Friday, July 20, 2018

Bayern Munich 1 Hoffenheim 1: Champions frustrated despite Zuber own goal

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Nov 2016


Bayern Munich were frustrated by unbeaten Hoffenheim on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 Bundesliga draw at the Allianz Arena.

The champions, who had won all but one of their home matches this season, were unable to make the most of their territorial dominance after Steven Zuber’s own goal had levelled matters following a blistering opener from Kerem Demirbay.

Hoffenheim came into the match as one of three sides yet to taste defeat this term, along with Bayern and RB Leipzig, and they underlined their impressive form with a stunning breakaway goal from Demirbay early on.

The home fans were agitated with their side’s rather insipid performance, but they did find a breakthrough before half-time, when Zuber turned into his own net after Arjen Robben and Douglas Costa combined.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side continued to control possession but looked short on energy and ideas in the attacking third, as their hard-fought Champions League win over PSV in midweek appeared to be taking its toll.

Substitute Thomas Muller headed straight at Oliver Baumann from close range and Mats Hummels rattled a post late on, but Hoffenheim deservedly held firm to take a share of the spoils and stay within four points of the champions heading into the international break.

Bayern remain top after extending their own unbeaten league run to 20 matches, but RB Leipzig can join them on 24 points if they beat Mainz on Sunday.

The hosts, who were sporting one-off kits made of recycled plastic aimed at raising awareness of oceanic pollution, saw their early control undone by a moment of brilliance that gave Hoffenheim the lead.

After Jerome Boateng had failed to intercept a pass, Nadiem Amiri was allowed time and space down the Bayern right before rolling the ball into the path of Demirbay on the edge of the area, who swept a sublime left-footed strike past the stationary Manuel Neuer and into the top corner.

Hoffenheim had only conceded 10 league goals before this game and were keeping Bayern comfortably at arm’s length, but a horror moment for Zuber handed the hosts an equaliser.

Robben’s fine run and pass sent Costa free inside the penalty area, and as he crossed low to the far post towards Robert Lewandowski, a sliding Zuber contrived to turn the ball through the legs of Baumann and into the net.

The goal – which ensured Bayern have scored in 36 consecutive home matches, a record since their move to the Allianz Arena – settled some anxiety among the home fans, but Hoffenheim continued to frustrate their attacking efforts while looking dangerous on the counter-attack themselves.

A crucial challenge from Zuber denied Thiago a tap-in at the far post after Lewandowski’s flick, but Ancelotti introduced Muller from the bench with 22 minutes to play in an effort to inject some new impetus into the attack.

Captain Sebastian Rudy made a timely challenge to halt Rafinha’s run at the end of a good Bayern passing move and Hummels struck the base of the post from the edge of the area, before Muller blasted wide via the edge of the woodwork when picked out in clear space near the penalty spot by Kingsley Coman, but there was to be no winner at the end of a disappointing display.


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