Leverkusen traveled to the Bavarian capital in great form. They looked poised to avenge their crushing defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich last time out.
After Borussia Dortmund’s disappointing draw at Augsburg, FC Bayern extended their lead at the top of the table to eight points after a narrow victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. The win ensured they are well on course to be crowned champions for the 10th consecutive time.
Manuel Neuer has been absent in recent weeks due to injury. In that time, Bayern has only managed one clean sheet in six games. A better record in contrast to Leverkusen who has only managed one in 14 outings.
After their win at Frankfurt, Bayern will look to make it three wins in a row despite facing a team of a higher caliber.
In the reverse fixture, the Bavarians hammered Leverkusen 5-1 at the BayArena. A rather rude awakening proved for Gerardo Seoane’s side who needed a wake-up call early on in the season.
Die Werkself suffered a dip in form after that humiliation back in October. Their struggles continued before the winter break. However, they have picked themselves up since the beginning of 2022.
They have picked up Sixteen points from a possible 21 this year. They are also on an exciting run of form having won five of their last six games including a 5-2 thrashing of Dortmund. They now sit in third place. They are six points behind Dortmund and 14 points behind current opponents.
Bayern Munich has an exemplary record in this tie. They have won the last five matches and will look to extend that run.
With RB Leipzig, TSG Hoffenheim, and SC Freiburg breathing down their necks, Die Werkself would be wary of complacency in their race for the top four.
Whilst the visitors returned to winning ways last time out, they know they’re in for a stern test as they look to overcome the Bavarians.
With the scoreline of the reverse fixture still fresh in their memory, Leverkusen began with a much more conservative approach. They set out to counter-press the league leaders. Bayern swiftly found their attacking rhythm. They piled on the pressure as Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller came close to opening the scoring.
Their early pressure paid off soon after. An unlikely goalscorer in Niklas Süle finally opened the scoring from a corner after 18 minutes. He capitalized on Leverkusen’s failure to clear their lines. He pounced to score his first goal in 14 months.
Bayern has scored three or more goals in seven out of their ten wins at home this season. That statistic meant that Gerardo Seoane’s side had their work cut out.
However, Leverkusen drew level against the run of play after 36 minutes. Thomas üller diverted Kerem Demirbay’s free-kick out of Sven Ulreich’s path and into his net. That moment of madness snowballed into a completely wild final 10 minutes of the first half.
Amine Adli stole the ball from a hesitant Dayot Upamecano and rounded Ulreich. However, the tight angle saw his shot hit the post. Minutes later, he got a chance to right his wrong. He was in again but spurned his chance again. Serge Gnabry then hit the side netting for Bayern in added time.
Neither side could steal the lead before halftime, despite having plenty of chances to do so.
Die Werkself ceded possession to Bayern after the break. Their game plan was solely to try and hurt Bayern on the counter. It was clear they missed Patrik Schick in the attack. Their leading goal scorer couldn’t feature due to injury.
On the hour mark, barely seconds after he was introduced, Marcel Sabitzer had a glorious opportunity to restore Bayern’s lead. He couldn’t as his tame effort was saved with ease.
Substitutions and tactical shifts weren’t enough to unlock the visitors despite Bayern’s best efforts. Leverkusen grew in confidence. They however remained toothless without Schick.
They settled for a point to maintain a feasible distance between themselves and fourth place.