Bayern Munich snatch late winner in Leverkusen


Bayern Munich are within 5 points of winning the 2012/13 Bundesliga championship with a late 2-1 victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday.

Mario Gomez has given the away side a 1-0 lead at half-time before Simon Rolfes equalised in the second half. A late Bastian Schweinsteiger free kick was deflected in by Philipp Wollscheid to secure an eleventh win in twelve games away from the Allianz Arena.

Jupp Heynckes made five changes to the team that lost at home to Arsenal in the Champions League midweek. Bastian Schweinsteiger had been suspended on Wednesday but returned to play a more advanced role in place of Toni Kroos at the Bay Arena. Jerome Boateng had also been suspended for the second leg, replacing Daniel van Buyten today. Rafinha, Xherdan Shaqiri and Mario Gomez were the other players promoted to the first team today, in place of Philipp Lahm, Thomas Müller and Mario Mandzukic respectively.

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Bastian Schweinsteiger dragged the first good opportunity of the match wide, and was later inches away inside the 6 yard box from connecting with Arjen Robbens effort that went narrowly wide.

Gonzalo Castro cleared Jerome Boateng’s header off the line in a game that had limited clear-cut opportunites.

It was a moment of magic from Mario Gomez that gave the visitors the lead in the 37th minute. The German striker controlled Shaqiri’s pacey pass before flicking the ball over Daniel Carvajal before turning inside the retreating Sebastian Boenisch and placing the ball past Bernd Leno into the corner.

Andre Schürrle barely had a touch of the ball in the first half and was replaced by Sidney Sam at the start of the second as Bayer Leverkusen looked more promising at the restart.

Bayer got their reward for their effort on 75 minutes. Castro’s outswinging corner found a team mate on a rare occasion, met by the head of Sebastian Boenisch who headed the ball down towards the back post where Simon Rolfes was ghosting in to tap home from close range. This was only the second goal conceded away from the Allianz Arena in what was their twelfth away Bundesliga match of the season.

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The tied score wouldn’t last for Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia’s side though. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s free kick inside the final 4 minutes beat all of his team mates but deflected off Philipp Wollscheid and into his own net.

Bayern Munich saw the game out to maintain their 20-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with just eight games remaining. A victory versus Hamburg in a fortnight’s time, matched by Borussia Dortmund failing to win in Stuttgart would see the Bavarians become the first club to win the Bundesliga in March.



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