Matchday 23: “Not a brilliant performance”: Bayern again first with a trembling victory

23rd matchday
“Not a brilliant performance”: Bayern again first with a trembling victory

Bayern have regained the lead in the Bundesliga. photo

© Marijan Murat/dpa

FC Bayern wins largely lackluster at VfB Stuttgart and is first again. Only rarely do the people of Munich show their class. In the Champions League hit against Paris, more must come.

Bayern got over the late nail-biter in Stuttgart and the return to the top of the Bundesliga table fairly quickly. The Munich team got in the mood for the European Cup hit against Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-1 (1-0) win at VfB, who were threatened with relegation.

Because of the better goal difference, the German soccer record champion again overtook Borussia from Dortmund, who had the same number of points. Defender Matthijs de Ligt (39th minute) and striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (62nd) scored the goals for Munich in front of 47,800 spectators.

VfB prepares FCB for PSG

In the second leg of the Champions League against PSG on Wednesday, however, they will have to improve. “We actually had it under control, even if it wasn’t a brilliant achievement. We weren’t effective enough for that,” said Bayern’s Thomas Müller on Sky.

VfB remains in 15th place, but just like the new tail light VfL Bochum, they only have 19 points. Juan José Perea’s goal in the 88th minute came too late for the home side. “We played at eye level with Bayern, so of course you’re disappointed that it wasn’t enough for the point,” said VfB professional Waldemar Anton.

Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann ordered French central defender Dayot Upamecano back into the starting XI in Stuttgart with a view to the premier class cracker. His compatriot Benjamin Pavard, who will miss Wednesday due to a suspension, had to go to the bench. But a relaxed warm-up for PSG was initially unthinkable.

VfB, who had suffered a severe setback in the relegation battle with a 2-1 loss at FC Schalke 04 a week earlier, started briskly and tried to put Bayern under pressure in the middle. A long-range shot by Hiroki Ito, who played on the hosts’ left side of defense instead of the suspended Borna Sosa, flew just wide of the Bayern goal on the right (17′).

De Ligt scores from the second row

As the game progressed, the record champions gained more possession and a certain dominance. Then de Ligt was in the spotlight twice – first at the back, then at the front. After goalkeeper Yann Sommer lost an aerial duel against Konstantinos Mavropanos, the Bayern defender saved on the line (37′).

A short time later he just pulled from the second row – and scored. VfB goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow may not have seen the Dutchman’s concealed low shot until late, but he didn’t cut a good figure for the national player’s second goal of the season. “Of course I still have to hold him, that’s for sure. I’ll take it on my cap if it flew funny,” admitted Bredlow.

At the beginning of the second half, the game was briefly interrupted because pyrotechnics had been set off in the guest fan block. Before that, the VfB supporters had already ignited a lot. The next eye-catcher was on the pitch after an hour: A combination initiated by the very conspicuous Jamal Musiala over three stops was completed by Choupo-Moting to make it 2-0. In the days before the game, the Cameroonian had extended his contract with Bayern until mid-2024 – and immediately repaid the trust with another goal.

It was Munich’s 100th away goal in the Bundesliga against Stuttgart. They are the first club to achieve this mark against an opponent in the Bundesliga. For a long time it looked as if the game would be decided. But Perea’s header made Bayern tremble again at the end. “We have to finish it more seriously, then the game will be over faster,” said Coach Nagelsmann.


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