Advantage Bayer Leverkusen in title race after victory over Bayern Munich


Bayer Leverkusen opened up a five-point gap at the Bundesliga summit after a swashbuckling performance to defeat title rivals and defending champions Bayern Munich 3-0.

Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 Bayern Munich
Goals: 1-0 Stanišić 18' (assist: Andrich), 2-0 Grimaldo 50' (assist: Tella), 3-0 Frimpong 90'+5

Both coaches sprang surprises in their starting line-ups, with Jonas Hofmann and Jeremie Frimpong on the bench for Leverkusen, and Joshua Kimmich and Raphaël Guerreiro among the substitutes for Bayern, but there was nothing unusual about the visitors hogging the ball initially. However, for all their possession they struggled to create any chances – not an accusation that could be levelled at Leverkusen. Amine Adli tested Manuel Neuer with an angled drive before Robert Andrich teed up Bayern loanee Josip Stanišić to rifle in the opener. Nathan Tella, Florian Wirtz, Jonathan Tah and Adli again all had good opportunities to add to the scoreline before the interval, but Neuer produced some fine saves to keep the defending champions in the game.

The Bayern goalkeeper was powerless to keep out Álex Grimaldo's powerful shot early in the second half though, after the Spain international played a quick one-two with Tella before scurrying into the box and lashing the ball high into the net at the near post. Grimaldo almost grabbed his second of the game straight from a corner, his knuckleball delivery from the left striking the crossbar after catching Neuer off guard. Thomas Tuchel brought on Kimmich, Thomas Müller and Mathys Tel in response as Bayern sought a way back into the match, but Leverkusen remained the more dangerous team – Frimpong’s teasing cross from the right another indication of the hosts’ attacking intent. Kimmich drew a routine save from Lukáš Hrádecký in the closing stages before second-half substitute Frimpong had the final say, firing into an empty Bayern net after Neuer had come up for a corner at the other end. Bayern suffered thier third Bundesliga defeat of the season and handed further momentum to an unbeaten - and maybe even unbeatable - Leverkusen side in the title race. 

Match stats

  • Stanišić scored his first goal for Leverkusen in his 20th competitive appearance for the club.
  • The 23-year-old's only previous Bundesliga goal was for Bayern away to Wolfsburg in May 2022. 
  • Andrich's assist was his first in the Bundesliga this season.
  • Grimaldo has now scored eight Bundesliga goals this term, all with his left foot.
  • Tella has been directly involved in four goals in his last four league outings (three scored, one assist).
  • For the first time in eight years, Bayern only managed one shot on target in a Bundesliga game. 

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Watch: Alonso: “A great victory”


Leverkusen: Hrádecký (c) - Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapié - Stanišić, Xhaka, Andrich, Grimaldo (Puerta 90') - Tella (Frimpong 65'), Wirtz (Hložek 90') - Adli (Hofmann 82')
Unused subs: Kovář, Fosu-Mensah, Mbamba, Iglesias, Schick
Out: Arthur (thigh), Boniface (groin), Kossounou (international duty), Palacios (thigh)
Coach: Xabi Alonso

Bayern: Neuer (c) - Boey (Guerreiro 81'), Upamecano (Kimmich 60'), Kim, Mazraoui - Dier, Pavlović (Müller 60') - Sané, Goretzka (Tel 71'), Musiala (Choupo-Moting 81') - Kane
Unused subs: Ulreich, De Ligt, Aznou, Zvonraek
Out: Aséko (ankle), Buchmann (thigh), Coman (knee), Davies (knee), Gnabry (thigh), Laimer (calf), Peretz (knee), Sarr (knee), Zaragoza (ill)
Coach: Thomas Tuchel

Watch: Kane: "A really disappointing day"