Leon Goretzka scored the decisive goal as Bayern Munich opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with victory over closest pursuers RB Leipzig.
There was a short delay to proceedings at the Red Bull Arena as Manuel Neuer attended to a tear in the net behind his goal, using a hand towel as a quick patch-up job. Despite Leipzig’s intense pressing, that was about as much work as the Bayern captain had to do in a nonetheless engaging first half. Speculative efforts from Leipzig pair Willi Orban and Amadou Haidara were blocked either side of a shot wide from Robert Lewandowski replacement Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, before Bayern forged ahead. Thomas Müller was the architect with a superb piece of control from Joshua Kimmich’s long pass into the box. Goretzka applied an emphatic first-time finish at Peter Gulacsi’s near-post. Leroy Sane and Choupo-Moting kept the Leipzig custodian busy in an ominous end to the opening 45.
Julian Nagelsmann introduced Justin Kluivert in a bid to wrestle back the initiative, with Leipzig much improved as an attacking unit as a result. Chances came and went as Christopher Nkunku and Marcel Sabitzer swiped wide. Dani Olmo misdirected a 12-yard volley and tickled the side netting soon after, before teeing up Sabitzer for a tame effort at Neuer - the home side's first shot on target of the game. Sabitzer's next attempt drew a finger-tip save from Bayern's No.1 as Leipzig locked down possession, but the record champions rode the storm. Jamal Musiala sliced wide from fellow substitute Serge Gnabry, while Müller forced Gulacsi into evasive action with a fierce shot on the turn. Leipzig had five attacking players on the pitch at one stage, but could not find a way through Bayern's disciplined back line. With seven rounds of fixtures remaining, the Bundesliga title is the holders' to lose.
- A seven-point lead at the summit has never been overturned at this stage in a Bundesliga season.
- Bayern's fifth successive league win ended Leipzig's eight-game unbeaten run.
- Hansi Flick's side have scored at least once in their last 62 competitive games in a row - a new club record. They last time they failed to score was in the goalless draw with Leipzig on 9 February 2020.
- Goretzka scored his fifth Bundesliga goal of the season. Müller has set up three of them, and a league-leading 15 this term.
- Neuer kept his seventh clean sheet of the season. Gulacsi tops the league standings with 13.
- Lucas Hernandez has never lost in 23 Bundesliga starts for Bayern.
Watch: Neuer: "A good step towards the title"
Leipzig: Gulacsi - Klostermann, Upamecano, Orban - Mukiele, Sabitzer (c), Adams (Hwang 82'), Haidara (Poulsen 73') (Konate 88') - Nkunku, Olmo (Sorloth 73') - Forsberg (Kluivert 46')
Unused subs: Tschauner, Martinez, Konate, Samardzic, Henrichs
Out: Angelino (thigh), Halstenberg (not included), Kampl (suspended), Laimer (match fitness), Szoboszlai (groin)
Coach: Julian Nagelsmann
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Pavard, Süle, Alaba, Hernandez - Kimmich, Goretzka (Musiala 72') - Sane (Martinez 80'), Müller, Coman (Gnabry 72') - Choupo-Moting
Unused subs: Nübel, Sarr, Roca, Nianzou, Dantas, Scott
Out: Davies (suspended), Boateng (suspended), Costa (metatarsal), Hoffmann (knee), Lewandowski (knee), Tolisso (thigh)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Watch: Nagelsmann: "If the season goes as normal, Bayern will be champions"