FC Bayern Munich picked up a road win and extended the lead atop the Bundesliga table today, despite a hard-fighting performance from an energetic opponent. Augsburg's midfield and forwards did enough to worry Bayern and keep it interesting. But Bayern proved too deep, too dangerous, and too good.
As is often the case in derby matches, the records didn't give a great prediction of how the action turned out. In a match between the league's best team and the league's 2d-worst, this one mostly looked like an even match for most of the first half. Maybe Bayern had a slight advantage in possession and chances, but it really could have gone either way, with the Auggies getting a few good looks at the goal (including a Musona low-blast that Neuer did well to catch, and a loose ball that Neuer couldn't corral and Dante had to clear to a corner). Bayern had several chances of our own, with Manzdukic sending a low roller just wide and later having a good header saved by Mohamed Amsif.
Sometimes it's less satisfying to see the breakthrough come on a penalty, but this was a perfectly legitimate call. Augsburg's Gibril Sankoh left his arm hanging out to clatter into the ball, and Mueller coolly dispatched the subsequent penalty:
Even as the second half started, though, it still felt like Augsburg were right in the thick of it. In our Match Day Thread, Millie predicted a Mario Gomez appearance in the 60th minute. This was right on the money, with Gomez getting a break-away goal less than 3 minutes later to effectively kill off the match:
Highlights of the final half hour:
- Gomez got elbowed in the mouth pretty hard. He managed to finish, but I imagine he'll have a headache tomorrow morning.
- Tymoschuk came on for Mueller, and at times we almost looked like we were running a 4-3-3, with Ribery, Kroos, and Gomez as the top 3. And even leaving formations aside, Gomez appears to be more comfortable working from slightly off to the side. This is a huge development if it sticks, because he's always been known as a "big target man in the box" type.
- Dante is really, really good at getting to high balls.
- VfL Wolfsburg scored a dramatic win over Dortmund, with Bas Dost scoring a late goal. 3 goals from 3 shots on goal for BVB - not a single save from Weidenfeller. Bayern is in excellent shape in the Bundesliga table, with Leverkusen's match tomorrow determining our lead going into next week.
We'll be back with more tonight or tomorrow. Still 2 more matches to go before the winter break. Thanks for reading.