Thiago helps Bayern down Stuttgart, extend Bundesliga lead
BERLIN -- Thiago scored with an acrobatic scissor kick in injury time for Bayern Munich to beat Stuttgart 2-1 and extend its Bundesliga lead to 13 points on Wednesday.
Thiago launched himself at Rafinha's cross to volley the ball inside the far corner from a difficult angle in the third minute of stoppage time in the sides' rescheduled game.
Bayern substitute Claudio Pizarro scored with a header from Thiago's free kick in the 76th minute, cancelling out Vedad Ibisevic's 29th-minute opener for the home side.
"We played a really good game and deserved at least a point," Stuttgart coach Thomas Schneider said.
Stuttgart had a penalty appeal waved away in the 12th, when Timo Werner's shot came back off Rafinha's arm, minutes after the 17-year-old's first effort was blocked by the scampering Bayern defense.
Bayern had reason to complain about the opening goal as the offside-positioned Mohammed Abdellaoue was last to touch the ball before Ibisevic tucked it away.
The visitors' only real chance of the first half fell to Thiago, whose fierce effort from distance was tipped over by Sven Ulreich.
Jerome Boateng had to clear Rani Khedira's volley off the line as the home side continued to enjoy the better chances in the second half, until Bayern brought on Pizarro and Mario Mandzukic on the hour.
Ulreich's outstretched leg denied Thiago in the 71st, and then Thomas Mueller three minutes later, before Pizarro finally equalized to preserve Bayern's record 43-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
"It felt like a win but in the end you have nothing," Stuttgart defender Konstantin Rausch said.
Thiago's spectacular late winner had a championship-winning feel. Bayern has won 16 of its 18 games and drawn the other two.
"When it's 1-1 two minutes before the end then (winning) is always lucky," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said. "We weren't as effective as usual. But in the second half the team showed we can be patient and score at the right time."
The game had been rescheduled last month to allow Bayern take part in the Club World Cup, which it won.
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