Bundesliga : Leipzig hold front runners Bayern Munich to 1-1 draw
Berlin (Germany) : Former European champions Bayern Munich shared the spoils with resilient Leipzig in a match that could be considered the curtain raiser of the second half of the Bundesliga season.
Marcel Halstenberg’s goal in the second half cancelled out Bayern striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s first-half opener as the two teams came out tied 1-1 on Friday night.
The Bavarians took the reins from the kick-off and almost opened the scoring with eight minutes played when Serge Gnabry rattled the woodwork with a shot from the edge of the box.
Bayern enjoyed more possession of the ball, but Leipzig looked quick and dangerous on counterattacks as the match progressed. Emil Forsberg forced Yann Sommer into action in the 22nd minute, but his effort was denied comfortably by Bayern’s new goalie, reports Xinhua.
Leipzig increased the pressure but lacked accuracy in the final third after Dani Olmo pulled wide from a promising position five minutes later. The visitors thought they had opened the scoring at the other end, but Leon Goretzka’s header was ruled offside following a VAR review at the half-hour mark.
Andre Silva had a lot of space ahead but couldn’t go through as Dayot Upamecano dispossessed Silva inside the box in the last nick of time in the 35th minute. Clinical Bayern eventually broke the deadlock with 37 minutes played as Gnabry whipped a pinpoint cross allowing Choupo-Moting to slot home his seventh goal of the season.
Leipzig started powerfully into the second half and got rewarded in the 52nd minute when Bayern failed to clear the ball before Halstenberg poked home a cross from very close range to restore parity.
The Red Bulls pressed frenetically for the decider, but Bayern’s defense stood firm to secure a point on the road. “I saw some good things but after two months there is of course some room for improvement.
We didn’t play out our opportunity and were sloppy in the final third. The goal against us was completely unnecessary but we still secured a vital point,” said Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann.
“We didn’t play well in the first half. We made too many mistakes, but it was a typical game after a two-month break. We improved after the break and snatched a draw on home soil,” commented Leipzig coach Marco Rose.