By 90Min
October 26, 2019

Bayern Munich had Manuel Neuer to thank as his penalty save ensured that they picked up a much needed three points against Union Berlin.

Bayern waited just 12 minutes to open the scoring, Benjamin Pavard drilling home a half volley from outside the box, following a punched clearance from Union keeper Rafal Gikiewicz. 

Despite this early setback, the visitors defended stoically for the remainder of the half, with Robert Lewandowski, Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic all having shots blocked in the first 45 minutes. 

Union on the other hand were largely restricted to long-distance attempts, with Marcus Ingvartsen going closest to converting one of these pot shots.

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The second half started in a similar vein, with Kingsley Coman curling a shot just wide of the post early on. This pressure continued until Bayern finally doubled their advantage through Robert Lewandowski - who scored in his 13th consecutive match. 

Union almost hit back three minute later through Christian Genter, whose header was superbly saved by Manuel Neuer. 

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From the resultant corner, Union would win a penalty courtesy of VAR, with Pavard adjudged to have handled the ball in the area. Neuer was equal to Sebastien Andersson's penalty however, keeping the score at 2-0. 


Substitute Serge Gnabry came close to putting the game beyond all doubt with 20 minutes left but his well struck volley well well kept out by Gikiewicz. 


Bayern continued to press for another goal and even had the ball in the back of the net 85 minutes in, before VAR ruled out Lewandowski's scrappy finish for offside. 


Seconds later, Union had the ball in the net themselves, courtesy of Sebastian Polter penalty. This set up a tense finish, but in the end Bayern were able to hold on for a much needed victory. 


Bayern Munich

Key Talking Point

They say patience is a virtue and boy did Bayern have to be patient this afternoon. Union spent the vast majority of the game stubbornly set-up in a disciplined low block. 

The visitors defended spiritedly and were often happy to let Bayern have the ball, which resulted in the home side having 72% possession in the first half.   

Key to Bayern managing to break down the visitors stubborn defences was the supporting runs of full-backs Joshua Kimmich and Alphonso Davies. The 18-year-old Davies was particularly impressive, frequently displaying his ability to play around the Union press. 

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The game also witnessed the return of Thomas Muller to the first team. Deployed in a curiously deep central-midfield berth, Muller failed to cover himself in glory. 

Although the German occasionally linked up well with Bayern's attackers, ultimately his display was largely underwhelming and will not have done him much good in trying to nail down a regular starting spot.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Neuer(8); Kimmich (7), Pavard (7), Boateng (6), Davies (7); Thiago (7), Coutinho (6), Muller (5); Coman (6), Lewandowski (8), Perisic (7).

Substitutes: Gnabry (7), Tolisso (6).


Star Man 

Although his incredible goal scoring feats will steal the headlines, there is so much more to Robert Lewandowski's game that goes unnoticed. 

As well as scoring an important goal today, the Polish striker was also at the heart of everything his side created in the final third. 

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Bayern's forwards swarmed around Lewandowski like moths to a light bulb, taking the lead from their undisputed offensive talisman.

He is the best number nine in the world right now, and possibly one of the greatest out-and-out strikers of all time. 

Union Berlin 

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Gikiwicz (5); Trimmel (6), Friedrich (6), Subotic (6), Lenz (6); Andrich (6), Kroos (4); Ingvartsen (4), Gentner (5), Bulter (4); Andersson (3).

Substitutes: Becker (5),  Ujah (6), Polter (7).


Looking Ahead 

Bayern have two games coming up in the next week. First, they travel to VfL Bochum in the DFB Cup, before they face a tough test away at Eintracht Frankfurt in the league. 

Union Berlin are also on cup duty in mid-week. They face Freiburg, before re-focussing their attention on the Bundesliga when they play Hertha Berlin next Saturday. 

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