Summary

  • Bayern return top with victory in Darmstadt.
  • Bavarians now tied on 36 points with surprise package RB Leipzig.
  • Strong display from Darmstadt, who remain bottom of the league.

FC Bayern München returned to the Bundesliga summit on Sunday evening after a hard-fought 1-0 victory away to a dogged SV Darmstadt 98 side.

SV Darmstadt 98 0-1 FC Bayern München

Goals: 0-1 Costa (71')

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Darmstadt may have been bottom of the table going into the game but Bayern did not have things all their own way, as the hosts began confidently, harrying their guests in possession and attacking with intent down the flanks. And although Manuel Neuer's goal was never seriously threatened, Darmstadt's well-organised defence kept Bayern at arm's length for most of an entertaining but goalless first half.

Carlo Ancelotti's side increased the tempo in the second period as they tried to force a breakthrough, but Darmstadt continued to defend stoutly and deny the reigning Bundesliga champions any space in the final third. However, Bayern's pressure eventually told midway through the half when Douglas Costa arrowed a sensational long-range effort into the top corner. To their credit, Darmstadt never gave up but could simply find no way through, allowing Bayern to return home with the points.

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Bayern had to battle hard away to Darmstadt, and many of their best chances arose from set-pieces, such as this Robert Lewandowski free-kick.

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Man of the match

Any number of players could have taken this honour given the disciplined team performances on either side, but Costa proved to be the decisive figure with his match-winning strike.

Talking point

Bayern's victory sets up a mouth-watering Matchday 16 clash against RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Both sides are on 36 points and are separated by goal-difference alone.

Match stats

  • Costa scored his third Bundesliga goal of the season.
  • Bayern have now scored six-long range goals this term – more than any other side.
  • Darmstadt's Jerome Gondorf covered more ground than any other player on the pitch (12.44 kilometres).

Line-ups

Darmstadt: Esser – Fedetskyy, Niemeyer (Colak 78'), Sulu (c), Holland – Vrancic, Gondorf – Sirigu, Rosenthal (Jungwirth 65'), Heller – Schipplock (Obinna 90+1')

Coach: Ramon Berndroth

Bayern: Neuer (c) – Rafinha, Martinez, Hummels, Alaba – Thiago, Alonso, Vidal (Ribery 69') – Müller (Kimmich 79'), Lewandowski, Costa (Sanches 90+2')

Coach: Carlo Ancelotti

Watch: Douglas Costa explains his goal celebration with Arturo Vidal: