Franck Ribery’s stunning first-half volley paved the way for FC Bayern München’s 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankurt on Saturday as the Bundesliga frontrunners stretched their lead to eight points.
FC Bayern München 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: 1-0 Ribery (20')
With second-placed Borussia Dortmund playing later in the day, Pep Guardiola’s men seized their opportunity to up the ante in the title race.
The first non-German player to score 25 Bundesliga goals in a season for Bayern, Robert Lewandowski might have added to his historic tally but saw an early header drop wide of the target before shooting wildly when an inviting ball had been touched back to him.
With Kingsley Coman sidelined with injury, it was Bayern’s more experienced Frenchman who took centre stage. Ribery’s creativity had already threatened to provide the breakthrough before he leapt to brilliantly volley into the net after Mario Götze’s shot had ricocheted up off Lukas Hradecky.
Seconds after the restart, Szabolcs Huszti raced forward and sent a shot across the face of Manuel Neuer’s goal, but the Germany goalkeeper was otherwise underemployed as his team-mates pressed at the opposite end.
A Thomas Müller follow-up to a weak Hradecky punch was blocked and Lewandowski sent a first-time effort narrowly wide. Hradecky would have been happy to get any sort of a touch on Xabi Alonso’s sublime free-kick; instead, the Frankfurt goalkeeper could only watch as the Spaniard’s effort struck the crossbar. Hradecky, heroic throughout, then denied Müller late on to allow Frankfurt to leave with their pride intact, if not any points.
Man of the Match
Coman has been grabbing the headlines in recent weeks, but with the youngster watching on from the Allianz Arena stands, Ribery showed his compatriot there is some ooh-la-la left in his legs.
Frankfurt boss Niko Kovac will have been happy with the effort his side put in and the good fortune they enjoyed in not conceding more goals. Will it be enough to keep them up?
- Ribery’s strike was his first competitive goal of 2016.Neuer registered his 150th clean sheet in his 311th Bundesliga appearanceBayern have not conceded against Frankfurt in their last eight meetings, a Bundesliga record.Hradecky made nine saves to give the visitors hope of a positive result.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Javi Martinez, Alaba, Juan Bernat - Xabi Alonso - Müller, Götze (Vidal 85’), Thiago, Ribery – Lewandowski (Costa 71’)
Frankfurt: Hradecky - Chandler, Zambrano, Abraham, Djakpa - Hasebe, Huszti (Stendera 48’) - Aigner, Oczipka – Seferovic (Castaignos 58’), Ben-Hatira (Kittel 64’)