Pep Guardiola has a Bayern Munich record all to his own, able to surpass his predecessor Jupp Heynckes's record start by coaching the Rekordmeister to their ninth-straight victory in the Bundesliga. Though it did not come easy, Bayern were able to hold on to a 1-0 victory on the road against Werder Bremen to continue their historic win streak.
Thomas Müller scored the only goal of the contest, his ninth in the Bundesliga and his 11th this season in all competition. He probably should have had at least another as well, he and Robert Lewandowski leaving a lot of chances on the field.
Bayern dominated the match in the early going, holding 74 percent of the possession as all ten outfield players sat in Bremen's half. Bremen tried to absorb as much pressure as they could, often allowing Müller and Lewandowski with touches in the area in order to grab the second ball and clear it away.
The relentless pressure forced the Bremen blockade to eventually break, and Müller found the opener halfway through the first period of play. Thiago Alcântara picked out his near-post run, Müller than requiring only a few quick touches before tapping a shot past the dive of Felix Wiedwald.
Bayern's clamps loosened in the second half though, Bremen able to stretch the play more vertically as the game wore on. Anthony Ujah had a few chances to equalize, but was either unable to beat a charging Manuel Neuer or unable to find the target. The Nigerian international sparked a second half rise for Bremen though, the Grünweißer getting off seven shots off after the halftime break.
The versatile defenders Bayern have are hard to beat though. Jerome Boateng made a crucial tackle in the penalty area as the newly substituted Joshua Kimmich got some crucial clearances away. Without their pacy wingers on the field, Bayern had trouble establishing a presence in Bremen's half of the field again, but were still able to hold on for their fifth clean sheet of the season.
The victory for the Rekordmeister reestablishes their seven point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table over Borussia Dortmund, who beat Mainz 05 on Friday with a 2-0 win. Bremen remain in 14th place in the table despite the loss, Hoffenheim and Augsburg unable to leapfrog them in the table with losses to Wolfsburg and Darmstadt respectively.
Bayern take their 12 straight victories in all competitions to London next week, undertaking a salivating UEFA Champions League clash against longtime rivals Arsenal.
Werder Bremen (0-1) Bayern Munich
FCB: Thomas Müller (23')
Bremen XI: Wiedwald – Gebre-Selassie, Lukimya, Gálvez, García – Bargfrede – Bartels, Fritz (Pizarro 78'), Junuzović, Lorenzen – Ujah
Bayern XI: Neuer – Rafinha (Kammich 78'), Boateng, Alaba, Bernat – Alonso – Lahm, Müller, Vidal (Pantović 90+2'), Thiago – Lewandowski
- Though he did not play a winger, Guardiola was able to manufacture the width he was looking for, and he can thank his versatile four behind Lewandowski for that. With Müller and Lahm on the right and Thiago and Vidal on the left, Bayern were able to both retain possession and provide service to Lewandowski in the middle. The problem with that tactic came in the second half when Bayern had trouble getting out of their own end without the pace Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman provide.
- When Juan Bernat first came to Bayern, his defensive attributes shone through, and combined with his offensive attributes it looked like Bayern plucked a nice left back. His current defensive form is making that look like a distant memory. His mistake of allowing Ujah in behind nearly cost Bayern dearly, and he was no where to be found moments later when Ujah smacked a shot across the face of goal moments later. He provided a great service for Bayern when David Alaba was injured last season, but right now he needs to be a squad rotation player and nothing more.
- How Felix Wiedwald did not get punished for his challenge on Lewandowski is completely unexplainable. There is no reason for a goalkeeper to go in legs first on a player when he comes of his line, and yet the Bremen keeper's studs-up challenge on Lewandowski was condonable. With all the injury troubles Bayern suffered over the international break, that was a scary moment for Lewandowski's health, and Christian Dingert needed to be more astute in that situation.