FC Bayern München won the Herbstmeisterschaft - the unofficial title for the Bundesliga leaders at the midpoint of the campaign - after battling to a 2-0 win over FC Ingolstadt 04.
Promoted Ingolstadt tore up the script in the first period by taking the game to their illustrious Bavarian neighbours. Bayern’s only real chance of the half fell to Robert Lewandowski, who looped the ball over the onrushing Ramazan Özcan, only for Roman Bregerie to race back and clear off the line. Other than that, the goalmouth action took place almost exclusively at the other end, with Philipp Lahm getting a crucial block in on Pascal Groß and Manuel Neuer saving at the feet of Stefan Lex, before beating away a fizzing strike from Lukas Hinterseer.
Pep Guardiola must have had some stern words for his side during the break because Bayern were almost unrecognisable as an attacking unit after the break. Özcan pulled off three fantastic saves from Lahm, Lewandowski and Thomas Müller, and while Neuer had to be at his best to foil Lex, there only ever looked like being one winner. The breakthrough duly came courtesy of Lewandowski, the Pole rounding Özcan and tucking away his 15th Bundesliga goal of the season, before Lahm made the points safe following some typically tenacious play from Müller.
Man of the match
Had it not been for Neuer, Bayern may well have been looking at a second successive Bundesliga defeat. The Germany No.1 made some exceptional stops when many would have expected him to have very little to do.
The nominal Herbstmeisterschaft (autumn championship) is usually a good sign for Bayern. The 24-time Bundesliga champions have only failed to win the league on three of the 20 previous occasions when they have topped the mid-season standings.
- Bayern have not lost to a newly promoted side in 23 matches.
- The defending champions have scored more second-half Bundesliga goals than any other club in 2015/16 (29).
- Bayern defender Holger Badstuber made his first Bundesliga start since 18 April.
- Guardiola’s side are yet to concede in the Bundesliga when midfielder Joshua Kimmich has been named in the starting line-up.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm (c), Boateng (Alonso 70’), Badstuber, Rafinha - Javi Martinez - Müller (Rode 79’), Vidal (Thiago 51’), Kimmich, Coman - Lewandowski
Ingolstadt: Özcan - Levels, M. Matip (c) Bregerie, Ro. Bauer - Roger - P. Groß, Cohen (Wannenwetsch 53’) - Lex (Christiansen 68’) Leckie - Hinterseer (Multhaup 78’)