After an 86th minute goal from Leon Goretzka to give Bayern Munich the 2-1 lead over Bayer Leverkusen, it looked as if the Rekordmeister were going to record a vital three point at home and leapfrog Die Werkself into the top spot in the Bundesliga table. However, Xabi Alonso’s side were given a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time when Alphonso Davies was judged to have brought down Leverkusen’s Jonas Hofmann by virtue of clipping his calf. Exequiel Palacios stepped up and converted the spot-kick, tying the match at two goals apiece, which is how things finished.
Bayern had dominated the opening 20 minutes of proceedings, then conceded a free kick goal to Alex Grimaldo in a period of play that saw the visitors take the front foot, cancelling out Harry Kane’s seventh minute headed goal off of a corner kick. In the second half they followed suite in terms of trading momentum, with Leverkusen having the last laugh by virtue of the penalty conversion.
In the decisive moment in the third minute of stoppage time in the second half, referee Daniel Schlager went over to the VAR monitor after not initially giving the penalty on Davies and overturned his on-pitch decision to not give it. Thomas Tuchel vented after the match that he did not agree with the decision that gave Leverkusen a vital point away from home. “The referee didn’t blow his whistle. For me it is not a crystal clear wrong decision where VAR had to intervene. But it doesn’t matter what I say now,” he explained to DAZN after the match (via @iMiaSamMia).
Schalger himself also explained his rationale for making the decision he did after the match. “At first I didn’t notice it on the pitch. That’s why I immediately indicated to keep playing. Then the information came from the video assistant that there was a very clear hit on the foot, on the calf. I went out to look at the scene myself — and then I realized relatively quickly that the video assistant’s description matched the pictures. Davies hit Hofmann to his foot, calf — therefore there was a penalty,” he explained (via @iMiaSanMia).
The sequence in questioned also had a higher susceptibility to being addressed and reviewed as the contact caused Hofmann to require treatment and a subsequent substitution. Had play continued quickly, there might not have been time for Schlager to hear the request from the replay center in Cologne.
The decision also came with added scrutiny for Jamal Musiala not getting a call at the other end of the pitch earlier in the second half when Edmond Tapsoba had a handful of Musiala’s jersey in the box, bringing him down. Using the Hofmann decision as a barometer for consistency, the Musiala and Tapsoba incident certainly might have been given as well. And had Tapsoba been booked a second time for it, it would have resulted in his dismissal from the match.
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