Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen turned into the match of Bundesliga titans everyone was expecting. Xabi Alonso’s side went toe-to-toe against Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern, and the 2023/24 Bundesliga season is shaping up to be another banger.
Has competitiveness returned to the German top flight? If so, a resurgent Leverkusen side makes for a far better narrative than what happened last year — as Bayern nearly fell flat on their face in the Rückrunde.
Xabi played a role there, too. Julian Nagelsmann’s final game in charge of the Rekordmeister came in a 1-2 loss to a Leverkusen side that, as it turns out, was just getting started. Die Werkself won through two improbable penalties — in that they were both initially denied, then reinstated on video review, and both involved the same player. Nagelsmann was sacked, Tuchel came in, and Bayern took time to steady the ship.
A flair for such dramatics returned this time around too. It took a stoppage time penalty for Leverkusen to equalize after Mathys Tel and Leon Goretzka combined for a would-be winner in the 86th minute. And once again, it was ruled not a penalty at first — until the referee overturned the call on review.
Were Bayern hard done by? Did they smash up against a legitimate contender? Or did they simply need to do much, much better, players as well as coaches?
Here’s how Bild rated the match. Have your own say below the jump:
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