Initial observations and analysis
- We’ll get right to it. Manuel Grafe extended the title race for one more week with an atrocious VAR call to steal a rightful goal from Goretzka. It was just a terrible, unexplainable decision to call Lewandowski offside.
- Still, Bayern could have and should have scored more than that goal. The opportunities were there all night, but they couldn’t beat Gulacsi, who had a terrific game in the Leipzig goal.
- Sule was tremendous in the back for Bayern throughout the second half. He played up to the violent level that Grafe allowed all game long, and he used it to his advantage. It was a big performance from the big centerback.
- Leipzig did a great job in frustrating Muller all night long. While he was able to find space like always, as soon as he did find it, he was swarmed by at least one defender. He was mostly quiet all day.
FULLTIME: RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich
94- Robben sends a shot way over the goal. Poor effort from him.
89- INCHES WIDE! Lewandowski takes the free kick on top of the penalty area. Gulacsi gets wrong-footed, but Lewandowski missed the right post by inches.
87- Kimmich wins a free kick right on top of the penalty area. Kovac is bringing Robben on for Coman.
84- CLOSE! Muller and Coman combine wide on the right for a cross into the box, but Ribery’s backheel is saved by Gulacsi to keep it scoreless. Bayern are pressing.
80- Thiago was clobbered in the midfield and Manuel Grafe didn’t call a foul. It looks like he’s having to come off. Rafinha comes on. Thiago is getting treatment on the sidelines.
78- Kovac brings on Ribery for Gnabry.
71- Over the last five minutes, Sule has made not one. Not two. But three big time tackles to keep Leipzig from scoring.
66- Gnabry is played through the backline by Muller, but he smashes the ball off the crossbar. He had the chance to play in Lewandowski but went for goal himself.
The ref then blew it dead for offside anyway.
65- Gnabry whips in a cross, but it’s just a bit too high for Muller to get his head solidly on. The ball goes way over the goal.
61- It’s been an unbelievable for minutes in Leipzig. After Bayern very clearly wronged by VAR, both sides are pushing hard for goals. Fouls are flying in from all over.
53- Boo! VAR has ruled that somebody was offside in the build-up to the goal, but it’s hard to tell from the replays. It doesn’t look like anyone was offside. We’re back to no score.
Edit: Hahahaha. What a terrible call.
A huge decision from VAR denies Bayern the lead!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 11, 2019
Goretzka's goal is waved off after a lengthy review concludes Lewandowski was offside. Wow! pic.twitter.com/QvNrhQSN1o
Elsewhere, Dortmund are up 2-1 over Dusseldorf.
50- TOR! TOR! TOR! FC BAYERN! LEON GORETZKA!!! RB Leipzig 0-1 Bayern Munich.
Goretzka’s shot is deflected wide, and Coman puts the cross back into the box. The ball comes out to Goretzka, and he smashes it home for the 1-0 lead.
49- Alaba runs right through the middle of the park before uncorking an AlaBOOM shot toward Gulacsi, but the goalkeeper makes the save. The rebound finds it’s way to Coman, but his shot goes wide.
46- The second half is underway in Leipzig.
Halftime observations and analysis
- The match has been... something. There have been chances on both sides. But, it hasn’t been particular interesting for long stretches of the game. It’s also devolved into a very physical match with the referee letting a lot of violent tackles from both sides go unpunished. We’ll see what the second half brings.
- Coman and Gnabry have been fun to watch. Both have stayed wide for the majority of the match, while cutting through the middle, causing problems for the Leipzig defense. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to full connect with Lewandowski yet for that final ball.
- Aside from that one spell early in the half, Bayern’s defense has done well to minimize Leipzig’s quality chances. Sure, they’ve had a few, but they haven’t really been challenging Ulreich.
- Dortmund are leading against Dusseldorf, so the lead is currently 2 points. Bayern need all 3 points to win the title today.
45- Halftime. RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich.
44- This game is getting overly physical for no reason. Both sides putting in some violent challenges.
43- Dortmund have scored against Fortuna Dusseldorf: 1-0.
40- Leipzig take it back down the other end, and Werner forces Ulreich into a simpler save in the Bayern goal.
Elsewhere, Werder Bremen have taken the 1-0 lead over Hoffenheim, and Hannover 96 lead Freiburg 1-0.
39- SAVE GULACSI! A corner kick falls to Gnabry who rips a roundhouse kick toward goal. Gulacsi takes it off the chest to keep it scoreless.
34- Sigh. Coman is getting hammered out there. Some vicious tackles coming it at his ankles.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen have taken the 1-0 lead over Schalke.
29- SO CLOSE! Lewandowski absolutely abuses the Leipzig defense with some individual footwork before squaring the ball back to the middle of the goal for Gnabry. He tries to redirect the pass into the back of the net, but Gulacsi makes a tremendous save to keep it out of the back of his net.
28- Alaba just played Gnabry in behind Klosterman with a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L pass. Goodness. Klosterman recovers enough to knock it out for a corner, but nothing comes of it.
21- Leipzig really have Bayern back on their heels right now. The Bavarians are having trouble getting the ball away from Leipzig and forcing a change in field position.
Elsewhere, Augsburg has taken the 1-0 lead over Hertha Berlin.
17- Leipzig with ANOTHER chance, but Hummels blocks Poulsen’s shot out for a corner. Wait. Nope. The ref has ruled the ball out on Leipzig in the build up. Goal kick for Ulreich.
16-Leipzig break out again, but Kimmich blocks Werner’s shot. Nothing comes of it.
12- Close from Leipzig! They break out, but Poulsen gets put off by Hummels, sending his shot way wide of the target.
9- Lewandowski gets through the Leipzig defense! But, he’s called offside. His shot went wide anyway.
5- Bayern are spreading Leipzig wide and forcing them to run all over to keep up with excellent passing. Coman and Gnabry have switched flanks, and both players have had their feet on the chalk.
3- Both teams are just feeling each other out right now with passes through the midfield. Leipzig are trying to press Bayern hard early, hoping for a mistake that leads to a goal.
Kickoff — We are underway in Leipzig. Let’s secure the title boys!
One hour until kickoff: Lineups are out! Lewandowski was doubtful but he starts!
Here we are! Game #1 of two against Leipzig to close out the season. Bayern Munich need just one more win to take the Bundesliga title, but Ralf Rangnick’s side will likely be determined to not let that happen.
Niko Kovac has very few options for this game, given that Javi Martinez, Manuel Neuer, and James Rodriguez are all out with injury, and Robert Lewandowski is a huge doubt. Assuming that Lewandowski doesn’t play, Kovac has a real dilemma on his hands.
Thomas Muller simply CANNOT play as a striker, so the only candidate left for that position is Serge Gnabry. We might possibly see a front four of Serge Gnabry up top, flanked by Kingsley Coman and Arjen Robben on the wings, and Thomas Muller behind the striker. It’s a very risky formation against a team as dangerous as Leipzig, but Kovac doesn’t have much choice. He can’t push Goretzka up into the attacking midfield position because, with Javi injured, Goretzka is needed to man the dual pivot alongside Thiago.
Who knows, maybe the coach will surprise us. Maybe Corentin Tolisso will finally return to the lineup. Maybe (gasp) Renato Sanches could get a start. We just don’t know. Because of the injuries, this game could be the biggest test that Bayern Munich have faced this season. Let’s hope that the boys are up to it.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Red Bull Arena, Leipzig, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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