Wolfsburg 2-3 Bayern Munich: Musiala double as champions extend Bundesliga lead

By Sports Desk April 17, 2021

Bayern Munich brushed off the disappointment of a midweek Champions League exit to stretch their lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-2 win against Wolfsburg.

Two first-half goals from Jamal Musiala - which came either side of an Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting tap-in - put Hansi Flick's side in control at the Volkswagen Arena.

Despite Wout Weghorst and Maximilian Philipp getting on the scoresheet for the hosts, Bayern were able to see out the win.

It extends their advantage over second-placed RB Leipzig in the title race to seven points, with five rounds of games remaining.

The two sides here traded early chances in an exciting start, with Choupo-Moting stinging the palms of Koen Casteels from distance before Manuel Neuer brilliantly kept out a Ridle Baku effort that was dribbling goalwards.

An open game was always going to suit the visitors more, and they took the lead with just 15 minutes gone as Musiala collected a loose ball in the box and dribbled inside before a powerful effort was deflected home.

If Wolfsburg goalkeeper Casteels was maybe unlucky with that one, he had no excuse for Bayern's second, which came about when he dropped a seemingly harmless David Alaba cross at the feet of Choupo-Moting, who couldn't miss from close range.

It looked like Bayern might rue two misses from Leroy Sane in the aftermath of that goal, particularly as Weghorst finished calmly into the far corner after Wolfsburg pinched possession high up the pitch.

But Musiala quickly restored the two-goal advantage with a brilliant, looping header back across goal from Thomas Muller's right-wing cross to make it 3-1 at half-time.

The 18-year-old almost had a hat-trick shortly after the restart but could not get enough power on an effort that was cleared off the line by Maxence Lacroix.

Wolfsburg made the most of that escape by almost immediately moving within a goal of Bayern, Philipp sidefooting home a delicious cross from the left-hand side.

The hosts would have hoped to use that goal as a springboard to a rewarding comeback, but they were unable to build sustained pressure across the remaining half-hour as the league leaders held on for an important three points.

What does it mean? Bayern in the hotseat

Bayern were bitterly disappointed to see the defence of their Champions League title ended by PSG in midweek but it now looks increasingly likely that they will add a familiar piece of silverware to their collection this season.

The absence of any European distractions will surely only aid the champions in a title race they are already controlling.

Musiala gives Flick regrets

As he reflects on that Champions League exit at the hands of PSG, Bayern boss Flick might wonder whether he should have made more use of Musiala as he looked to make up for the loss of Robert Lewandowski's goal threat.

The teenager only featured in the second leg - and even then as a late substitute - but showed his nose for goal here in scoring twice from three shots to make it three goals in his last two Bundesliga outings.

Casteels blunders

Any Bundesliga team hoping to get one over on Bayern simply cannot afford to give goals away, but that is exactly what Wolfsburg's goalkeeper did here to help the visitors into a two-goal lead.

He was otherwise solid, ending the match with five saves to his name, but his erratic first-half display ultimately proved the difference between the sides.

What's next?

Bayern are back in Bundesliga action on Tuesday when they face Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena. Wolfsburg, meanwhile, will continue their Champions League 2021-22 chase at home to mid-table Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Related items

  • Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new three-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

    Solskjaer's United finished as runners-up to Manchester City in the 2020-21 Premier League season and reached the final of the Europa League, losing 11-10 on penalties to Villarreal.

    United confirmed the Norwegian's new deal contained an option for a further year.

    Solskjaer said: "Everyone knows the feeling I have for this club, and I am delighted to have signed this new contract. It is an exciting time for Manchester United, we have built a squad with a good balance of youth and experienced players that are hungry for success.

    "I have a fantastic coaching team around me, and we are all ready to take that next step on our journey. Manchester United wants to be winning the biggest and best trophies and that's what we are all striving for. We have improved, both on and off the pitch, and that will continue over the coming seasons.

    "I can't wait to get out in front of a packed Old Trafford and get this campaign started."

    Former United striker Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho on a caretaker basis in December 2018, after the Portuguese boss was sacked, and was handed the job on a permanent basis three months later.

    He committed to a three-year deal at the time and has now signed up to stay at Old Trafford.

    There is change afoot at the club, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward due to leave at the end of the year.

    Woodward said Solskjaer had justified the club showing their faith in him with the extension.

    "Ole and his staff have worked tirelessly putting the foundations in place for long-term success on the pitch," Woodward said.

