Joshua Zirkzee scores on Bundesliga debut as Bayern Munich snatch late win in Freiburg
Robert Lewandowski eased into third on the Bundesliga's all-time scoring chart but substitute Joshua Zirkzee was Bayern Munich's match-winner in Freiburg, scoring a decisive late goal on his top-flight debut as the defending champions came away with a 3-1 victory.
Freiburg 1-3 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Lewandowski (16'), 1-1 Grifo (59'), 1-2 Zirkzee (90+2'), 1-3 Gnabry (90+5')
There was a warm embrace from Christian Streich for his Bayern counterpart Hansi Flick before kick-off, but the Freiburg coach must have needed a comforting arm around him as the hosts were pummelled from the off. Barely a minute in, Manuel Gulde had to lunge to clear after Philippe Coutinho's goalbound chip had beaten Mark Flekken. The Dutch goalkeeper pushed out a Benjamin Pavard header and watched Thomas Müller smash the rebound off a post before Lewandowski threw himself into the six-yard box to connect with Alphonso Davies' cross and claim a piece of history. Flekken's fingertips denied him Bundesliga goal 222 before Streich needed that arm again, though this time as his side were frustrated in their efforts to equalise. Manuel Neuer twice denied the hosts: his first save from Lucas Höler's volley was world class, the second more routine as he pushed Vincenzo Grifo's arcing cross behind. Had Grifo been able to keep down a volley just a couple of minutes earlier, even Neuer's heroics might not have been enough.
Germany coach Joachim Löw, who was in the stands of the Schwarzwald Stadion, would have been impressed. He also would have acknowledged Neuer was powerless to keep out the volley Grifo did get on target to level just before the hour mark. Ex-Bayern forward Nils Petersen came close to putting the hosts ahead soon after while Nicolas Höfler dragged his drive just wide as Bayern very nearly buckled. They revived when Ivan Perisic forced Flekken into a brilliant reflex stop, but only Davies' jet-heeled recovery denied Petersen a clear-cut opportunity. Substitute Brandon Borrello fizzed a effort wide with Neuer at full stretch while only the offside flag stopped Serge Gnabry scrambling home a second for Bayern in an edge-of-the-seat finale. Borrello passed up another chance before Zirkzee came off the bench on 90 minutes and barely 120 seconds later fired home his first professional goal before Gnabry slammed in a third with Freiburg punch drunk.
- Zirkzee's goal was his maiden first-team strike for Bayern and came on his Bundesliga debut.
- Lewandowski's strike was his 221st in the Bundesliga. That puts him into third on the all-time list ahead of Jupp Heynckes with only Gerd Müller (365) and Klaus Fischer (268) now in front of the Poland international.
- Only Müller in the 1976/77 campaign can match Lewandowski's tally of 19 league goals after 16 games of the season.
- Lewandowski has scored 15 times in as many Bundesliga games against Freiburg.
- Grifo's goal was his first Bundesliga strike of the season.
- Freiburg were the only Bundesliga team not to lose to Bayern last season (D2). It was the first time since 1996/97 that Die Breisgauer took points off Bayern in two single-season matches.
Watch: Alaba on Zirkzee: "He's earned it"
Freiburg: Flekken - Gulde, Koch, Heintz - Frantz (c) (Kwon 54'), Haberer, Höfler, Günter - Grifo (Borrello 74'), Petersen, Höler (Schlotterbeck 90+3')
Unused subs: Thiede, Abrashi, Itter, Keitel
Out: Gondorf (illness), Jeong (international duty), Kübler (knee), Lienhart (shoulder), Schmid (knock), Schwolow (hamstring), Tempelmann (knee), Waldschmidt (knee, calf, ankle)
Coach: Christian Streich
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Kimmich, Pavard, Alaba, Davies - Thiago - Gnabry, Müller (Martinez 63'), Coutinho (Zirkzee 90'), Perisic - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Dajaku, Boateng, Singh, Mai
Out: Arp (fractured wrist), Coman (knee), Cuisance (ankle), Goretzka (muscular), Hernandez (ankle), Süle (torn ACL), Tolisso (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick
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