Ironically, before the top game against Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern Munich loses the lead in the table. In the 1-2 draw in Leverkusen, there were two bizarre penalty situations against Bayern.
Joshua Kimmich shook his head in frustration, Julian Nagelsmann quickly disappeared into the dressing room and Oliver Kahn took the final whistle with a petrified expression. Ironically, before the summit in the Bundesliga against Borussia Dortmund on April 1, FC Bayern lost its lead in the table. Due to two strange penalty decisions on Sunday, the Munich team had to admit a deserved 2-1 (1-0) defeat at Bayer Leverkusen and are now one point behind BVB, who had beaten 1 .FC Cologne had won.
The starting position for the big game against BVB, said captain Thomas Müller on DAZN, we naturally imagined differently, that’s logical. Unfortunately, against Leverkusen, his team didn’t show much of what made us strong in the last few games, criticized Müller: We have to ask ourselves a few questions. Coach Nagelsmann also spoke of a deserved defeat. In the duel with Dortmund, the coach now sees his team under pressure: We definitely have to win, otherwise it will be difficult to win the championship.
Kimmich, who will captain the national team in the absence of Manuel Neuer in the coming week, put Bayern ahead (22′). But the Argentinian Exequiel Palacios, the only current world champion in the Bundesliga, turned the game around with two penalties (56th/73rd). Curious: After both actions by Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano, referee Tobias Stieler initially gave the fouled Amine Adli a yellow card for alleged swallows. Both times he took the card back after studying the video, both times he apologized to Adli – and both times he pointed to the point belatedly.
Today was a prime example of perfect cooperation with the video referee, said Stieler afterwards: That was my lifesaver today. Müller did not want to criticize the decisions. We don’t need to talk about the referee, we have other issues.
Bayer, who are the only Bundesliga side in the Europa League alongside Munich in the quarter-finals of a European Cup competition, extended their series to seven competitive games without defeat and are now close to the European Cup places. We were very aggressive and won a lot of duels, defender Robert Andrich praised.
Coach Xabi Alonso, who had set the team up well, sent a message to the Bayern bosses. The former midfield strategist, who played for Bayern Munich from 2014 to 2017, is being watched in Munich as a possible coach of the future.
Curiously, it was Bayern who didn’t have an English week in their bones. Nagelsmann made two changes anyway: Thomas Müller and Leon Goretzka replaced Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala at the beginning. Alonso relied on the move he had made out of necessity during the game in Freiburg and ordered Robert Andrich to act as a libero in the middle of a back three.
Overall, however, Leverkusen’s line-up was not geared towards defense and the team didn’t play like that either. The hosts had the first chance when Kerem Demirbay cheekily took a corner kick directly onto goal, but Yann Sommer steered the ball over the crossbar with his fingertips (10′). Seven minutes later, the ex-national player tried again, this time Sommer had a little less trouble.
But Bayer was now in charge and before Bayern even had their first chance, there were more chances. And then, out of nowhere, the series champion struck ice cold: Leon Goretzka put it down for Kimmich, whose shot Odilon Kossounou deflected untenably under the bar. It was Kimmich’s fourth goal of the season. He only had more in the 2016/17 season when he was six.
The constant chanting of the fans, a shot, a goal – Bayern, was absolutely fitting. From now on, Bayern were more compact, got more control of the game and took the wind out of Leverkusen’s sails. However, without developing another opportunity before the break.
A triple change at the break indicated that Nagelsmann was still not really satisfied: In addition to Musiala and Gnabry, Kinsgley Coman also came. Thomas Müller, Sadio Mané and Joao Cancelo stayed in the dressing room. But the goal fell on the other side. Bayern now stepped up their offensive efforts, but Musiala narrowly missed after a great solo and one-two with Gnabry (69th). And then the next penalty followed. After falling behind, the guests pressed for the equaliser, but Bayer keeper Hradecky was in top form.