FC Bayern avenged the season's only league loss, beating Bayer Leverkusen by the same 2-1 score-line. Bayern needed a bit of luck, and there were some strange twists towards the end, but we picked up our 22d win in 26 chances.
This was a match that swung in a few directions. In the early going, Bayern was controlling possession, but struggling to find any kind of finishing touch. With several regular starters getting a rest, Bastian Schweinsteiger played a more forward role. This actually seemed to pay dividends when it came to the passing game. Leverkusen actually seemed a little more out of sorts, as they struggled to string 2 passes together, while Bayern mostly did a good job with Goose and Javi Martinez in the middle of the field. But we couldn't find the finish we needed for the first half hour, with Robben's blast way over the bar an especially harsh reminder of our finishing woes.
But Mario Gomez broke the deadlock in the 37th minute, pulling off a very un-Gomez move. He controlled the ball with one touch, then slipped back to the right to lose his man and set himself up for a perfect shot.
At that point, Bayern seemed in the ascendancy, and this carried over into the second half. With few exceptions, Leverkusen's possession usually came to nothing, and they looked out of synch in their passing game. But Bayern's set-piece defending problems reared up again, with 3 defenders converging on Boenisch and his header finding Rolfes completely unmarked at the far post.
Leverkusen were re-energized, and they kept flowing forward in search of a winner. But then luck swung Bayern's way. From a corner, several players missed getting their heads to the balls, which flew through to Philipp Wollscheid. The ball bounced off of Wollscheid and into Leverkusen's own net. And a few minutes alter, an even weirder sequence ensued: Bastian Schweinsteiger had a breakaway chance (with Leverkusen pushing guys forward), and was hauled down from behind by Daniel Carvajal. While it looked the the referee wanted to stop the match and pull a card - which would have meant the end of the day for Carvajal - Tymoschuk and Claudio Pizarro thought they had a chance to create a shot, so they quickly restarted play before a card could be assessed.
A weird game all around. We'll be back with more later, but off the top of my head, our set-piece defending still needs work. But considering we were without Mueller, Kroos and Lahm, Bayern looked at least better than we did on Wednesday (slight praise, I know). I can't find videos yet, but I'll see what I can do tonight. Thanks for reading.