bundesliga

Returning Leon Goretzka helps Bayern Munich to Freiburg win

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Leon Goretzka celebrated his long-awaited comeback with the opening goal as Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich won 4-1 away to top-four candidates Freiburg.

Freiburg 1-4 Bayern Munich
Goals: 0-1 Goretzka 58' (assist: Kimmich), 1-1 Petersen 63' (assist: Günter), 1-2 Gnabry 73' (assist: Hernandez), 1-3 Coman 83' (assist: Upamecano), 1-4 Sabitzer 90'+6 (assist: Gnabry)

Bayern welcomed back Goretzka for the first time since the start of December. The Germany midfielder was on target in the reverse fixture, and fired off the first opening of note at the Europa Park Stadion, sending an improvised scissor-kick straight at Mark Flekken from 18 yards. Bayern proceeded to control play for long periods as Tanguy Nianzou sent a header from a corner wide and Leroy Sane shot straight at Flekken. Freiburg threatened sporadically, with Vincenzo Grifo typically the instigator. The Italy international found Roland Sallai on one such occassion, but his shot from eight yards was too close to Manuel Neuer. Joshua Kimmich went closest to breaking the deadlock late in a competitive first half, his inswinging effort direct from a corner almost catching out Flekken at his near post.

Flekken - fresh off winning his first senior international cap for the Netherlands - hadn't put a foot wrong, but was caught in no man's land as Goretzka headed in a Kimmich free-kick to give Bayern the lead. Christian Streich responded by introducing Nils Petersen, and the move paid off. Within seconds of entering the fray, the former Bayern striker exchanged passes out wide before racing into the box to collect from Christian Günter and fire past Neuer. Julian Nagelsmann had already introduced Jamal Musiala at the expense of Robert Lewandowski, but still had Serge Gnabry up his sleeve. The Germany international duly delivered, profitting from a Nico Schlotterbeck slip to control a Lucas Hernandez cross and slam beyond Flekken with his first few touches. Kingsley Coman added a third from 18 yards, and substitute Marcel Sabitzer a routine fourth in added time, as Bayern moved nine points clear of the chasing pack - for a couple of hours at least.

Match stats

  • Goretzka scored his first goal since 6 November, when Bayern beat Freiburg 2-1 in Munich.
  • Gnabry is the Bundesliga's top-scoring German in 2021/22, with 11 goals.
  • Petersen scored his 100th competitive goal for Freiburg, and record-extending 33rd as a Bundesliga substitute.
  • Streich has overseen one win in 19 meetings with Bayern (D5, L13), and two against teams coached by Nagelsmann (D3, L7).
  • Not including his own goal against Bayer Leverkusen, Müller has gone four Bundesliga matches without scoring, assisting or both for the first time since October-November 2019.
  • Bayern have 85 goals after 28 games. The Bundesliga leaders have six matches left to break the Bundesliga record they hold for single-season goals (101, 1971/72).

Watch: Müller: "Freiburg are awkward to play against"

Line-ups

Freiburg: Flekken - Gulde (Jeong 83'), Lienhart, N. Schlotterbeck - Schmid (Siquet 69'), Eggestein (Haberer 83'), Höfler, Günter (c) - Sallai (Petersen 62'), Höler (Weißhaupt 83'), Grifo
Unused subs: Uphoff, Sildillia, K. Schlotterbeck
Out: Keitel (broken toe), Kübler (muscular), Schade (abdominals)
Coach: Christian Streich   

Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard (Gnabry 72'), Nianzou, Upamecano, Hernandez - Kimmich, Goretzka (Tolisso 62', Süle 86') - Sane, Müller, Coman (Sabitzer 86') - Lewandowski (Musiala 62')
Unused subs: Ulreich, Richards, Roca, Stanisic
Out: Choupo-Moting (not included), Davies (heart), Tillman (ill)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann

Watch: Petersen on his supersub scoring ability