Monday November 21st, 2016

At last we have a bona fide title race in the Bundesliga: RB Leipzig maintained its unbeaten start with a dramatic 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen and in doing so, knocked Bayern Munich off top spot for the first time in 425 days. Bayern had a chance to leapfrog the upstart on Saturday, but went down 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund, so allowing it back in the race. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Dortmund’s winning goal, which was created by Mario Goetze, who moved from Dortmund to Bayern, and back again.

 

It doesn't take much to create ‘Bayern in crisis’ headlines and even though it played pretty well, and had its own chances – Franck Ribery back-heeled in an effort but was offside while Xabi Alonso hit a shot from range that rattled the crossbar – there is an air of concern around the club at the moment. Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to take off Philipp Lahm did not go down well (with Lahm, at least) and the lack of apparent strategy, especially compared to teams like Dortmund and RB Leipzig, was emphasized by Ancelotti’s mournful stance on the touchline. “Are the world-class players at Bayern not actually world-class, but we just thought they were under Guardiola?” asked Suddeutsche Zeitung. 

RB Leipzig is now three points clear of Bayern, who in turn is three points ahead of a pack of five teams, Dortmund among them. This win eases some pressure off Thomas Tuchel, who warned that RB Leipzig must be considered a contender as it could do a Leicester this season. We will know more after December 21: that’s when the unlikely top two face each other for a match that will tell us more about their credentials. 

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