Thomas Müller’s first-half penalty gave FC Bayern München a 1-0 win away to Hannover 96 on Matchday 17.
Goals: 0-1 Müller (pen 40')
Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was forced to make a point-blank save from Thiago Alcantara inside five minutes. Manuel Neuer pushed a Leon Andreasen header onto the crossbar at the other end, but Bayern soon took charge, with Robert Lewandowski striking the post and Zieler clearing Müller’s follow-up off the line. The pressure was relentless and Hannover duly caved as Müller slotted home a penalty after Christian Schulz had handled in the box.
Bayern put on a masterclass in ball retention from thereon in, although Mevlüt Erdinc did have a deflected goal rightly ruled out for offside towards the end of the first half. Zieler had to be alert to efforts from Arturo Vidal and Lewandowski, before Hannover midfielder Edgar Prib chanced his arm from range. The Reds only ever posed a sporadic threat, however, as Bayern saw out their 15th Bundesliga win of the season with minimum fuss.
Man of the match
Pep Guardiola touched on Thiago’s creative impetus following last weekend’s 2-0 win over FC Ingolstadt 04 and will have been delighted with what he witnessed from his midfield synergist in Hanover. The 24-year-old was busy throughout, effortlessly pulling the strings and tracking back when required.
Bayern got the three points needed to keep second-placed Borussia Dortmund at arm’s length, but they will certainly be grateful for the winter break. With any luck, injured quintet Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Douglas Costa, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery will be ready to go again in the new year.
- Bayern started the game with only four players on the substitutes’ bench.
- Müller had never scored more than 14 Bundesliga goals in a single season before today. He is now joint-ninth with Lothar Matthäus on Bayern’s all-time list of scorers on 85 Bundesliga goals.
- Lewandowski has struck the woodwork a league-high four times this season.
- Hannover have lost six of their eight home games in the Bundesliga in 2015/16.
Hannover: Zieler - H. Sakai, Marcelo, Schulz (c), Albornoz - Sane, Schmiedebach - Karaman, Andreasen, Prib - Erdinc (Benschop 58’)
Bayern: Neuer (c) - Rafinha, Boateng, Badstuber - Martinez, Xabi Alonso - Müller, Vidal, Thiago, Coman - Lewandowski