Bayern Munich held on for a 2-1 victory against Werder Bremen on Saturday to maintain their three point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
The first half started well for Carlo Ancelotti’s men. The Bavarians pressed high, pushing Werder deep into their own half. However, chances weren’t coming in the numbers that they would’ve preferred with Werder applying a solid bend-but-don’t-break defense early.
Werder did an excellent job in converting turnovers into quick counters, catching Bayern’s attack far up the field. Serge Gnabry and Max Kruse pushed hard to catch Bayern napping, but the men in red fought hard to get back get back to find their defensive shape. While Manuel Neuer was active in the first half, nearly all of it was snuffing out easy shots.
Bayern’s goal would come on a counter to a Werder counter. Joshua Kimmich quickly played a pass out wide down the flanks to Franck Ribery. He cut into the box before cross the ball to the center of the penalty area to Arjen Robben. A first-touch shot put the ball in top right hand corner, out of reach of Felix Wiedwald. Bayern took a 1-0 lead.
Then, at the stroke of halftime, the world was invited to the David Alaba Show. Robben was fouled just outside the penalty area leading to a Bayern free kick. Several players stood over the ball, hoping to take their shot at the Werder goal, but the honor fell to Alaba. His left footed strike was inch perfect, kissing off the right post before hitting the back of the net to give Bayern a 2-0 advantage heading into halftime.
Basing beliefs on Werder’s recent history, one would’ve expected the team to collapse in the second half, leading to another Bayern blowout. However, Werder found their backbone and responded with a goal of their own. Zlatko Junuzovic found Max Kruse for a solid finish just after the restart to get right back into the match.
Despite Bayern’s best efforts, Werder continued to challenge them all over the field, denying Bayern time on the ball to build up their attacks. As Bayern pushed for another goal, Werder managed to stay right next to them, forcing Bayern attacks into non-favorable positions. The goal would never come, but Bayern managed to hold on to a 2-1 victory.
Elsewhere in the league, RB Leipzig came from behind to defeat Hoffenheim giving them their first loss in the league this season.
Werder Bremen: Max Kruse (52)
Bayern Munich: Arjen Robben (30), David Alaba (45)
Werder: Robert Bauer (42), Santiago Garcia (72), Zlatko Junuzovic (75)
Werder XI: Wiedwald; Bauer (Bartels 71), Sané, Moisander; Veljkovic; Gnabry, Junuzovic, Delaney, Garcia (Kainz 81); Pizarro (Eggstein 19), Kruse
Bayern XI: Neuer;Lahm, Javi, Hummels, Alaba; Kimmich, Alonso; Robben (Coman 66), Müller (Sanches 62), Ribéry (Costa 79); Lewandowski