Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen: Bailey double inflicts first defeat on Flick

By Sports Desk November 30, 2019

Bayern Munich spurned a host of chances as Leon Bailey's double earned 10-man Bayer Leverkusen a 2-1 win and inflicted a first defeat on Hansi Flick.

The champions had won each of their four matches without conceding since Flick was named interim boss following Niko Kovac's sacking, but they came unstuck in Saturday's Bundesliga clash at the Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller scored his first goal in 21 league matches to cancel out Bailey's early opener, only for the Leverkusen winger to restore his side's advantage 115 seconds later.

Despite Jonathan Tah being dismissed nine minutes from time, a mixture of poor finishing and impressive goalkeeping from Lukas Hradecky left Bayern – who rattled the woodwork late on through Leon Goretzka and an unusually wasteful Robert Lewandowski – frustrated as they lost further ground in the title race.

Serge Gnabry hit the post after being played in by an incisive David Alaba pass and, 45 seconds later, Bailey charged through at the other end before firing a shot across Manuel Neuer to open the scoring.

Some heroic defending from Wendell denied Lewandowski a simple tap-in but Bayern were soon on level terms, Muller's shot deflecting off Sven Bender on its way past Lukas Hradecky.

The visitors instantly hit the front again through Bailey, though. The winger played a one-two with Kevin Volland, raced away from Javi Martinez and slotted past Neuer to double his tally.

Gnabry squandered a glorious chance to draw Bayern level late in the first half as he squared the ball instead of shooting when one-on-one, with Lars Bender blocking the pass.

Neuer was required early in the second period to keep out Nadiem Amiri's close-range shot, but it was Flick's men who were enjoying the lion's share of chances.

Lewandowski was wayward from 10 yards and Hradecky produced a double save to thwart the Poland international and Muller in quick succession.

Goretzka and Lewandowski both sent headers crashing against the woodwork, either side of Tah being shown a red card for bringing down substitute Philippe Coutinho, but there was to be no equaliser for the champions. 

What does it mean? Reality check for Bayern

Emphatic back-to-back Bundesliga victories for Bayern had them firmly back in the title race, with talk of caretaker boss Flick potentially landing the job on a full-time basis.

This defeat is very much a reality check for the Bavarian club, however, leaving them fourth in the table and now three points behind RB Leipzig, who beat Paderborn 3-2 earlier on Saturday, while if Borussia Monchengladbach defeat Freiburg on Sunday they will be four off the pace.

Bayern battered by Bailey

Bailey had gone six matches without a goal prior to this trip to Bavaria but looked at his scintillating best in the first half.

Bayern were unable to contain the winger, who put his pace to good use and twice kept his cool when through on goal.

Lewandowski kept quiet

Lewandowski scored at least once in 11 consecutive Bundesliga matches, but he has now fired blanks in back-to-back league matches.

The Poland international missed a one-on-one in the first half, though it would not have counted as he was offside, and looked off the pace thereafter - bar a brilliant late header that was unfortunate to hit the bar.

What's next?

Bayern return to action next Saturday with a trip to high-flying Borussia Monchengladbach, while Leverkusen host Schalke on the same day.

Related items

  • Eric Dier hit with four-match ban after fan altercation Eric Dier hit with four-match ban after fan altercation

    Eric Dier has been hit with a four-game ban and a £40,000 fine after his altercation with a fan following Tottenham's FA Cup loss to Norwich City in March.

    The England midfielder climbed into the stands after Spurs' penalty shoot-out loss having been angered by the actions of a supporter at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    Stewards intervened to separate Dier from the individual, with manager Jose Mourinho saying afterwards that his player had reacted to insults towards his younger brother.

    Dier was charged with misconduct by the Football Association (FA) in April.

    He denied his actions had been threatening, but an independent regulatory commission found otherwise, with the FA confirming his sanction on Wednesday.

    "Eric Dier has been suspended for four matches with immediate effect, fined £40,000 and warned as to his future conduct following a breach of FA Rule E3," read an FA statement.

    "The Tottenham Hotspur FC player admitted that his actions at the conclusion of a fixture against Norwich City FC in the FA Cup on March 4, 2020 were improper but denied that they were also threatening.

    "An independent regulatory commission subsequently found Eric Dier's actions to be threatening."

    The suspension comes into immediate effect, meaning Dier will miss all but one of Spurs' remaining five Premier League games, which includes the derby against Arsenal on Sunday.

     

  • Rumour Has It: Mbappe, Havertz and Camavinga waiting on Madrid before contract talks Rumour Has It: Mbappe, Havertz and Camavinga waiting on Madrid before contract talks

    Real Madrid are planning to make a splash in the transfer market.

    Reports claim three of Europe's finest – Kylian Mbappe, Kai Havertz and Eduardo Camavinga – are waiting to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Could it happen?

     

    TOP STORY – TRIO WAITING ON LOS BLANCOS

    Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga are holding off contract talks as they wait for Real Madrid, according to the frontpage of Wednesday's edition of Marca.

    Mbappe is highly coveted by Zinedine Zidane and Madrid, Havertz has been linked to Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, while Camavinga is reportedly a Madrid target.

    However, the trio may have to wait beyond this year to make the move to the Spanish capital, though Sport Bild claims Havertz has asked to leave Leverkusen before 2020-21.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Sport reports Barcelona still want to sign Inter star Lautaro Martinez, despite his release clause expiring.

    Borussia Dortmund have issued an ultimatum to United. Sport Bild claims United have been told if they want to bid for Jadon Sancho, the deal must be done by August 10. Sancho has been heavily tipped to move to Old Trafford.

