Alphonso Davies came to Bayern Munich's rescue on Monday evening, scoring the equaliser as the Bundesliga leaders fought back from two goals down to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to a plucky Arminia Bielefeld side in the final Matchday 21 fixture.
A whopping 31 points and 15 places separated these teams at kick-off, with hosts Bayern – freshly minted FIFA Club World Cup champions – the obvious favourites to take all three points and cement their lead at the top of the standings. Bielefeld evidently didn’t read the script though, as although the home side dominated possession they laboured to break down a compact visiting defence. The Reds’ own backline was far more porous, however, and Bielefeld took a shock lead in the ninth minute when Bundesliga debutant Michel Vlap collected Manuel Prietl’s pass on the edge of the box, spinning between two defenders in one movement and curling an unstoppable shot past Manuel Neuer. Visibly buoyed by that goal, Uwe Neuhaus’ side grew in confidence on a snow-covered pitch at the Allianz Arena, and extended their lead shortly before the interval when Vlap’s corner was met by the unmarked Amos Pieper, who headed in from the edge of the six-yard box.
Bayern emerged for what was a frenetic second half determined to make amends, and pulled a goal back almost instantly through a stunning Robert Lewandowski finish, controlling the ball on his chest before volleying home. If a Bayern onslaught was expected, the Bielefeld response was not, but they struck again just 55 seconds later when Christian Gebauer tapped in from close range following an excellent run from Andreas Voglsammer. Unfazed, Bayern kept plugging away and soon reduced the deficit again when Corentin Tolisso headed in Leroy Sane's right-wing cross, but the plucky visitors refused to give up, and even scored a fourth, only for substitute Sergio Cordova's effort to be ruled out for offside. The home side's pressure eventually took its toll though, with Davies thundering in the equaliser from another Sane cross to ensure a share of the points for the league leaders.
- Vlap scored on his Bundesliga debut with his first shot and just his eighth touch of the ball.
- His goal was the earliest Bielefeld have found the net this season, and first time they have scored in the opening 15 minutes this term.
- Pieper scored his first-ever top-flight goal on his 17th Bundesliga outing. The visitors hit the target with two of their three shots in the first half.
- Bayern have now conceded eight headed goals in the league in 2020/21, their highest such total since 2008/09.
- Lewandowski now has 25 Bundesliga goals this term, more than any other player at this stage of a campaign in the league's history.
- Davies scored for the first time since 30 May 2020. All five of his career Bundesliga goals to date have come at the Allianz Arena.
Watch: Davies: "We knew we had to fight"
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Sarr (Kimmich 58'), Süle, Hernandez, Davies - Tolisso, Alaba - Sane, Choupo-Moting, Coman - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Pavard, Roca, Dantas, Musiala, Sieb, Zaiser
Out: Boateng (not included), Gnabry (hamstring), Goretzka (not included), Müller (not included), Nianzou (thigh), Nübel (ankle)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Bielefeld: Ortega - Brunner, Pieper, Nilsson, Laursen - Kunze, Prietl - Doan (Gebauer 41'), Vlap (Cordova 62'), Vogelsammer (Seufert 62') - Klos (c) (Van der Hoorn 89')
Unused subs: Linner, Okugawa, de Medina, Hartel, Schipplock
Coach: Uwe Neuhaus