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19.12.2020Bundesliga

Werkself lose 2-1 with last kick of the game

Bayer 04 suffered the first defeat in the current Bundesliga season. The Werkself conceded in injury time in a 2-1 defeat to FC Bayern. Patrik Schick put Bayer 04 ahead with an impressive strike (14') before the FIFA Men's Player of the Year Robert Lewandowski turned the game round with a brace (43', 90+3,).
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"We've had an impressive year in 2020 and today we competed on equal terms with Bayern," said a disappointed Lukas Hradecky. "At the end of the day, I don't think we deserved to lose."

Going into the big match at the BayArena as league leaders – and then to compete with the best team in the business: Peter Bosz hit the nail on the head: "First against second – how could you better that?" For the perfect setting for a football first in Leverkusen there was just one ingredient missing – fans in the stands. The challenge for the Werkself could hardly have been bigger as Bayern travelled north with Robert Lewandowski just crowned as the best player in the world and Manuel Neuer the best goalkeeper. Both players received appropriate appreciation from Bayer 04 just before the kick-off when Rudi Völler and Fernando Carro honoured the striker and goalkeeper with presents.

That was supposed to have been the end of gifts to the record champions. Peter Bosz made two changes to his starting line-up from the derby win at FC Köln: Edmond Tapsoba came in for Mitchell Weiser with Aleksandar Dragovic moving to the right side of the defence. Daley Sinkgraven played at left-back in place of Wendell.

Schick puts Werkself ahead

The slightly changed Werkself defence was fully focused in the opening stages against by far the most prolific attack in the Bundesliga. The forward players helped out by tackling back. Bayer 04 constantly pressed the man on the ball and often moved play into FC Bayern's half. The Werkself also had the first shot of the game when Jerome Boateng deflected a shot from Nadiem Amiri over the bar (13').

A corner for Bayer 04 – and the Werkself came up with a special move: From a quick corner, Amiri took the ball along the byline and then lifted it into the penalty area. Patrik Schick shook off his marker and scored an absolute wonder goal: The centre forward fired a volley into the back of the net with the world's best goalkeeper Neuer just looking on – the Werkself had the lead (14').

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Impressive Werkself give little away

The Black and Reds then produce some phenomenal play against the reigning Champions League winners. Again and again, the Bosz team put Bayern on the back foot with constant pressure and clever challenges. After winning possession, Bayer 04 were able to mount fast counter-attacks and had more shots: Neuer parried a low effort from Schick (19'), Moussa Diaby put a shot just left of the target from a tight angle (21').

Bayern did create one or the other dangerous situations with their individual class but the Werkself stood firm. Best example: The terrific Jonathan Tah blocked a shot from Serge Gnabry (27’). Kingsley Coman went off injured early on and was replaced by Leroy Sané (32’).

Lewandowski converts first Bayern chance

Bayer 04 were on course for a fully deserved half-time lead – and that made it even more disappointing when Bayern took their first clear-cut chance on goal just before half-time: With a high cross by Thomas Müller, Lukas Hradecky and Jonathan Tah both went for the ball but only succeeded in impeding each other leaving Lewandowski to head into an empty net (43'). The new world footballer of the year, up to that point anonymous, had tasted blood and had another two shots in added time at the end of the first half with a header (45+2') and a free kick (45+5'). Despite that, the half-time score was more flattering to Bayern than it was for the Werkself who had more possession and more shots on goal in the first half.

Tough battle in second half

It was clear to see that the equaliser gave the exceptional team from the south of Germany confidence. Bayern came out for the second half with their heads up and Edmond Tapsoba cleared in the six-yard box from a Lewandowski cross (46'). The Werkself then gave as good as they got against one of the strongest teams in the world – with flying colours. Bayer 04 succeeded in gaining command of midfield and again pushed the Munich side back into their own half. It developed into a knife edge encounter: Amiri tested Neuer with a hard hit long-range effort (61') and, at the other end, Hradecky pulled off an outstanding save to keep out a low shot from Gnabry (66') from a Bayern counter-attack.

Bayern brought on other big guns with Kimmich returning the first time since his injury suffered at Dortmund as well as the youngster Jamal Musiala. The 17-year-old had the best chance of the second half with his low shot at the end of a smart move hitting the post (79'). Peter Bosz then made two substitutions. Kerem Demirbay came on for Leon Bailey (74’), Lucas Alario replaced Schick (82’).

Lewandowski lands sucker punch

Both teams looked to take their chance in an open end to the game. Alario was unable to connect with a cross from Diaby (90') as the game appeared to be heading for an equitable 1-1 draw. However, the very last move in an intense top of the table clash saw Bayern snatch the winner: Tah was put under pressure, Müller won the ball and Lewandowski was then in possession. Luck was on the side of the Pole as his shot was deflected by Tapsoba leaving Hradecky stranded. There was no time to restart the game after the goal (90+3').

In the very last moment, FC Bayern prevented the impressive Werkself from being top at Christmas and also inflicted the first defeat of the season on the Bosz team. Nevertheless, Bayer 04 go into the short winter break in an impressive second place. The restart is on 2 January with an away game at Eintracht Frankfurt (15.30 CET).

Match stats:

Bayer 04: Hradecky – Dragovic, Tah, Tapsoba, Sinkgraven – Wirtz, Baumgartlinger, Amiri – Bailey (Demirbay 74’), Schick (Alario 82’), Diaby

Bayern Munich: Neuer - Süle, Boateng, Hernandez, Davies - Tolisso (Kimmich 68’), Alaba - Coman (Sané 32’; Musiala 68’), Müller, Gnabry - Lewandowski

Goals: 1-0 Schick (14’), 1-1 Lewandowski (43’), 1-2 Lewandowski (90+3’)

Booked: Bailey - Gnabry

Referee: Felix Zwayer (Berlin)

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