap on Borussia Dortmund

Ribery late winner sees Bayern Munich close gap on Dortmund
By Eurosport

19/12/2018 at 19:11Updated 19/12/2018 at 22:54

Bundesliga, Allianz Arena - Bayern Munich 1 (Ribery 83') RB Leipzig 0

Franck Ribery netted a late winner to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 win over RB Leipzig, closing the gap on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund to just six points.

Dortmund’s unbeaten start to the league season was brought to an end on Tuesday night as they suffered defeat to Fortuna Dusseldorf, giving Bayern the chance to make up some of the difference. For 83 minutes, though, that looked like being a chance they would spurn.

RB Leipzig had chances to win the match themselves, with Dayot Upamecano hitting the crossbar with a header. Robert Lewandowski also struck the woodwork, but it was the visitors who looked to have the edge.

It was substitute Ribery who ultimately made the difference, though, finding the back of the net after a panicked clearance from Upamecano. Both teams finished with 10 men as Renato Sanches and Stefan Ilsanker were shown late red cards, but it was Bayern Munich who finishing counting the points.

Franck Ribery celebrates

Franck Ribery celebratesReuters

TALKING POINT - When Bayern Munich need a hero, one man continues to stand up

Serge Gnabry had started the match well, maybe even as Bayern Munich’s best player. So his withdrawal due to injury in the first half was a blow. In his place came on Ribery. The Frenchman struggled to get to grips with the game for the most part, but when Bayern needed someone to make the difference he was there. Ribery is 35 now. He is being phased out of the team. Even still, he delivers.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)

This wasn’t a sparkling Bayern Munich performance. In fact, for much of the match they were second best, struggling to create in the final third of the pitch. It was only late on that the Bavarians started to turn the screw. They could have found themselves behind by that stage, and so they had Niklas Sule to thank for keeping RB Leipzig out, giving Bayern Munich the platform for the win. The centre back was excellent throughout.

Niklas Sule

Niklas SuleReuters

PLAYER RATINGS

Bayern Munich - Neuer 6, Kimmich 7, Sule 8, Hummels 6, Alaba 6, Thiago 6, Goretzka 5, Gnabry 7, Muller 6, Coman 5, Lewandowski 6. Subs - Ribery 7, Martinez 5, Sanches 5.

RB Leipzig - Gulacsi 7, Klostermann 5, Konate 7, Upamecano 6, Halstenberg 6, Demme 6, Laimer 6, Kampl 7, Bruma 7, Werner 7, Poulsen 7. Subs - Ilsanker 4, Augustin 5, Cunha 5.

KEY MOMENTS

24’ How didn't he score? Lewandowski was clean through. Gnabry slotted him through, Lewandowski beats Gulacsi, but his shot comes off the inside of the post and behind. It's a corner, so was it a save?

25’ Gnabry is down! Uh oh. This could be a problem for Bayern Munich. Gnabry looks to have pulled up and is sat down on the Allianz Arena turf. Could this be his game over? Yup, Ribery is replacing him.

36’ Off the crossbar! Inches away from being the opener for RB Leipzig. Upamecano jumped higher than anyone else to get on the end of a cross and smashes a header against the woodwork.

79’ Massive chance! That should have been a goal. Kimmich arrived on the scene to meet a Lewandowski header across goal, but his powerful header was clawed out by Gulacsi. Wow.

83’ GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 RB Leipzig: Finally, the breakthrough! And it's Bayern Munich who have made it! Upamecano's clearance was a poor one, it bounced off Sanches and the ball fell to Ribery. The French winger then cut his shot back to find the corner of the net.

85’ Poulsen heads wide! That was a glorious opportunity for RB Leipzig to hit back immediately, but after climbing highest Poulsen puts his header wide of the target. He should have at least tested Neuer.

92’ SENT OFF! RB Leipzig will finish this match with 10 men. That was a rash challenge from Ilsanker on Thiago. That was born out of frustration, but still doesn't excuse it. Red card.

Stefan Ilsanker is sent off

Stefan Ilsanker is sent offReuters

93’ SECOND YELLOW! And Sanches has also been sent off for Bayern Munich after getting involved in the aftermath of the tackle from Ilsanker. He raised his hands to the Austrian.

KEY STATS

Franck Ribery has scored at least two goals in 12 consecutive Bundesliga seasons.

Ralf Rangnick has lost his last five matches in all competitions as a manager against Bayern Munich.

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