Sebastian Rode scored his second goal of the season to help Bayern Munich edge Hoffenheim 2-0 at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena. With Wolfsburg yet to play this weekend, Bayern now have a thirteen point lead at the top of the table.
Bayern had the upper hand for the first half hour, including a great chance from Robert Lewandowski that was just headed high. However, the best chance of the match fell to the foot of Hoffenheim's Anthony Modeste. After Dante was caught wrong-footed, Modeste took off toward the Bayern goal leaving himself one on one with Manuel Neuer. Bayern's number one stood his ground and blocked Modeste's shot to keep the striker from scoring.
Just as it seemed like FC Bayern would find themselves heading into halftime scoreless, Rode happened. Lewandowski shuffled a loose ball to him in the penalty area, and the midfielder sent a right footed curler to the far post. Oliver Baumann tried, but he was unable to get a hand to the shot. FC Bayern took the 1-0 lead.
Bayern were better in the second half, most of which came after the introduction of Thiago. Bayern had a great opportunity to make it 2-0, but Baumann produced a great double save to deny Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Müller.
Bayern continued pushing for a second goal, and it came off the boot of a Hoffenheim player! Müller dribbled the touchline before playing the ball back across the front of goal. Andreas Beck attempted to clear the ball, but he knocked the ball into his own net.
FC Bayern took all three points with a 2-0 victory.
Hoffenheim 0-2 Bayern Munich
Hoffenheim XI: Baumann; Toljan (Schipplock 85), Bicakcic, Strobl, Beck; Polanski (Szalai 69), Schwegler; Rudy, Firmino, Volland; Modeste (Zuber 69)
Bayern XI: Neuer; Bernat (Boateng 46), Dante, Badstuber, Rafinha; Rode, Gaudino (Thiago 57); Götze, Müller, Weiser; Lewandowski (Pizarro 89)
- I feel like people are making far more out of Dante's "mistake" on Modeste's chance than they really need to. Yes, Dante looked silly and probably should've been been able to block the pass; however, when you watch the replay, Dante is running in one direction and spins completely around in an attempt to block the pass that Modeste eventually squandered. Yes, he probably should have stopped it, but it wasn't nearly as easy as many are making it out to be.
- Everyone should be talking about how much Rafinha has improved under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. The Brazilian right back has turned into one of the better players in the world at his position. Plus, his fiery temper remains, but he has been able to channel it productively on the field. Today, he received only his second yellow card of the Bundesliga season.
- With a midfield pairing of Sebastian Rode and Gianluca Gaudino, chose "effort" over creativity on the day. It also didn't hurt to give Thiago a bit of a rest. However, once the Spaniard came onto the field, Bayern's approach completely changed. It's easy to forget just how great Thiago is presently and will continue to evolve into. He's a special player.
- Mario Götze played right? Sigh.
- Hopefully, Juan Bernat isn't injured. He took a nasty tackle in the first half, and while he was able to finish the first half, Guardiola substituted him at halftime. Please be okay, Juan.