FC Bayern were held to a 1-1 draw by RB Leipzig in Saturday's top clash. Robert Lewandowski handed Bayern an early lead, but the German record champions failed to convert their utter first-half dominance into more goals, and Emil Forsberg converted a penalty to level the scores with the half-time whistle imminent. The second half was evenly-balanced and yielded several chances on both sides, but more goals refused to come.
The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Benjamin Pavard, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and Lucas Hernández in a back four. Joshua Kimmich and Thiago anchored a midfield featuring Serge Gnabry, Thomas Müller and Kingsley Coman, with Lewandowski as sole striker. Alphonso Davies and Corentin Tolisso came on for Gnabry and Müller after the hour mark, Philippe Coutinho taking over from Thiago in the closing stages.
The 42,146 full house at the Red Bull Arena saw Bayern go straight onto the front foot, and only two minutes had been played when Müller got hold of the ball in midfield and knocked a pinpoint pass into Lewandowski's path, the Poland captain crashing home. The early lead boosted the German record champions, Gnabry and Lewandowski seeing efforts blocked before the latter miscued a header.
Netminder Peter Gulácsi proved equal to Gnabry and Lewandowski before referee Sascha Stegemann awarded a penalty for a foul against Hernández but cancelled it after VAR intervention. However, Stegemann soon pointed to the spot in Bayern's box after Hernández tripped Yussuf Poulsen, and Emil Forsberg's converted penalty meant the scoreline did not reflect Bayern's dominance.
Twice the woodwork but no goals
The second half was an evenly-matched affair, Leipzig roaring off the blocks after the restart. Marcel Halstenberg saw a shot blocked before Neuer made a fine save against Nordi Mukiele. Coman's cross-cum-shot evaded Lewandowski at the other end, Leipzig's Timo Werner miscuing a shot before Neuer denied a Marcel Sabitzer effort from distance.
Sub Tolisso drew a fine save from Gulácsi straight after coming on as Bayern increasingly reasserted their authority, Gulácsi directing a Coman effort onto the crossbar. Neuer denied Werner before a Süle header hit the post in stoppage time, and Stegemann blew for full-time.
The result means Bayern have eight points from four matches, lying third in the nascent standings. The Bavarians will be back in action on Wednesday, when they entertain Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.
Live match report for fcbayern.com by Greg Salmen
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Gulácsi – Mukiele, Konaté, Orban – Klostermann (Demme 46), Forsberg (Nkuku 69), Laimer, Halstenberg – Sabitzer, Poulsen (Cunha 81), Werner
Mvogo – Haidara, Ilsanker, Lookman, Schick, Ampadu
Neuer – Pavard, Süle, Boateng, Hernández – Kimmich, Thiago (Coutinho 88) – Gnabry (Davies 62), Müller (Tolisso 63), Coman – Lewandowski
Ulreich – Martínez, Coutinho, Cuisance, Perišić, Arp, Boateng, Davies, Tolisso
Sascha Stegemann (Niederkassel)
0-1 Lewandowski (3), 1-1 Forsberg (45+3, pen)
Halstenberg, Nkuku, Laimer, Sabitzer / Lewandowski, Boateng