Bayern Munich’s undefeated run since the resumption of Bundesliga 2019-20 continued on Saturday as they bounced from an early goal deficit to beat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at an empty BayArena.
Leverkusen looked the better side initially after the opening whistle and were quick to break the deadlock when Lucas Alario sent Julian Baumgartlinger’s through-ball into Bayern’s net in the ninth minute.
Though the visitors took some time to recover from the early setback, the equaliser from Kingsley Coman through Leon Goretzka’s deep pass in the 27th minute turned the game on its head and Bayern did not look back since.
The defending Bundesliga champions took the lead for the first time in the 42nd minute when Goretzka finished off a fast break with a low shot from 18 meters. Within minutes, Serge Gnabry extended the lead further with a lob as Bayern headed into the tunnel at the break with a 3-1 lead.
After the break, Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz rang the changes and used all three substitutes.
The home team tried to make an impression but failed to tame the tourists. Bayern got better of their counterparts again in the 66th minute when veteran Thomas Muller provided his 20th assist of the season for Robert Lewandowski to net his 30th goal in 2019-20.
However, the hosts managed to restore some pride in the closing moments of the game with substitute Florian Wirtz reducing the arrears to 4-2. In the process, Writz became Bundesliga’s youngest ever scorer at the age of 17 years and 34 days.
“We made too many mistakes today. You won’t win a match against Bayern by committing so many mistakes. You also should not concede two goals in the dying seconds of the first half. Bayern took all three points deservedly,” rued Bosz afterwards, according to Xinhua news agency.
“Leverkusen is an offensively-minded squad. We needed some time to gain a foothold into the match but the opener was a wake-up call for us. It shows the mentality of my team that they turned things around,” said Bayern head coach Hansi Flick.
With the win, leaders Bayern Munich extend their advantage atop the standings to ten points, while Leverkusen stay in fifth place.
Elsewhere, Christian Strohdiek’s late equalizer helped bottom side Paderborn snatch a point from ten-men Leipzig following a 1-1 draw.
Mainz returned to winning ways after beating rivals Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 thanks to goals from Moussa Niakhate and Kunde Malong, while ten-men Hoffenheim played out a 2-2 draw with relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf.
With IANS inputs