Thursday, May 23, 2024

Raphael Guerreiro and Thomas Muller score for Bayern in victory over Koln

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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A superb second-half strike by Raphael Guerreiro helped Bayern Munich to a 2-0 win against Koln and keep the champagne on ice in Leverkusen.

Defeat for Thomas Tuchel’s side would have confirmed Bayer Leverkusen as Bundesliga champions but the current holders claimed a hard-fought victory.

It had been a difficult period for Bayern, who had lost both league fixtures since the international break, but they battled to a 2-2 draw at Arsenal on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

While Bayern’s focus was on more European glory this season, they were determined to return to winning ways domestically and they hit the post twice in the first half, once through Harry Kane.

Kane was unable to add to his tally, but the hosts were eventually indebted to Guerreiro’s outstanding 65th-minute effort before Thomas Muller added a late second to ensure all eyes are now on Leverkusen to see if they can clinch the title with victory at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday.

Tuchel made a raft of changes, with Bayern’s priority being next week’s tie with Arsenal.

Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sane were not in the squad but Kane did start and helped Munich dominate possession in the opening exchanges.

The first clear-cut chance when to Koln but fortunately for Bayern, Faride Alidou fired wide from a tight angle.

It was a sign of things to come, though, as Sven Ulreich, recalled for the rested Neuer, produced a superb save to keep the score goalless when he clawed away a header by Sargis Adamyan midway through the half.

Bayern had yet to seriously test Koln goalkeeper Marvin Schwabe until he denied Guerreiro on the half-hour mark following an excellent ball by Kane.

Slowly Kane’s influence was beginning to grow and he hit a post shortly afterwards when Muller flicked the ball through to the England captain, but his low effort smashed against the woodwork.

Further chances went Kane’s way but he drilled one effort wide before diverting another header off target.

Koln responded well and should have taken the lead on the stroke of half-time when Maz Finkgrafe produced another excellent ball into the area, but Alidou could only head wide.

An action-packed first 45 at Allianz Arena concluded with a Mathys Tel curler striking a post to ensure it stayed level at the break.

Bayern were dealt a blow early in the second half when Kingsley Coman went off to make him an immediate doubt for the midweek visit of Arsenal.

Jamal Musiala replaced Coman and his first involvement almost resulted in the breakthrough, but he fired over.

The pressure continued and Tel’s forced Schwabe into an excellent diving save soon after before the opener did arrive in the 65th minute.

A short corner by Joshua Kimmich found Guerreiro who let fly from 25 yards and watched his dipping left-footed effort nestle into the corner.

There was a sense of relief around the stadium, but Koln were not about to roll over and Ulreich had to save a long-range effort from substitute Benno Schmitz.

Better was to follow when Ulreich thwarted Steffen Tigges from close range after a poor pass by Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano, before the hosts did seal the points when Muller slotted home deep into stoppage time.

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