Thiago Alcantara’s second-half strike maintained Bayern Munich’s momentum as the record Bundesliga champions moved into second place thanks to a 2-1 triumph at Mainz on Saturday.
Mainz 1-2 Bayern
Goals: 0-1 Goretzka (39'), 1-1 Boetius (48'), 1-2 Thiago (62')
Bayern travelled to the Opel Arena buoyed by back-to-back wins in all competitions, but were sluggish out of the blocks as the exertions of their midweek UEFA Champions League trip to Greece appeared to weigh heavily in their legs. It took half an hour for the record Bundesliga champions to click, but a Robert Lewandowski volley and a Leon Goretzka effort ruled out by Video Assist were the prelude to the latter swivelling to volley home smartly a Joshua Kimmich cross and give Bayern a half-time lead.
Kimmich was beaten to Daniel Brosinski’s cross by Jean-Paul Boëtius as the Dutchman ended Mainz’s five-and-a-half game wait for a goal to level things early in the second half, but Niko Kovac’s men soon regrouped — Thiago lunged to turn in Lewandowski’s cross, ending a move started by a smart interception from Renato Sanches - a replacement for the injured Goretzka. Javi Martinez, a scorer in the midweek win at AEK Athens, nearly had a first league strike of the 2018/19 campaign, but the Spain international’s fizzing drive smashed off a post and ricocheted to safety.
WATCH: Thiago calls for more focus from Bayern
- Thiago’s goal opened the Spain international’s account for the campaign in all competitions.Goretzka’s strike was his second league goal of the season.Bayern have now won successive league matches for the first time since triumphing in their opening four encounters of 2018/19. Boetius’ equaliser was Mainz’s first goal for 497 Bundesliga minutes and five successive games.Mainz had been unbeaten at home this season (W2, D2).Mainz are winless in their last six, collecting just two points in that time.
Mainz: Müller – Brosinski (c), Bell, Niakhate, Martin – Gbamin, Kunde (Ujah 68'), Latza (Maxim 84') – Öztunali, Mateta (Quaison 68'), Boëtius
Unused subs: Zentner, Mwene, Hack, Onisiwo
Absentees: Adler (knee), Berggreen (muscular), Bungert (calf), Holtmann (foot)
Coach: Sandro Schwarz
Bayern: Neuer (c) – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba – Martinez, Thiago – Goretzka (Sanches 55'), Müller (Rafinha 84'), Gnabry (Ribery 57') – Lewandowski
Unused subs: Ulreich, James, Wagner
Absentees: Coman (ankle), Hummels (injured in warm-up), Tolisso (knee), Robben (suspended)
Coach: Niko Kovac