Bayern Munich vs Bayer Leverkusen: An Analysis

A win in Saturday’s final game of the day between Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen for the home side (Bayern) would see them move from 4th place to 1st if a win of 4 or more goals is achieved. With Robert Lewandowski coming into this game off the back of scoring 4 goals in 14 minutes in a midweek Champions League match against Red Star Belgrade, the odds of him shooting on target were highly likely in this game.


With the first 8 minutes of the game being dominated by the home side, a quick disposition of the ball from Leverkusen midfielder Moussa Diaby led to a quick counterattack with a through-ball from Kevin Volland to Leon Bailey which left him with a one-on-one with the keeper. A calm but pinpoint finish on Bailey’s weaker foot into the bottom left corner put the away side in the lead...one nil Bayer Leverkusen inside the first 10 minutes.


Although the home side were one goal down, both sides continued to play with quality and tenacity, with Bayer Leverkusen’s attacking midfielders continuing to shoot on target against the home side’s keeper Manuel Neuer. While Bayern Munich continued to create chances, they failed to be clinical and efficient when shooting on target. However, with consistent pressure, Sven Bender’s poor clearance resulted in a pass from Leon Goretzka to Thomas Müller who struck the ball into the bottom right corner with his left foot making the score-line 1-1 before the 35th minute.


Just minutes after the restart, a clearance from Leverkusen midfielder Charles Aránguizled to a one-two pass from Bailey to Volland, back to Bailey who capitalized on the use of his pace to drive past Javi Martinez in order to strike the ball into the far-right corner of the goal. A strong finish to the first half saw Leverkusen end the half with two goals compared to Bayern’s one goal.


Half time stats

Goals - Bayern (1) vs Leverkusen (2)

Shots - Bayern (7) vs Leverkusen (7)

Shots on target - Bayern (2) vs Leverkusen (5)

Passes - Bayern (356) vs Leverkusen (141)

Possession - Bayern (72%) vs Leverkusen (28%)


Second half

Aside from two chances from Bayern Munich compared to one chance from the away side in the opening 15 minutes of the half, the second half began with a fairly quiet start. Regardless of dominating possession and creating the majority of the game’s chances, it was as though the Bayern Munich attacking players decided to play this match without their shooting boots.


The game continued with Bayern creating more chances. But, 17 minutes after the restart the scorer of both Leverkusen goals (Leon Bailey) was forced to retire from the game in the 64rd minute due to suffering an injury to the knee. With the game drifting slowly away from the home side, their best chance came from a headed attempt from Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka who headed the ball onto the post. But, his attempt was not accurate enough to level the score-line.


A potentially huge moment in the 81st minute came with the ball being played for Bayern attacker, Phillipe Coutinho to run onto. One of Leverkusen’s best players in the second half in centre back Jonathan Tah tripped Coutinho, bringing him down to the turf just inches from the penalty area and subsequently leading to a straight red card. Despite losing a player in the final 10 minutes of the game, Bayer Leverkusen continued maintained a firm line of defence.


Furthermore, Bayern Munich continued to mount pressure onto their opponents. In from Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski saw his late headed effort strike the underside of the crossbar. However, it wasn’t enough to level the score-line and Bayer Leverkusen managed to keep the lead until the final whistle. With the home side starting the game with pressure and confidence, the away side respected their opponents and didn’t sit back. Instead they endeavored to fight for the win, and two goals in the first half from Leon Bailey was enough to secure the win. The goals from Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski in previous weeks was enough to help his side to dominate games from the very first kick of the ball. But, in this game the Bayer Leverkusen defence did enough to keep him quiet which resulted in Bayern’s first loss under their new manager Hans-Dieter Flick, which has kept them in 4th place with 24 points. Whereas, the win for Leverkusen has taken them up to 7th place with 22 points.


Full time stats

Goals - Bayern (1) vs Leverkusen (2)

Total shots - Bayern (24) vs Leverkusen (11)

Shots on target - Bayern (11) vs Leverkusen (7)

Passes - Bayern (705) vs Leverkusen (244)

Possession - Bayern (75) vs Leverkusen (25)

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