Robert Lewandowski struggled in front of goal as Bayern Munich left it late to secure a narrow 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Bayern Munich regained their place at the top of the table after securing a 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday. The victory helps them restore their narrow one-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, setting the tone perfectly for next weekend’sΒ Der Klassiker.

Coming on the back of a narrow win over Dynamo Kyiv in midweek, Bayern were far from their usual self. Although they had no issues dominating possession, they weren’t able to properly test the mettle of the Arminia defence that remained resilient and organised. It led to the Bavarians failing to score before half-time for only the second time in the Bundesliga this season.

Arminia doubled up on their defensive work rate in the second half, giving Bayern the freedom to have the lion’s share of possession. The minnows did create chances going forward but weren’t able to provide the end product. Their opponents, meanwhile, appeared very wasteful in front of goal.

In the end, though, the hosts were bailed out by a stunning strike from Leroy Sane from outside the box. It proved to be the winner as Bielefeld failed to make a late surge for an equaliser. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Bayern Munich players in their narrow victory over Arminia Bielefeld this weekend.

Manuel Neuer: 6/10

After a horrid display against Dynamo Kyiv in midweek, Manuel Neuer had a relatively quiet game against Arminia. Despite the opposition trying to make inroads into the final third, they failed to muster a single shot on target, leading to an easy and welcome clean sheet for the Bayern Munich goalkeeper.

Benjamin Pavard: 7.5/10

Benjamin Pavard has received a lot of criticism for his performances this season. However, the right-back produced a good defensive display against Arminia Bielefeld. He held his line well to trap Masaya Okugawa offside on multiple occasions and wasn’t susceptible on the break.

Dayot Upamecano: 7/10

Dayot Upamecano had a good game at the heart of the Bayern Munich backline. He fared well against Fabian Klos in aerial and physical duels, while his sheer pace made it almost impossible for the Bielefeld number nine to make runs in behind the backline.

Lucas Hernandez: 7/10

Lucas Hernandez helped out Upamecano defensively with his mobility and aggression. The Frenchman was also involved in the build-up, often making a run forward with the ball at his feet. His distribution was critical in helping Bayern play out from the back.

Alphonso Davies: 7.5/10

Alphonso Davies offered the pace and dynamism that was missing in the Bayern defensive line in their last Bundesliga game against Augsburg. The Canadian international took on the opposition defenders at will while providing dangerous crosses into the box. But he did lack a bit of the end product to actually make any impact.

Leon Goretzka: 6/10

Leon Goretzka endured a slightly disappointing evening up against Bielefeld. Indeed, the hard-working duo of Manuel Prietl and Sebastian Vasiliadis offered him absolutely no space to work with. It restricted his overall influence on the proceedings, eventually leading to his substation around the hour mark.

Corentin Tolisso: 7/10

Corentin Tolisso performed slightly better than Goretzka in the middle of the park. He offered more mobility while his superior technical prowess helped him work his way through the opposition press, at times. It remains to be seen whether the Frenchman gets the nod in the starting eleven in the upcoming game against Borussia Dortmund.

Kingsley Coman: 7/10

Kingsley Coman made his presence felt with multiple darting runs into the byline. It made life difficult for the opposition, keeping the defenders occupied. However, the explosive winger lacked the proper end product and was thus unable to register any goal or assist in the final third.

Thomas Muller: 7.5/10

It is simply impossible to keep Thomas Muller out of the game. While the German international didn’t enjoy a good outing due to the lack of space offered by the Arminia defenders, his immense understanding of the game helped him open up spaces for his teammates. The forward also registered the assist for Sane’s winner in the second half.

Leroy Sane: 7/10

Speaking of Sane, the former Manchester City winger wasn’t enjoying a good game at all. In fact, he was wasteful for the most part, even squandering a glorious scoring opportunity from close range. But the winger made amends with a stunning strike from outside the box, completely deceiving Stefan Ortega in goal.

Robert Lewandowski: 6/10

It simply wasn’t the night for Robert Lewandowski, who wasn’t given enough service upfront. The Pole also struggled to make himself involved in the proceedings with quick one-twos or layoffs, as the opposition were quick to close him down. Not the best of performances from the star striker, who is one of the two top candidates to win the Ballon d’Or on Monday.

Substitutes

Jamal Musiala: 7/10

Jamal Musiala offered the spark and energy in the Bayern Munich attack after coming on for Goretzka around the hour mark. He was also quite mature with his play, and it won’t be surprising to see the youngster starting against Dortmund next weekend.

Serge Gnabry: N/A

A late replacement for Sane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Niklas Sule: N/A

A late replacement for Sane. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.

Leave A Comment...

*