    "The results of that have become increasingly visible over the past two seasons and we are all looking forward to seeing this exciting team develop further in the years ahead.

    "What is especially pleasing is the way this progress has been achieved with a blend of young, homegrown talent and top-class recruits, playing attacking football in the best traditions of Manchester United. We are more confident than ever that, under Ole's leadership, we are heading in the right direction."

    Solskjaer has yet to win a trophy as boss of the Red Devils, or reach a major domestic cup final.

    However, United have finished third and second in the league in his first two full seasons at the helm, guaranteeing lucrative Champions League income.

    They finished five points ahead of third-placed Liverpool last term, losing just six of 38 domestic league games, albeit that was not enough to be competitive with City, who took the title by 12 points.

    Their 2020-21 win percentage of 55.3 in the Premier League was the second highest United have achieved in a season since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013, beaten only by the 65.8 per cent they managed under Mourinho when finishing second in the 2017-18 campaign.

    The 73 league goals they scored was the highest United have tallied in the post-Ferguson era, with the team's 12 away wins in the top flight also the most they have mustered since the long-serving Scot stepped aside.

    In fact, United have not lost away from Old Trafford in the Premier League since going down 2-0 to Liverpool in January 2020 – that is a run of 26 matches.

  • BREAKING NEWS: Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract BREAKING NEWS: Solskjaer signs new Man Utd contract

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new three-year contract, the Premier League club announced on Saturday.

  • Tokyo Olympics: Medvedev hits out at 'joke' changeover times as Djokovic coasts through Tokyo Olympics: Medvedev hits out at 'joke' changeover times as Djokovic coasts through

    Daniil Medvedev says it is a "joke" that players do not have longer at changeovers but will not "cry about the heat" after coming through his Tokyo 2020 opener, while Novak Djokovic started at a canter as he looks to add the next step of a Golden Slam.

    Representing the Russian Olympic Committee, Medvedev appeared fatigued at times in his 6-4 7-6 (10-8) triumph over Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik at the Ariake Tennis Park.

    The conditions in the Japanese capital were sweltering on Saturday but Novak Djokovic was able to keep his cool in coasting to a 6-2 6-2 win against Hugo Dellien.

    MEDVEDEV CALLS FOR MORE TIME

    Medvedev, who saved three of four break points and now has a 3-0 head-to-head record over Bublik, was pretty pointed about what he feels should be done about the heat.

    "Like they do in Mexico, the matches maybe should start at six (pm) because the heat actually gets much, much lighter. We all try to practise at six," said Olympics debutant Medvedev, who next plays Sumit Nagal.

    "The fact that we have only one minute between changeovers is a joke. If you ask, let's say 200 tennis players that are here, I think 195 will tell you that one minute is a joke. It should be 1:30.

    "But you have to play, that's the Olympics, you go for the medal. You're not here to cry about the heat. It was really tough for both of us. We talked about this after the match on the court. It was unbelievably hot. But you need to get through it."

    Fellow Russian athlete Aslan Karatsev (11) defeated Tommy Paul 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with Jeremy Chardy, while Lorenzo Sonego (13), Ugo Humbert (14), Fabio Fognini (15) and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (16) all progressed.

    DJOKOVIC UP AND RUNNING

    Since winning bronze in Beijing 13 years ago, Djokovic has not had the best of luck at the Olympics – losing in 2012 and 2016 to Juan Martin del Potro on both occasions.

    But with a host of big hitters from the ATP absent – including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite in Tokyo.

    Only Steffi Graf in 1988 from either the WTA or ATP Tour has ever completed a sweep of all four slams and an Olympic gold in a calendar year, and Djokovic needs Olympic gold and victory at the US Open to match the feat.

    He needed just 61 minutes here to beat Dellien of Bolivia.

    MURRAY SCORES UPSET DOUBLES WIN

    Andy Murray is the two-time defending men's singles champion in Tokyo, but struggles with injuries mean it would take a herculean effort to make it three in a row.

    But he is also representing Great Britain in the doubles and together with Joe Salisbury upset French second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-3 6-2 in their first time competing with one another.

    Murray is not looking too far ahead, though, saying: "You take one match at a time, you know, so a lot of the players here are really motivated to play for their country. 

    "This is such a rare opportunity for all of us and I think we all want to do well. So, yeah, just take it one match at a time."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.