bundesliga

Joshua Zirkzee and Serge Gnabry fire Bayern Munich to late win against Wolfsburg

Joshua Zirkzee and Serge Gnabry scored late goals for the second time in as many games as Bayern Munich ground out a 2-0 win over stubborn Wolfsburg in their final match of 2019.

Bayern Munich 2-0 Wolfsburg
Goals: 1-0 Zirkzee (85'), 2-0 Gnabry (88')

After striking twice in injury time to down Freiburg in midweek, Bayern started with a spring in their step as former Wolfsburg man Ivan Perisic was denied at point-blank range by Koen Casteels. Felix Klaus had the chance to put Wolfsburg ahead after being slipped in by Xaver Schlager moments later, but Manuel Neuer made himself big to make the stop. Other than a moment of respite provided by Maxi Arnold's first-time effort that sailed just over Neuer's goal frame, Wolfsburg were on the back foot for the remainder of the half, but Bayern could not turn their dominance into goals. Thomas Müller shot wide, Gnabry forced a brilliant save from Casteels, Philippe Coutinho drove over and Robert Lewandowski was largely kept quiet as Wolfsburg went into the break with their standing as the Bundesliga's meanest defence intact.

Javi Martinez was forced off through injury late in first-half added time, and Bayern's already makeshift defence was very nearly undone within 120 seconds of the restart. Jerome Roussillon's ball into the six-yard box was begging to be put away, but Joao Victor was unable to apply the finishing touch. The defending champions responded in kind through Coutinho, who cut inside and directed a fierce effort towards the top corner, only for Casteels to push the ball away at full-stretch. Coutinho and Lewandowski carved open Wolfsburg on the hour to play in Alphonso Davies on left, but Jerome Roussillon pulled off a gravity-defying intervention to prevent Müller from heading home from six yards. Time was running out for Bayern, but their persistence told in the final five minutes when substitute Zirkzee and Gnabry scored quick-fire goals - just as they had in Freiburg - to break Wolfsburg's resistance.

Match stats

  • Bayern end the year in third place, four points behind leaders RB Leipzig. They trailed Borussia Dortmund by six points at the same juncture last season, but claimed the title on the final day.
  • Zirkzee, 18, made his second Bundesliga appearance after scoring on his debut against Freiburg. He scored with his first touch in both games.
  • Bayern have never lost at home to Wolfsburg, winning 66 of a possible 69 points and scoring in all 23 games.
  • Alaba made his 250th Bundesliga appearance. Two-hundred-and-thirty-three of them have come for Bayern, the club he joined aged 15. The other 17 fell during a loan spell at Hoffenheim during the second half of 2010/11.
  • Davies attempted more sprints than any other player (49).
  • Müller has nine goals and 11 assists in his 19 Bundesliga appearances against the Wolves. He also tops the Bundesliga assist charts after 17 matches in 2019/20 (11).

Watch: Davies: "I think I'm playing well"

Line-ups

Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Martinez (Boateng 45'+3'), Alaba, Davies - Kimmich - Gnabry (Dajaku 90'+1), Müller, Coutinho (Zirkzee 85'), Perisic - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Singh, Mai, Batista Meier
Out: Coman (knee), Cuisance (ankle), Goretzka (muscular), Hernandez (ankle), Süle (torn ACL), Thiago (suspended), Tolisso (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick

Wolfsburg: Casteels - Mbabu, Tisserand, Brooks, Roussillon - Guilavogui (c) - Steffen (Otavio 67'), Schlager (Gerhardt 57'), Arnold, Victor - Klaus (Weghorst 77')
Unused subs: Pervan, William, Brekalo, Knoche, Ginczek
Out: Camacho (ankle), Mehmedi (thigh)
Coach: Oliver Glasner

Watch: Gnabry: "The title race is still open"