Bayern loses despite leading in Leverkusen - now the gap to Borussia Dortmund is growing.
Without the injured captain Manuel Neuer, record champion Bayern Munich missed the eighth victory in a row. At Bayer Leverkusen, the Bavarians were beaten 1:3 (1:0) and left valuable points in the long-distance duel with autumn champion Borussia Dortmund who played 1:1 in Frankfurt. Goalkeeper Neuer was out of action due to a hand injury and was replaced on the Rhine by Sven Ulreich.
Due to the Dortmund draw in Frankfurt, the deficit of the Bavarians increased to seven points. National player Leon Goretzka (41.) was successful per head after Thomas Müller's cross to 1-0 for the visitors, who had clearly dominated in the first half.
Bayern manager Kovac was critical of two offside situations that were decided by the TV evidence - each to the disadvantage of the Munich team. First a supposed goal from Robert Lewandowski was not given shortly before the change of side, then the video assistants rated the 3-1 from Alario as correct.
Leverkusen turns the game around
Despite the fourth defeat of the season Kovac does not want to give up the fight for the championship and points to the simultaneous loss of points by BVB (1:1 in Frankfurt) saying the only positive thing is that Dortmund did not win. Leon Bailey (53rd) was responsible for the equaliser with a free-kick. Kevin Volland (63rd) made sure that the hosts were 2-1, who were not recognizable in the second half and gave the game an unexpected turn. In the 87th minute Lucas Alario made everything clear.
The Bavarians were too careless after the dominance in the first 45 minutes and were fought down by Bayer. In the injury time of the first half, a goal from Robert Lewandowski after video proof after long study was not given.
Bayern determines the initial phase
Even without five regulars, the Bavarians determined the action at the beginning, seemed ball-safe and could not be disturbed by the pressing of the hosts.
The most conspicuous guest player was Kingsley Coman, who repeatedly tore gaps across the left side and presented former Munich player Mitchell Weiser with great problems. Weiser had joined the factory team at short notice for Bayer captain Lars Bender, who was injured at his thigh. Besides Neuer, Bayern coach Niko Kovac had to replace four other regulars. In front of 30,210 spectators in the sold out BayArena, the injured or not yet completely restored Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Corentin Tolisso and Thiago were also missing.
Goretzka continues in goal mood
Nevertheless, Leverkusen had a lot of trouble to stand up to the combined flow of the Munich river. Coman (10./32.) provided the first good chances for the Munich team. In the 40th minute, the French national player forced Bayer keeper Lukas Hradecky to another brilliant parade with a 20 m shot. Goretzka, who scored four times in the past three games, had a well-deserved lead.
Bayer didn't come up with much at first. The wing tongs Leon Bailey and Karim Bellarabi hardly got a chance. There was not much to see of Leverkusen's attacking momentum in the first two games against Borussia Mönchengladbach (0:1) and VfL Wolfsburg (3:0) with a total of 44 shots on goal.