bundesliga

Leon Bailey and Bayer Leverkusen deal Bayern Munich's title chances a hefty blow

Leon Bailey scored his first goal since September as Bayer Leverkusen came from behind to record a win that severely dents Bayern Munich's title hopes.

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Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Bayern Munich

Goals: 0-1 Goretzka (41'), 1-1 Bailey (53'), 2-1 Volland (63'), 3-1 Alario (88')

Leverkusen took the game to Bayern early on and had a penalty appeal turned down when Mats Hummels blocked Kevin Volland’s goal-bound strike with his arm. Bayer continued to press the visitors hard, but were made to pay for not converting their bright start into clear-cut chances. Goretzka had already spurned a glorious opening when Kingsley Coman’s effort from range was beaten back out into the danger zone by Lukas Hradecky. Thomas Müller returned the ball with interest, landing an inviting cross on the head of the in-form Goretzka for 1-0. Bayern thought they’d doubled their lead with the last kick of the half, but Lewandowski’s fine clipped finish following a sensational passing move was ruled out for offside.

It proved a key moment in the contest. Leverkusen emerged from the break with everything to play for and were rewarded eight minutes in when Bailey thrashed in a fierce free-kick to level. Bayern were rocking and Die Werkself took full advantage as Karim Bellarabi weaved his magic down the right and crossed for Kevin Volland to sweep home with aplomb. Bayern had the chance to hit back almost immediately, but Müller's shot was charged down following a break-neck run from Coman. Riding a wave of pressure, Leverkusen wrapped up the points through substitute Lucas Alario's late effort - awarded following consultation with the Video Assistant - to leave the defending champions some seven points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Eintracht Frankfurt.

Leon Bailey's first goal since Matchday 2 left Bayern stand-in goalkeeer Sven Ulreich with no chance. - imago/Herbert Bucco

Match stats

  • Leverkusen are unbeaten in their last eight matches in which Volland has scored.
  • Bailey ended a run of 16 Bundesliga matches without a goal. The Jamaican's strike was Leverkusen's first goal from a direct free-kick since Wendell's set-piece strike against Dortmund in March 2017.
  • Bayern lost for the first time away from home since going down to Dortmund on Matchday 11.
  • Goretzka has scored more goals in 2019 (four) than any other Bundesliga player.
  • Alphonso Davies made his second Bundesliga appearance.
  • David Alaba made his 328th competitive appearance for Bayern, moving level with Uli Hoeneß in the club's all-time rankings.

Line-ups

Leverkusen: Hradecky – Weiser, Tah, S. Bender, Wendell – Havertz (Baumgartlinger 45+1'), Aranguiz, Brandt – Bellarabi (Paulinho 90+2'), Volland (c), Bailey (Alario 84')
Unused subs: Özcan, Dragovic, Jedvaj, Schreck
Out: Pohjanpalo (ankle), Retsos (thigh)
Coach: Peter Bosz

Bayern: Ulreich – Rafinha (Sanches 79'), Süle, Hummels, Alaba – Kimmich, Goretzka – Müller (c) (Gnabry 74'), James (Davies 77'), Coman - Lewandowski
Unused subs: Früchtl, Martinez, Boateng, Mai
Out: Tolisso (knee), Neuer (hand), Thiago (muscular injury), Ribery, Robben (fitness)
Coach: Niko Kovac

Watch: Bailey on his stunning free-kick!