The Bundesliga resumed on Friday after a month-long winter break, with SC Freiburg hosting FC Bayern Munich. The temperature was cold throughout the match and the snow-covered field was not the best playing surface. Those conditions might partly explain, along with it being the first league match in a month, why the game was uncharacteristically dull for a German league encounter. But the visiting Bavarians took all three points, 2-1, in a closely contested match that saw Bayern hold 75% of possession but only outshoot the home side 13-11.
Three points were on the line, which could have solidified the hosts’ mid-table status, or doubled the visitors’ lead at the top of the table to six points for a day, over Leipzig, and Bayern came through, although RB Leipzig did win Saturday, beating Eintracht Frankfurt to closely track Munich in the title race.
It was Freiburg who took the early lead through Janik Haberer’s early, right-footed strike, assisted by the ever-useful Vincenzo Grifo.
It was not until the 35th minute that Carlo Ancelotti’s Bavarian giants had a chance to respond. But they then equalized via a left-footed Robert Lewandowski shot from a Douglas Costa corner.
In added time at the second half, the Polish international striker found the net again, stopping the ball with his chest and finishing with a superb second touch with his left foot.
Augenblick: That game-winning goal was without a doubt the moment of the match. It turned one potential point into three for Bayern Munich. That could at the end of the season prove to be a title-deciding difference.(It starts 35 seconds into the video.)
Man of the Match: Robert Lewandowski’s brace decided the game. He was at the right place at the right time twice. There is not much more one can ask of a center forward.
Key Stats: The website whoscored.com, puts Bayern’s possession at roughly 75% and their pass- completion percentage at 86%, to Freiburg’s 61%. This means that the hosts had to chase the ball for the majority of the time, which eventually becomes tiring.
That is largely the “secret” to Bayern Munich’s success, but it is difficult to stop. Freiburg did well to contain it early on, but they were unable to finish the job.
Talking Points: Christian Streich’s SC Freiburg were not expected to get anything from this game. Given that fact, Friday’s match could prove to be a morale boost for them. They need to make sure to complete their target of forty points as soon as they can, and see if something better is possible.
For Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich, this was just another ugly, but necessary three points on their way to the title.
SC Freiburg: Schwolow – Stenzel (83. Kübler), Gulde, Torrejón, Günter – Philipp, Höfler, Frantz, Grifo – Haberer (80. Bulut), Niederlechner (70. Petersen)
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Lahm, Martínez, Hummels, Alaba (71. Bernat) – Alonso, Vidal (55. Kimmich) – Robben, Müller, Costa (71. Ribéry) – Lewandowski
Header image courtesy of Bayern Munich USA
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