December 2016: The start of a thrilling rivalry
Leaders FC Bayern host second-placed RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Sunday. The two sides were in the same positions when they met for the first time -- *fcbayern.com*looks back.
How was that for a premiere? On 21 December 2016, Bayern and Leipzig met in a competitive fixture for the first time ever, and they couldn't have been closer in the table going into the Matchday 16 clash, with the Munich men only top on goal difference. The fans expected a top game at the Allianz Arena -- and that's exactly what they got.
Bayern clinical in lively contest
The game was gung-ho right from the start and Bayern made the most of their chances. Thiago tapped in the rebound from Robert Lewandowski's shot to open the scoring in the 13th minute, before Xabi Alonso doubled their lead in the 25th minute after a mistake from the visitors. Leipzig didn't give up, however, and continued to attack but they were reduced to 10 men in the 31st minute when Emil Forsberg was shown a straight red card for an overly forceful challenge on Phillip Lahm.
Bayern outclass Leipzig with extra man
With a numerical advantage, Bayern were completely dominant and made it 3-0 shortly before the break through a Lewandowski penalty. It continued to be all Bayern after the break although they couldn't extend their lead, despite numerous gilt-edged opportunities. Nevertheless, there was no taking away the win from Carlo Ancelotti's side, who thus moved clear at the top of the table -- and six months later they were crowned champions ahead of second-placed Leipzig.
Same again on Sunday?
This was the first of many thrilling encounters between the two sides in both the league and cup. The next chapter will be written on Sunday in another first-versus-second battle at the Allianz Arena. The fans will be hoping for another spectacle like 2016 -- and a similar outcome, of course.