    Arsenal want to sign Lyon's Moussa Dembele if they lose Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, reports Foot Mercato. Lacazette has been linked to Atletico Madrid and Inter, while Barca, PSG and other clubs are reportedly interested in Aubameyang.

    Inter are not David Alaba's first choice should he leave Bayern, says Sport Bild. Alaba has been linked to Madrid, Barca, PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City.

    Sevilla are leading Juventus and Inter in the pursuit of Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, says the Express.

    - According to the Express, Tottenham are confident of signing Kurt Zouma from London rivals Chelsea at the end of the season.

    - Could Inter be about to hijack Napoli's bid for Lille forward Victor Osimhen? The Nigeria international has been tipped to join Napoli in a €80million deal, however, Le10Sport says Inter are making a last-ditch attempt to sign Osimhen.

    - Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri has handed in a transfer request as he looks to reunite with Antonio Conte at Inter, reports Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schira.

    Milan are trying to hijack Inter's move for Brescia star Sandro Tonali, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. Inter have been favourites to land Tonali but Ralf Rangnick – who is tipped to become Milan's head coach in 2020-21 – has reportedly made the Italy international his top target.

  • Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic still box office as San Siro produces Hollywood twist Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic still box office as San Siro produces Hollywood twist

    The touching pre-match tribute to Ennio Morricone, the great Italian film composer who died, aged 91, on Monday, fitted nicely for what was about to unfold at San Siro.

    Possibly for the last time in their decorated careers, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – two of the most destructive gunslingers in modern European football – were ready to do battle as Milan and Juventus lined up.

    More so than perhaps any other players of their generation, Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's on-field deeds have frequently carried cinematic qualities. From the rippling physiques and inimitable preening, to their seamless combination of brute force and artistry, both men scream Hollywood.

    Characters who polarise the audience were always the best pegs for Morricone's irresistibly lush arrangements and Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic are good, bad and ugly to many all at the same time. If Lionel Messi's lack of overt edge leaves you cold, these two have always been your guys. Your antiheroes.

    While Ronaldo and Messi existed unrelentingly in one another's orbit for the best part of a decade, the fleeting and often explosive addition of Ibrahimovic to the equation has usually left fans wanting more.

    It is churlish to bemoan the lack of spectators given the ongoing gravity of the global situation but some occasions miss a live audience more than others. This potentially final installment of a flashpoint rivalry was one of those.

    Although this match eventually made a case of its own, they were never likely to top the stupendous 2013 World Cup qualification play-off, where the pair scored all the goals over two legs that concluded with Portugal eliminating Sweden on away goals. Morricone could have gone to town on that one. Drama, tension, plot-twists, elation, despair. It had everything.

    Almost seven years on, each player is past the peak they revelled in back then, even if Ronaldo's absurd goal scoring numbers make a compelling counter-argument.

    The passage of time necessitates refinement. Today they are wily, all-knowing stars in complete control and happy to exist on the margins, rather than all-action leading men – more Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino than his Man With No Name pomp.

    This was their lot during a brooding first half. Ronaldo cut inside from the left win to thump a trademark dipping drive just beyond the far post. He was more frequently seen remonstrating with the officials, most notably when Ibrahimovic's penchant for martial arts was on display and his boot grazed the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's ear as he attacked a right-win set piece.

    Ibrahimovic twice brought routine saves from Wojciech Szczesny before breaking clear in stoppage time. 1-0? No, cut! Offside, and the deadlock remained.

    Tearing the length of the field to score goal-of-the-season contenders might no longer be Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic's game, but Adrien Rabiot happily made that his business in the 47th minute.

    The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder barged Franck Kessie out of the way and nutmegged Theo Hernandez to cross the halfway line on the right wing. Rabiot then opened his elegant stride to breeze beyond Alessio Romagnoli and brought things to a thrilling crescendo. As Milan's defence scattered he unfurled a majestic left-footed strike into the top-right corner.

    A befuddled Rossoneri were struggling to regain composure – none too effectively in the case of Andrea Conti and Simon Kjaer, who got in each other's way defending Juan Cuadrado's raking ball.

    And there he was. Ronaldo, finger on the trigger. Goal 26 of the Serie A campaign was a formality and Juve were going 10 points clear of a faltering Lazio.

    Only, one man had other ideas. It was time for an audacious third-act twist almost too implausible for any composition.

    The VAR playback of the 62nd-minute scene did no favours for Leonardo Bonucci. Handball. Penalty. Of course Ibrahimovic stepped up. Of course he scored.

    There he was again four minutes later, that strapping back onto which you could probably project movies facing the Juventus goal. Ibrahimovic's penalty box presence was as booming as his lay-off was deft. Kessie was on hand for a redemptive finish, his earlier humiliation at the hands of Rabiot forgotten.

    Ibrahimovic then left the chaos, his part played perfectly. But Milan were not done as Ronaldo's compatriot Rafael Leao ensured 0-2 had become 3-2 in the space of five berserk minutes.

    If he'd been tasked with soundtracking this undulating drama, Morricone might have been tearing up his score at this point. At the very least, the keen Roma fan would have been disgruntled at the unlikely lifeline handed to Lazio's ailing Scudetto bid.

    A roof-falling-in error from Alex Sandro allowed Ante Rebic to complete a 4-2 triumph. Six goals, the perfect number.

    At full-time, Ibrahimovic strode around, a picture of satisfaction. Topless, of course. Just as Ronaldo, beaten and wounded, would have done had roles been reversed.

    Perhaps the veteran Swede will survive the behind-the-scenes ructions at Milan to return next season. Is another sequel with the intoxicating sound and colour of the tifosi as opposed to the eerie emptiness of now too much to ask?

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.