BayArena in Leverkusen was the place where Bayern Munich rose from the slumber after the Arsenal defeat, and provided themselves with the much needed confidence for all remaining games in the Bundesliga, as well as the upcoming game against Juventus in Champions League.
Mario Gomez gave Bayern the lead just before the break of the first half, with a stunning goal, a result of his solo effort. The 37th minute was when Bayern took the lead on the board, as it controlled most of the game from the start.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Gomez attempted to score after the break, but their efforts were either over the bar or just not strong enough to pierce through the net. Simon Rolfes was the one who put Leverkusen back in the game, as he found himself in the right spot on the 76th minute and scored from a close range to make it 1-1.
Leverkusen fans thought this was the turning moment that would give their team the second consecutive win over Bayern, but it wasn’t meant to be. Bastian Schweinsteiger took a free kick and it struck Phillip Wollsheid shoulder, to give the visitors a 1-2 lead in the 87th minute.
Leverkusen fans were sad, but their team tried to make more of the game, but all the corners they got, ended with nothing, as Bayern closed off really well their defense.
Bayern made five changes to the squad that faced Arsenal in Champions League, and Ribery was still out due to his previous injury. With a bench full of players capable to put Bayern forward, and with a player that was clearly missed during the game with Arsenal, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern made their way to the 9th Bundesliga win in a row since the winter break.
After the final whistle, Bayern players felt a sense of great relief and Bastian Schweinsteiger, the captain for the day gathered the entire team in a small circle, and thanked them for the team spirit and the great reaction in closing Manuel Neuer’s gates at the end of the game.
The reactions after the game were different on both sides: “The first half was good, but our legs were heavy after half-time,” said boss Jupp Heynckes, “but at the end of the day we earned our reward. We’re very pleased.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger admitted that “winning in Leverkusen is never easy. That was only their second home defeat. We started very well, our pressing game was excellent and we forced them to play it long. They came at us in the second half because we made too many errors in our build-up play. That’s dangerous against Leverkusen because they make swift transitions between attack and defence. At the end of the day, a set play settled the match.”
Leverkusen’s captain Simon Rolfes said that “We could have avoided losing today. Bayern deservedly took the lead, but they were nowhere near as good in the second half. We applied much more pressure, although we lacked determination to a certain extent. We’ve been punished from a set piece at the end.”
Result: +4.7units, bet won