Arjen Robben was in inspirational form as FC Bayern München came from behind to beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 3-1 in the Matchday 13 curtain-raiser on Friday evening.
1. FSV Mainz 05 1-3 FC Bayern München
Goals: 1-0 Cordoba (4'), 1-1 Lewandowski (8'), 1-2 Robben (21'), 1-3 Lewandowski (90+2')
Perhaps encouraged by Bayern's recent wobbles – the reigning champions have lost two and drawn one of their last five competitive games – and also memories of their victory at the Allianz Arena last season, Mainz began strongly and sought to put pressure on their visitors from the off. The strategy paid dividends almost immediately when Jhon Cordoba out-muscled Javi Martinez to break free and fire the opener past Manuel Neuer.
However, Bayern soon turned the game around. Robert Lewandowski equalised from Arjen Robben's pass, before the Dutchman also got his name on the scoresheet with a well-taken header at the back post. Unbowed, Mainz fought throughout and although they largely succeeded in stifling Bayern's attacking efforts, they had difficulty getting close to Neuer's goal again. As such, the visitors had a relatively trouble-free closing period, with a late direct free-kick from Lewandowski putting the seal on a ninth league victory of the season.
In their unaccustomed role in the chasing pack, Bayern are doing all they can to keep the pressure on league leaders RB Leipzig and have now won their last two Bundesliga fixtures since losing top spot.
- Cordoba ended a nine-game run without scoring in this fixture.Lewandowski has now scored more Bundesliga goals against Mainz (11) than any other player.Robben and Franck Ribery, the duo known as 'Robbery', were in the starting line-up together for the first time since 2 Match 2016.
Mainz: Lössl - Donati, Balogun, Bell (c), Hack (Öztunali 62'), Brosinski – Frei (Latza 72'), Ramalho (De Blasis 81'), Malli - Onisiwo, Cordoba
Coach: Martin Schmidt
Bayern: Neuer – Kimmich (Vidal 77'), Martinez, Hummels, Alaba - Lahm (c), Thiago - Robben, Müller (Sanches 87'), Ribery (Costa 66') - Lewandowski
Coach: Carlo Ancelotti