FC Bayern München celebrated their 116th birthday with a hard-fought 2-0 win away to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday afternoon.
Bayern began this game as if affronted by the suggestion that Wolfsburg could exact revenge for the Robert Lewandowski-inspired 5-1 thrashing back in September, and squeezed their hosts high up the pitch straight away. Yet they struggled to penetrate a well-organised backline and failed to seriously trouble Koen Casteels in the home goal. In fact it was Wolfsburg’s Marcel Schäfer who had the best chance of the half just before the interval, but dragged his close-range shot wide from Max Kruse’s knock down.
The hosts came out of their shell after the break and Bayern needed Manuel Neuer to make a fine save from a fierce Julian Draxler strike on the counter. Yet the visitors’ pressure eventually took its toll, with Kingsley Coman volleying home from a looping cross after fine work from substitute Franck Ribery. Lewandowski quashed any hopes the Wolves had of equalising when his delicate flick with the outside of his boot nestled in the net to seal the points for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Man of the match
Ribery’s introduction off the bench changed the game for Bayern. The Frenchman’s pace and trickery unsettled the Wolfsburg defence and he had a hand in creating both goals.
The win provided a fitting way for Bayern to celebrate the 116th anniversary of the club’s founding in 1900. The victory also takes Bayern to 62 points, exactly twice as many as Wolfsburg have.
- Coman’s goal was his first in 2016 and his fourth Bundesliga strike overall.
- Lewandowski has now scored eight goals in the second half of the season, and 23 so far this term.
- The last player to have 23 goals after 23 rounds of matches was legendary Bayern striker Gerd Müller in the 1973/74 season.
Wolfsburg: Casteels – Träsch (Schürrle 72’), Naldo (c), (Knoche 76’), Dante, Rodriguez – Gustavo – Vieirinha, Draxler, Arnold, Schäfer (Azzaoui 84’) – Kruse
Bayern: Neuer – Lahm (c), Kimmich, Alaba, Bernat – Alonso – Robben (Ribery 56’), Müller, Costa (Thiago 50’), Coman – Lewandowski