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Bayern Munich win horrifically dull game against Darmstadt, 1-0

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Can we get the last 120 minutes back?

SV Darmstadt 98 v Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Every once in a while a soccer game comes along that makes you fundamentally re-examine why you like this sport. In a nutshell, that was Bayern Munich’s 1-0 win against Darmstadt for the first 70 minutes. The game heated up late in the second half, but it was too little too late to wash out the taste of wretched game that came before.

The biggest moment of excitement in the first half was the moment when Bastian Dankert blew his whistle. It was all downhill from there. Bayern attacked incompetently. Darmstadt defended competently. Carlo Ancelotti’s side looked completely bereft of ideas for the entire first half while Darmstadt hardly committed a man forward, content to keep their defense structured.

Even the halftime whistle could not change the course of the game as it spiraled into the depths of inanity.

For all of their struggles and Darmstadt’s defensive prowess, Douglas Costa was finally able to break the deadlock in the 71st minute from a set piece. With Darmstadt giving Bayern plenty of room for a set piece, Thiago and Costa set up a trick set piece with a quick tap and reversal of direction that gave Douglas Costa an unhindered view of the goal from 30 yards out. The Brazilian let fly with a thunderbolt that sailed over the outstretched hand of Michael Esser, before pinging off the crossbar and dropping into the net.

Costa’s goal was the spark the game needed as Darmstadt approached their offensive phase with a new verve. Furiously attacking at pace when the Bayern fullbacks came forward. It took a village to save Bayern, led by a superb performance from Javi Martinez — and a brilliant save from Manuel Neuer — to contain the Darmstadt attacks. With Darmstadt committing numbers forward, Bayern were full throttle on the other end, having substituted Franck Ribery in place of Arturo Vidal shortly before Costa’s opener.

The game seemed primed for yet another goal even as the minutes waned towards the final whistle. Luckily for Bayern’s part, they were able to snuff out the danger, riding Douglas Costa’s free kick towards a top of the table showdown on Matchday 17 against RB Leipzig.