By 90Min
October 20, 2018

Bayern Munich relieved the pressure on under-fire manager Niko Kovač as they defeated Wolfsburg 3-1 at the Volkswagen Arena on Saturday afternoon.


The Bavarians, who came into the game following consecutive Bundesliga defeats, went in front in the 30th minute through striker Robert Lewandowski, who then doubled his side's lead, three minutes after the restart.

Arjen Robben was dismissed for the visitors after receiving a second yellow card in the 57th minute, and the home side took advantage, reducing the deficit when Wout Weghorst latched onto substitute Admir Mehmedi's first-time cross to tap-in.

However, the away side regained their two-goal cushion when Lewandowski found James Rodríguez, who curled home first-time to beat Koen Casteels at his near-post, to seal the victory and bring an end to a four-game winless run in all competitions.

Check out our breakdown of the game below.


WOLFSBURG


Key Talking Point

Having failed to win in their previous five competitive matches, Wolfsburg were lacking confidence. They got into some promising positions in the first-half, but lacked the cutting-edge in the final-third.

The defenders looked out of sorts and were chasing shadows for the most part, which was evident when Lewandowski showed great desire to latch onto Mats Hummels' pass, unchallenged, and then slot home through the legs of Casteels.

Die Wölfe didn't learn their lesson in the second-half, when William wasn't assured enough in his headed back-pass, which allowed Lewandowski to sneak in and slot home his second of the game.

The home side initially did well to make use of the extra man after Robben was sent off. They utilised the space and got the ball out wide for substitute Mehmedi, whose cross was guided into the net by Weghorst, who pulled a goal back.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Koen Casteels (7); William (5), Knoche (6), Brooks (6), Roussillon (6); Arnold (6), Rexhbeçaj (6), Gerhardt (6); Steffen (6), Weghorst (7), Brekalo (6)


Substitutes: Mehmedi (6), Mallı (5), Ginczek (5)


STAR MAN - Casteels produced some terrific saves in the first-half to deny Rodríguez and Joshua Kimmich and then made a few stops from Lewandowski in the second-half. He was beaten at his near-post for Bayern's third, but he wasn't helped out by his Wolfsburg defenders. The keeper was the main reason the scoreline was as it was.

WORST PLAYER - William was too casual. He showed glimpses of his defensive capability, but was at fault for Bayern's second of the match. He didn't show enough care in his headed back-pass, which ultimately led to Lewandowski slotting home.


BAYERN MUNICH


Key Talking Point

With the pressure mounting on manager Kovač after a disappointing run of results, Bayern required a big performance against Wolfsburg. The international break looked to have come at the right time for the Bavarians, who looked re-energised and more sharp on the ball. There was a fluidity in their game, with players looking to make runs off the ball and open up space for their creative stars such as Thiago, who was involved in Bayern's opener.

The Spaniard allowed Mats Hummel's pass to run past him and into the path of Lewandowski, who slotted home through the legs of Costeels and into the bottom-corner of the near-post.

The Bavarians looked a threat from the right flank, where Kimmich and Robben were operating and they combined well on a few occasions, with Casteels producing some fine saves, most notably when the Dutchman found Rodríguez, whose effort was smothered behind, a minute after Kovač's men took the lead.


Lewandowski looked hungry, as demonstrated by his first goal: where he made a terrific run to latch onto a through-ball, he then reacted with fine instincts for his second of the match. He seized onto William's headed-pass, which was just short of keeper Casteels, and slotted home, clinically.

As good as Robben's attacking display was, he showed a lack of discipline. He was booked for simulation in the first-half and received a second yellow card and his marching-orders for a foul on Elvis Rexhbeçaj.

Despite conceding. they looked focused and went in search of another goal, which they found when Rodríguez was sent through on-goal by Lewandowski, and slotted home past Casteels.


Player Ratings


Starting XI: Neuer (6); Kimmich (6), Süle (5), Hummels (6), Alaba (5); Martínez (6); Robben (5), Thiago (6), Rodríguez (7); Gnabry (6), Lewandowski (8*)


Substitutes: Rafinha (6) Sanches (N/A) Goretzka (5)


STAR MAN - Lewandowski looked more like his usual self. He got into space and made some terrific runs off the ball, showing a cool head in front of the net, demonstrated by his first goal, which saw him slot the ball through the legs of the keeper.

He was also ruthless, taking advantage of a defensive error from William to seize onto the loose ball and slot home.

In addition, he linked-up well with his teammates, playing the simple pass, while also picking out players in space. He provided the assist for Rodríguez, picking out the Colombian in an onside position, from which the former Monaco man couldn't miss. 


WORST PLAYER - Robben showed his disappointing other side in today's match. Usually such a bright player with great quality on the ball, he showed his ugly dimension - diving, which he tends to do on several occasions, to receive his first yellow card, before then needlessly fouling Rexhbeçaj deep in his opposition's half.

His absence initially cost the Bavarians, who conceded shortly after his dismissal, and against better opposition, it could've been worse. However, they hung on to seal the win.


Looking Ahead

Next up for Wolfsburg is a trip to Fortuna Düsseldorf, who sit at the bottom of the Bundesliga.

As for Bayern, they travel to AEK Athens in the UEFA Champions League, hoping to continue their unbeaten start to the competition, before a trip to Mainz in the league.

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)