Augsburg - FC Bayern Munich stretched their lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings to a commanding eleven points after a comfortable 2-0 victory at fellow Bavarians FC Augsburg.
Hosts start well
The home side started brightly and had the better of the opening exchanges, but it was Bayern who scored the first goal, Thomas Müller firing in a first-half penalty. The visitors sealed the points in the second half, when substitute Mario Gomez smashed in a second just two minutes after his introduction.
Augsburg had gone into the game never having beaten their illustrious Bavarian neighbours, but they set about trying to that statistic with a performance combining courage and quality in the opening stages at the SGL Arena. Sascha Mölders was unlucky to get the ball stuck under his feet after Tobias Werner's dangerous left-wing cross, before Knowledge Musona then forced a smart save from Manuel Neuer at his near post.
Bayern seemed somewhat surprised at the tenacious start their hosts had made and it took the league leaders until midway through the half to really stretch the home defence. After some superb one-touch interplay, Mario Mandzukic broke free to flash a drive wide of the target, before he then forced Mohamed Amsif into a smart stop with a close-range strike.
Reds given a helping hand
Bayern were slowly but surely beginning to turn the screw but disappointingly for Augsburg, they gifted their opponents the breakthrough at a crucial time. Six minutes before the break, Toni Kroos’ pass was clearly blocked by the arm of Gibril Sankoh in the penalty area, and Thomas Müller stepped up to roll the resulting spot-kick home. To add insult to injury, Mölders then missed a glorious opportunity to register an instant reply when he headed wastefully over the bar.
The complexion of the game had changed after Müller’s penalty and the visitors were now easily able to keep Augsburg at arm’s length, with Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger interrupting their every attempt to build a meaningful attack. Indeed it was Bayern who looked the more likely to find the next goal, and so it proved on the hour as, just two minutes after his introduction, Gomez was released to crash a well-struck effort inside Amsif’s near post.
Never in doubt
It was the 15th goal that Augsburg had conceded at home this season, and against a side that had let in just one on the road in the entire campaign, whatever confidence they still possessed slowly dissipated as the match progressed. Werner and Musona were full of running on the flanks, but Bayern’s pressing was such that little or no decent service arrived to Mölders or substitute Aristide Bance in the box.
The final moments of the match passed without much incident, as Bayern comfortably saw out the win for their seventh clean sheet away from home, while Augsburg were left to reflect on their fifth home loss of the campaign.
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