bundesliga

Bundesliga title race to go down to final day after RB Leipzig hold leaders Bayern Munich

The 2018/19 Bundesliga title race will go down to the final day after leaders Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund beat Fortuna Düsseldorf on the penultimate weekend.

RB Leipzig 0-0 Bayern Munich

Four points clear at the start of play and knowing a win would seal a seventh successive title, Bayern shaded the early exchanges as Serge Gnabry fired off the game’s first attempt, planting a long-range effort straight down Peter Gulacsi’s throat. Robert Lewandowski went closer still moments later but, after bringing down Thiago’s sumptuous dinked pass, could not land his effort on target. Leipzig grew into the contest, with Yussuf Poulsen shooting wide and seeing a goal-bound effort blocked by Mats Hummels. The action in full swing, Gnabry volleyed at Gulacsi late in a frenetic first half before news of a Christian Pulisic goal for second-placed Dortmund filtered through.

Bayern emerged from the break with renewed purpose as David Alaba drew a smart stop from Gulacsi, and Kingsley Coman pinged the follow-up wide. The defending champions thought they’d taken the lead with their next attack, but Leon Goretzka’s acrobatic volley was ruled out for an offside decision against Lewandowski following consultation with the VAR. Bayern attacked with even greater urgency as Gnabry grazed the upright, but Leipzig continued to pose a serious threat on the counter with Marcel Halstenberg crashing an effort wide. Gulacsi and Ibrahima Konate combined to thwart Lewandowski at close quarters, leaving Bayern two points clear of Dortmund - 3-2 winners against Düsseldorf - ahead of their season-ending home game with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka had what might have been a title-clinching goal ruled out. - imago images / Annegret Hilse

Match stats

  • Bayern will win a seventh successive Bundesliga title if they avoid defeat to Frankfurt, unless they draw and Dortmund beat Borussia Mönchengladbach by 18 goals.
  • This match was a dress rehearsal for the 2019 DFB Cup final on Saturday 25 May.
  • Leipzig are unbeaten in their last 15 (W10, D5), a new club record.
  • Leipzig goalkeeper Gulacsi has kept more clean sheets this season (16) than any other custodian. Bayern stopper Sven Ulreich has four shut-outs in eight league games this term.
  • Franck Ribery could win a record-breaking ninth Bundesliga title if Bayern are crowned champions next week, one more than fellow club legends Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Oliver Kahn and Mehmet Scholl.
  • Leipzig's Arsenal-owned midfielder Emile Smith Rowe made his second Bundesliga appearance.

Line-ups

Leipzig: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Konate, Orban (c), Halstenberg – Sabitzer, Demme (Haidara 82'), Laimer (Mukiele 86'), Forsberg (Smith Rowe 90') - Poulsen, Werner
Unused subs: Müller, Saracchi, Bruma, Cunha
Out: Adams (groin), Kampl (suspended), Upamecano (knee)
Coach: Ralf Rangnick

Bayern: Ulreich – Kimmich, Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Thiago (Rafinha 81'), Goretzka – Gnabry (Ribery 78'), Müller (c), Coman (Robben 89') – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Hoffmann, Boateng, Davies, Sanches
Out: Früchtl (elbow), James (calf), Martinez (shin splints), Neuer (calf)
Coach: Niko Kovac