Bayern Munich went into their home clash Wednesday with RB Leipzig even on points and only ahead of their visitors on goal difference, on top of the Bundesliga table.
With this being the last round of matches before the winter break, the league lead during the end of the calendar year was on the line.
After not the best of starts, Bayern quickly took control of the match. In the 17th minute, a Robert Lewandowski shot hit the post and the ball bounced to the feet of Thiago Alcántara. The Spaniard converted, to give his team the lead with a calm right-footed shot from close range.
Just eight minutes later, Thiago found the unmarked Xabi Alonso, who virtually passed it into the back of the net with his right foot, to double the Bavarians’ lead.
At the half-hour mark, RBL midfielder Emil Forsberg made a bad tackle from behind on Philipp Lahm and the referee had no choice, but to send the Swede off.
Just before halftime, Leipzig keeper Peter Gulácsi fouled Douglas Costa in the penalty area and Lewandowski converted the spot kick that followed.
The second half had no major highlights to offer and the game ended 3-0.
Augenblick: The tackle by Forsberg on Lahm and the subsequent reduction of Leipzig to ten men, made any comeback by the away team virtually impossible. (That scene starts 41 seconds into the video).
Man of the Match: Thiago scored the opening goal, had the assist on the second one and was key for Bayern Munich in the playmaking position, where he does not usually play. Carlo Ancelotti’s surprising move to put him there instead of Thomas Müller turned out to be a masterstroke.
Key Stats: The match statistics at the website whoscored.com show the dominance of both Bayern in general and Thiago in particular. He had 120 touches of the ball and a pass completion percentage of 86%. The team as a whole had 24 shots, to RB Leipzig’s four.
Talking Points: The victory puts Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich three points ahead of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s RB Leipzig. The home team outplayed, outthought and outfought its opponents.
One must put that all into perspective, given that this young promoted team has overachieved so far this season and they are still in second place, within touching distance of the Bavarian giants.
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Lahm (C), Martínez, Hummels, Alaba (67. Bernat) – Thiago, Alonso, Vidal (75. Kimmich) – Robben (46. Ribéry), Lewandowski, Costa
RB Leipzig: Gulacsi – Bernardo, Ilsanker, Orban(C), Halstenberg – Keita (46. Kaiser), Demme – Sabitzer (82. Burke), Forsberg – Werner (59. Selke), Poulsen
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