FC Bayern beat Werder Bremen 2-1 on Saturday, returning to winning ways in the Bundesliga. Serge Gnabry put Bayern ahead after 20 minutes. Yuya Osako levelled the scores after the half-hour mark, but Gnabry rounded off his brace after the restart to seal Bayern's victory.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Rafinha, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba in a back four. Boss Niko Kovac opted for a twin holding role again, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka anchoring a midfield featuring Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribéry, with Robert Lewandowski as lone striker. Kingsley Coman, who has recovered from injury, came on for Ribéry, who left the pitch with a knock late in the first half. Thiago, Bayern's second comeback kid on Saturday, and Javi Martínez took over from Gnabry and Müller in the closing stages.
Serge opens, Werder level
The 42,100 capacity crowd at the Weserstadion saw the Bavarians dominate proceedings from the off. Müller set up Lewandowski in the box, the Poland captain seeing his effort from 12 yards saved by netminder Jiri Pavlenka. Bayern almost camped out in their opponents' half for the first 30 minutes, Kimmich curling the ball just wide of the post, but their pressure paid off when Kimmich's brilliantly perceptive chip found Gnabry in the box, whose shot was saved by Pavlenka, but Gnabry got hold of the ball again and netted the rebound.
Müller glanced a header wide before Bayern eased off a little, and Werder soon scored an equaliser, Osako connecting with a Max Kruse cross and beating Neuer. Lewandowski' miscued 20-yarder meant the scores were level at half-time.
Dominance pays off
Bayern went straight back onto the front foot after the restart. Müller saw an effort blocked, but Gnabry scored his second goal on Saturday to restore Bayern's lead. The German record champions were looking to close out the meeting now, Pavlenka proving equal to another Gnabry shot from a tight angle.
Bremen upped the ante around the hour mark, Johannes Eggestein testing Neuer before Boateng made a fine tackle to stop the Werder forward. An Alaba volley went wide before Neuer made a strong save to deny Max Kruse. Alaba miscued a free-kick before Bremen's Niklas Moisander was sent off for a second bookable offence, and after Lewandowski saw another effort blocked match official Christian Dingert blew for full-time.
The result means Bayern have 24 points from 13 matches. The Bavarians return to action next Saturday, when they entertain Nürnberg in the Bundesliga.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Pavlenka - Gebre Selassie, Veljkovic (Langkamp 63), Moisander, Augustinsson - J. Eggestein (Möhwald 66), M. Eggestein, Sahin (Pizarro 76), Klaassen - Osako - Kruse
Plogmann, Friedl, Harnik, Rashika
Neuer - Rafinha, Süle, Boateng, Alaba - Kimmich, Goretzka - Gnabry (Thiago 80), Müller (90+1 Martínez), Ribéry (38. Coman) - Lewandowski
Ulreich - Sanches, Robben, Wagner
Christian Dingert (Lebecksmühle)
0-1 Gnabry (20), 1-1 Osako (33), 1-2 Gnabry (50)
Sahin / Alaba, Thiago