Football
Bundesliga

Brilliant Bayern crush Leverkusen to close on Bundesliga title

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Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka celebrate a goal against Bayer Leverkusen.

Image credit: Getty Images

ByGraham Ruthven
06/06/2020 at 14:24 | Updated 06/06/2020 at 16:07

Bundesliga, BayArena: Bayer Leverkusen 2 (Alario 9’, Wirtz 89’) Fortuna Dusseldorf 4 (Coman 27’, Goretzka 42’, Gnabry 45’, Lewandowski 66’)

Bayern Munich took another step towards an eighth successive Bundesliga title, coming from behind to win 4-2 at Bayer Leverkusen.

The victory extends the Bavarians’ winning run to nine games, putting Hansi Flick’s side 10 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table. But what ended as another emphatic victory initially looked like being a real test.

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Lucas Alario gave Leverkusen, who were without the injured Kai Havertz, the lead after nine minutes, finishing underneath Manuel Neuer after originally being called offside. The VAR review showed that he had stayed onside, however, and the Argentinian got the hosts off to the best possible start.

Bayern Munich quickly settled into the match, though, with Kingsley Coman equalising after being sent through on goal by Leon Goretzka.

The visitors then took control with two goals late in the first half. Goretzka angled a low drive into the bottom corner of the net before Serge Gnabry added his name to the score sheet, racing on to a long ball over the top to lob Lukas Hradecky.

Robert Lewandowski continued his extraordinary scoring exploits for the season with a powerful header in the 66th minute.

Florian Wirtz came off the bench to become the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga, curling a wonderful finish past Neuer, but it was only consolation for Leverkusen as Bayern Munich marched on.

TALKING POINT - Injury conspiracy raises prospect of Havertz joining Bayern

Leverkusen were dealt a blow before kick-off when Havertz was ruled out through injury. The conspiracy theorists quickly joined the dots, speculating that Havertz had been left out of the team due to a deal already struck between Leverkusen and Bayern Munich to send the 20-year-old to the Allianz Arena next season. Whether or not there was anything in that (Leverkusen insist he is truly injured) it raises the prospect of Havertz joining the Bavarians. A frightening thought.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)

There were a number of standout performers for Bayern Munich, with David Alaba, Coman and Thomas Muller all playing well, but Goretzka deserves recognition for his role in this victory. The 25-year-old has drawn attention for his physical transformation in lockdown, but it’s his form which has been most eye-catching, notching a goal and an assist in the first half here. Goretzka has quickly become a key figure for the Bavarians.

PLAYER RATINGS

Bayer Leverkusen - Hradecky 5, Tapsoba 5, Bender 5, Dragovic 4, Amiri 4, Baumgartlinger 5, Aranguiz 5, Bailey 6, Diaby 4, Alario 6, Bellarabi 5. Subs - Demirbay 4, Wendell 5, Volland 4, Paulinho 5, Wirtz 7.

Bayern Munich - Neuer 5, Pavard 5, Boateng 6, Alaba 8, Davies 7, Coman 8, Kimmich 6, Goretzka 8, Gnabry 7, Muller 8, Lewandowski 7. Subs - Martinez 5, Perisic 5, Thiago 5, Hernandez 4.

KEY MOMENTS

9’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Bayern Munich: Confusion, but Bayer Leverkusen have the lead after 10 minutes! Alario was played through and finished underneath Neuer and into the back of the net. It was initially called offside, but the VAR review shows that Alario was in fact onside when the pass was played!

27’ How did that not go in?! That should have been the equaliser. Muller's clipped pass found Coman at the back post, his cushioned header found Lewandowski ON THE GROUND, but he couldn't generate the power to head into the empty net from a few yards out!

28’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Bayern Munich: That goal had been coming and Bayern Munich are back on level terms! Goretzka won the ball in the centre of the pitch, threaded it through to Coman and the Frenchman curled a cool finish into the far corner of the Leverkusen net!

42’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-2 Bayern Munich: The Bavarians have taken the lead before the break! Bayern Munich caught Leverkusen on the counter attack with Goretzka angling a low strike into the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box. Muller gets the assist!

45’ Gnabry, one-on-one... saved! That could and should have been a third goal for Bayern Munich, with Gnabry through on goal, but Hradecky makes the save from the German international. He did well, the goalkeeper!

45+1’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-3 Bayern Munich: That's just too easy! The ball was played over the top for Gnabry, he had the pace to get to the pass and then Hradecky made it easy for him, rushing out and giving the Bayern Munich man the chance to lob him.

66’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Bayern Munich: It's another goal for Lewandowski, his 44th goal of the season for Bayern Munich! Muller played the cross into the middle and the Polish striker arrived on the scene to power a header into the back of the net. Great finish.

89’ GOAL! Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich: It doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but Wirtz has scored his goal in the Bundesliga. The 17-year-old cut on to his left foot and curled very nice effort into the far corner beyond the reach of Neuer. Lovely finish, indeed.

KEY STATS

At 17 years and 43 days old, Florian Wirtz became the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history.

Thomas Muller has now made 20 assists in the Bundesliga this season, putting him just one assist behind Kevin de Bruyne's record of 21.

Robert Lewandowski has now scored 44 goals this season, equalling his best ever return for a single season.

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Related Topics
FootballBundesligaBayer 04 LeverkusenFC Bayern Munich
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