"It's all in the mind" - Leon Bailey used his brainpower as well as his fearsome left boot to help Bayer Leverkusen overcome Bayern Munich on Matchday 20. - Imago/ DFL
"It's all in the mind" - Leon Bailey used his brainpower as well as his fearsome left boot to help Bayer Leverkusen overcome Bayern Munich on Matchday 20. - Imago/ DFL
bundesliga

MD20's Man of the Matchday Leon Bailey on how he tricked Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in Bayer Leverkusen win

Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has revealed how he got the better of Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich with a stunning free-kick on Matchday 20 – instigating a sensational come-from-behind victory that could potentially play a decisive role in this season's title race.

Bayern were leading 1-0 at the time and on course to record an eighth straight Bundesliga win when Bailey stepped up to take a free-kick in the 53rd minute, about 30 yards out and slightly right of centre.

Ulreich, who was playing for the first time this season after regular No.1 Manuel Neuer suffered a hand injury in training on Friday, had done his homework. Or so he thought, until Bailey struck the ball right in its sweet spot, sending a powerful, swerving effort around the wall and into the net.

Leon Bailey's moment of magic caught Sven Ulreich off guard. - imago/Herbert Bucco

"Bailey often hits it over the wall, that's something we analysed and looked at a lot during the week," the 30-year-old custodian told Bild after the final whistle.

"It was a very good free-kick. It went in right by the post. Even if I'd been half a metre further to my right I'd have struggled to save it."

So what exactly did Bailey do? "I tricked Sven," the Jamaican said at the final whistle. "I'd already scored a free-kick against him in the other corner [in last season's DFB Cup semi-finals]. I knew that he often takes a small step towards the side covered by the wall, so I deliberately chose the other side. I caught the free-kick perfectly, it was a good trick."

Watch: Bailey talks us through his wondergoal

Not only that, but it ended Bailey's five-month goal drought in the Bundesliga, the 21-year-old winger having last found the target against Wolfsburg on Matchday 2. "I'm grateful that I could help the team again with a moment like this," he said. "Obviously I haven't scored a goal in a long time and it will give me a lot more confidence."

It did much more than that. Not only did it prove to be the catalyst Leverkusen needed to start a comeback, with further goals from Kevin Volland and Lucas Alario sealing a 3-1 win that lifts Leverkusen up to seventh, it simultaneously dented Bayern's title hopes, as Borussia Dortmund moved seven points clear at the top thanks to their 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.