Leon Goretzka scored twice as Bayern Munich closed the gap on Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, at least temporarily, to three points with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Julian Nagelsmann’s Hoffenheim.
Bayern were first to every first, second and third ball in a dominant first half, which saw Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller go close, before Goretzka stuck away the opener after Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann could only parry Lewandowski’s initial header. Hoffenheim carved out a couple of rare openings towards the end of the half, but Bayern had the final say as Goretzka turned in David Alaba’s inch-perfect cross to punctuate a devastating counter.
It looked like it might be a cakewalk for Bayern as Goretzka and Javi Martinez passed up chances to add to their lead early in the second half, but Hoffenheim had other ideas. Leonardo Bittencourt and Joelinton tested Manuel Neuer, before Nico Schulz stole a yard on Alaba and lashed into the far corner from 18 yards to halve the deficit. Neuer pulled off a breathtaking diving save to thwart Hoffenheim substitute Adam Szalai, and it proved a key moment in the game. Four minutes later, the newly introduced James Rodriguez clipped a sensational pass over the Hoffenheim defence for Müller, who volleyed across goal for Lewandowski to put the seal on Bayern's sixth successive Bundesliga win.
- Goretzka has opened the scoring with each of his last six Bundesliga goals. He scored the first brace of his Bundesliga career.
- Schulz scored his first of the season with his 16th attempt on goal.
- Nagelsmann is the youngest coach in Bundesliga history to reach 100 appearances.
- Canadian teenager Alphonso Davies was named in the Bayern squad for the first time in the Bundesliga.
- Martinez has reached 100 Bundesliga wins in fewer appearances than any other Bayern player (120 games). Arjen Robben did it in 126.
- James made his first Bundesliga appearance since Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Freiburg on 2 November 2018.
- Eight of Lewandowski’s 11 Bundesliga goals this season have come on the road.
Hoffenheim: Baumann – Posch, Vogt (c) (Grillitsch 56'), Hübner – Kaderabek, Bittencourt, Demirbay (Geiger 56'), Schulz – Belfodil, Joelinton (Szalai 78'), Kramaric
Unused subs: Stolz, Brenet, Adams, Amiri
Out: Rupp (knee), Bicakcic (illness), Hack (illness)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Goretzka, Thiago (James 78'), Martinez (Boateng 90') – Müller, Coman (Gnabry 73') - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, Rafinha, Davies, Sanches
Out: Ribery (thigh), Tolisso (knee), Robben (thigh)
Coach: Niko Kovac
Watch: Alaba says Bayern "still have work to do"