The most anticipated match of the Bundesliga season thus far ended in frustration for the visitors, as Bayern Munich defeated RB Leipzig 3-0 at the Allianz Arena. The two clubs had been level at the top of the league entering the encounter, with Bayern now first in the Bundesliga table on 39 points.
Bayern Munich 3 RB Leipzig 0: Match Review
The evening offered a battle of two sides with contrasting styles. RB Leipzig and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl have found success during their first Bundesliga campaign utilising a high-press system. Bayern and manager Carlo Ancelotti’s possession-based approach would not be easy for them to break down.
With so much pressure leading up to the match, a young Leipzig side found themselves overwhelmed by the massive moment.
Leipzig’s front-line applied pressure in the midfield early on, but the Bundesliga title-holders were more than prepared. Philipp Lahm and Arjen Robben returned from injury at the wrong time for the visitors, as their work on the right flank caused major issues for Hasenhuttl’s side.
Lahm’s brilliant cross in the 17th minute was met by forward Robert Lewandowski, who struck the post and saw Thiago Alcantara open the scoring with an easy finish. A poor touch from Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita lead to a goal from Xabi Alonso to double the advantage for Bayern.
Only five minutes later, a clumsy tackle on Lahm resulted in a red card for Emil Forsburg. Down two goals and down to ten men, the downward spiral would continue for Leipzig.
Lewandowski converted a penalty shortly before half-time to give the hosts a 3-0 lead at the break. Substitute Franck Ribery made several impressive runs towards goal as Bayern saw out the result with a dominant second half.
Space at the top
Bayern Munich should feel a sense of confidence as the league winter break begins. Dropped points in November saw pressure from Leipzig build throughout recent weeks.
Wednesday’s victory will keep their quest for yet another Bundesliga crown firmly within their own hands.
Bayern resume league fixtures at SC Freiburg on Friday, January 20th.
Possession defeats the high-press
Both clubs have found a successful formula this season, but the quality of Bayern Munich was too much for the tactics of RB Leipzig.
Making his 150th Bundesliga appearance, David Alaba and the Bayern back-line stayed organised amidst the early Leipzig pressure. Arturo Vidal and Alonso controlled the middle of the pitch, while Alcantara consistently placed himself in excellent positions throughout the evening.
Leipzig will certainly learn from the experience, but it was a difficult lesson for all involved with the club.
Bayern Munich now hold a three-point lead in first after 16 matches, with Leipzig six points clear of third-place Hoffenheim.
These two clubs will meet again on May 13th, when Bayern visit Red Bull Arena in what will undoubtedly be an important fixture.
RB Leipzig look to bounce back from Wednesday’s disappointment on Saturday, January 21st when they host Eintracht Frankfurt.
BAYERN MUNICH: Neuer, Alaba (Bernat (67’), Hummels, Martinez, Lahm, Alonso, Vidal (Kimmich 74′), Costa, Alcantara, Robben (Ribery 46’), Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Rafinha, Muller, Sanches
RB LEIPZIG: Gulacsi, Bernardo, Ilsanker, Orban, Halstenberg, Sabitzer (Burke 83′), Keita (Kaiser 46’), Forsberg (OFF 30′), Demme, Werner (Selke 59’), Poulsen
Unused subs: Muller, Schmitz, Khedira, Kalmar
REFEREE: Felix Zwayer