Friday, September 25, 2020

Bayern Munich 0-0 RB Leipzig: Werner spurns golden chance in Bundesliga showdown

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 9 Feb 2020

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Timo Werner missed a glorious chance to send RB Leipzig top of the Bundesliga as they drew 0-0 with leaders Bayern Munich.

Six successive Bundesliga wins prior to Sunday’s encounter at Allianz Arena saw Bayern overtake Leipzig, who have faulted in recent weeks.

But Hansi Flick’s side failed to extend their lead at the top as they were frustrated by a resilient Leipzig rearguard and it was the visitors who had the best chances – Marcel Sabitzer and Werner fluffing their lines.

Bayern were awarded a penalty which was subsequently overturned by VAR and Leon Goretzka missed a late chance, but the Bundesliga leaders had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Peter Gulacsi had to make the game’s first save five minutes in, diving to his left and tipping Thiago Alcantara’s curling strike wide.

Gulacsi might have been tested further six minutes later, but Marcel Halstenberg superbly blocked Goretzka’s effort.

Robert Lewandowski looked set to break the deadlock as half-time approached, only for Dayot Upamecano to make a fantastic last-ditch block.

For all Bayern’s dominance, they should have been behind in the first minute of the second half, yet Sabitzer let them off the hook when he blazed over from close range.

Jerome Boateng spared Manuel Neuer’s blushes with a vital interception a few moments later, though Bayern seemed to have been handed a reprieve when Upamecano brought down Lewandowski, only for the penalty to be overturned for offside.

Bayern’s defence continued to live dangerously, and the hosts should have been punished when Werner met Christopher Nkunku’s cross but, despite having time to pick his spot, he lashed well wide.

Werner’s profligacy seemed all set to prove costly when Goretzka broke through with 10 minutes remaining, but Gulacsi pulled off a brilliant save to secure a well-earned point.

What does it mean? Tight at the top

As Borussia Monchengladbach did not play on Sunday due to adverse weather, Bayern could have gone four points clear of Leipzig and six ahead of the chasing pack with a win.

But, as it is, the title race remains a closely contested one and, even though there is a large portion of the season to go, it seems like it could go to the wire.

Nagelsmann gets his tactics spot on

It has been a difficult start to 2020 for Leipzig, though on Sunday Julian Nagelsmann – a coach who has long been touted as a potential future Bayern boss – set his team up brilliantly. With Upamecano marshalling the defence and the pace of Werner up top, Leipzig offered plenty, though ultimately failed to take their chances.

Werner and Sabitzer misses to prove costly in title race?

With it so congested at the top, the two misses from Werner and Sabitzer could ultimately prove decisive in regards to which team clinches the title this season.

There is no player Nagelsmann would have rather seen meet Nkunku’s cross than Werner but, in a rare show of profligacy, the Germany international blew the moment.

What’s next?

Bayern face Cologne on Sunday in their next Bundesliga outing, while Leipzig host struggling Werder Bremen a day earlier.

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