Bayern Munich let VfB Stuttgart back into the match and had a rather nervy ending, but they held on for the 2-1 win at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, securing a vital three points to keep them at the top of the Bundesliga table. Much like last weekend, Borussia Dortmund had provisionally gone to the top of the table with their 2-1 win over RB Leipzig, keeping the perpetual pressure on Bayern. April 1st’s installment of Der Klassiker could prove to be the title decider this season.
It was goals from Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting that secure the points for Bayern, though Juan Jose Perea’s goal in the 88th minute made for a cagey finish for the Rekordmeister with their backs against the wall. Sadio Mane had a chance on the break in stoppage time, but fluffed his lines and the final whistle came just seconds later. All things considered, with the six shots on target Bayern had, Julian Nagelsmann more than likely would’ve expected his side to have scored more than just twice, especially with the control the boasted for the majority of proceedings.
It was De Ligt who had key plays at both ends of the pitch that ultimately proved to contribute to the difference between three points and what could’ve been either one, or none. It was his mistake in the hinrunde, 2-2 draw between the two sides that led to a converted Serhou Guirassy penalty in stoppage time to surrender two points to the Swabians. Today, though, he was the sparking hero with his goal line clearance, which had come just moments before his goal in the 39th minute that bamboozled keeper Fabian Bredlow.
After the match, the towering Dutch center-back expressed his delight for the personal performance he put forth. It was his second goal of the season, with his first coming in the form of a header in the 7-0 win over VfL Bochum. He jokingly said that he’s usually more of a threat with his head rather than his foot in the attacking third. “It’s usually with a header. Today was something new. I’m very happy that I was important for the team today,” he told kicker’s Georg Holzner.
Screen of his goal-line clearance:
Goal line clearance by de Ligt pic.twitter.com/IFolxnkc5X— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) March 4, 2023
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