Bayern Munich was missing Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels but had no problem beating Bayer Leverkusen away from home.

By 90Min
January 12, 2018

The Bundesliga burst back into life on Friday night as Bayern Munich beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 at the BayArena in what was a pulsating fixture.

Goals on the night from Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez gave Bayern the win, with Kevin Volland's strike proving to be only a consolation for the home side.

The wins that Bayern are now 14 points clear at the top, with a 28th Bundesliga title looking increasingly likely this season. The defeat ended Leverkusen's 12-game unbeaten run in the league, which is the longest in the league so far this campaign. 

The first half began at a blistering pace with both sides opting to attack at will. Leverkusen set the tone early on with some strong tackles. The tactic of interrupting Bayern's rhythm worked as the Bavarian's failed to create anything of note in the opening exchanges.

Despite being on the back foot for the first 20 minutes or so of the first period, Bayern soon began to break the press from Leverkusen and exploited the home side's weakness in the full-back areas. 

The away side pushed for the opener, and in the 31st minute they had their goal. It was the Spaniard Martinez who smashed home from close range, after Arturo Vidal headed an Arjen Robben corner against Sven Bender, and the ex-Atletico Bilbao man reacted first to score the first goal of the Rückrunde.

The second half began in a similar vein to that of the first with both sides continuing to attack. Leon Bailey looked the most menacing of the Leverkusen attackers, and he had the first real chance of the second period.

The Jamaican picked the ball up on the right wing, drove at the heart of the Bayern defense, and after leaving Martinez in a knot, Bailey curled the ball beautifully towards goal, however his shot bounced off the bar.

Leverkusen began to push players forward in search of an equalizer, however they were soon punished for their efforts.

In the 58th minute, Bayern caught Leverkusen on the counterattack, and after a brilliant piece of play from Ribery, the Frenchman cut inside onto his right foot and smashed the ball low into the corner of the net.

Leverkusen responded positively to going 2-0 down, and not soon after they halved the deficit. 

The goal came with a slice of luck, as in the 70th minute Volland's shot deflected in off Niklas Sule, with Ulreich helpless to prevent the goal.

The home side's tails were up after the goal, and they should have equalized just moments later, however Ulreich saved well from a close range Volland shot.

Bayern remained strong at the back, and in the final few minutes they snatched another goal. With only seconds remaining, Colombian Rodriguez netted from a superb close range free kick, and all three points were well and truly wrapped up.

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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)