Domingo, 16 Diciembre, 2018

Bayern beats Leverkusen 3-1 as winter break ends

SOCCER-GERMANY-B04-BAY James Rodriguez celebrates after scoring Bayern Munich's third goal against Bayer Leverkusen | Reuters
Montrelle Montesinos | 13 Enero, 2018, 09:25

The Bundesliga returns to action after the annual winter break, with league-leading Bayern Munich traveling to Bayer Leverkusen on Friday.

"I have said everything there is to say and won't say anything more", replied Heynckes when asked about his future in the midst of Bayern's hunt for a new head coach for 2018/19.

The entertaining first half was initially end-to-end, with the two sides having fairly equal shares of the ball, but Bayern gradually gained control and identified Leverkusen's main weaknesses; their susceptibility at set-pieces and Karim Bellarabi's reluctance to track back.

Javi Martinez (L) of Bayern Munich vies with Kai Havertz of Leverkusen during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, Germany, Jan. 12, 2018. Leverkusen should be ready for that, because while dreaming of such upsets is one thing, actually achieving them is something else. Arturo Vidal is second on Bayern with five goals but speculation over the winter break had the Chilean midfielder making a potential move to Chelsea, reuniting him with Antonio Conte.

Lucas Alario was inches away soon after when the Argentina striker saw his shot go narrowly wide of the top corner from outside the area, but the Bavarians had the last laugh when Rodríguez sent a stunning curling effort into the top corner from a free-kick, after he'd been fouled by Lars Bender outside the area.

"They put a lot of pressure on us". But a loss here could also see them fall quite a ways down the table, as they're in a cluster of 10 teams separated by just seven points, stretching all the way down to 11-place Hannover 96.

Ribery then made sure of the three points on 59 minutes in emphatic style. The 20-year-old has scored six goals and assisted on four others.

"Leverkusen is a young and very talented team which played very offensive".

"Both have been taking part in team training and we will only increase their training schedule on Monday, anything else would be negligent", said Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes in Thursday's press conference.

However, Rodriguez's free kick dashed home hopes as Bayern won at Leverkusen for the first time since their 2013 treble-winning season.