Saturday, 15 April 2017

Bayern Munich fail to break down 10-man Bayer Leverkusen in draw

Bayern Munich fail to break down 10-man Bayer Leverkusen in draw

Bayern Munich saw their lead at the summit of the Bundesliga reduced to eight points after being held to a goalless draw by 10-man Bayer Leverkusen at the BayArena.
The reigning champions, who are closing in on a fifth successive domestic title, dominated the match but were denied by some resolute home defending, especially towards the end of the first half when a goal seemed inevitable.

But they also had themselves to blame with World Cup winners Thomas Muller and Philipp Lahm squandering glorious chances after the interval.
Relegation-threatened Leverkusen were patchy and their hopes of upsetting the league leaders were dealt a blow when defender Tin Jedvaj was sent off in the 60th minute after receiving a second yellow card.
It was the home side who made the brighter start, however, by creating the best chances inside the opening half hour, but their efforts went unrewarded and once Bayern settled the pendulum swung.
Douglas Costa bamboozled his way into a scoring position but was denied by last-gasp defending and the Leverkusen rearguard came to the rescue once more when Omer Toprak cleared a Arturo Vidal effort off the line.
Kingsley Coman benefited from a superb pass by Muller with Costa also involved in a free-flowing move, but Bernd Leno produced a brilliant save from point-blank range.
The one-way traffic continued as Thiago was put through on goal but his rapid header flew narrowly over the crossbar and somehow the score remained locked at a stalemate.
Muller dithered as he was threaded into the area, his lack of decisive action enabling Leverkusen to scramble the ball clear when it seemed certain Bayern would score.
It was the presence of Muller that forced Jedvaj to make a rash challenge when acting as the last line of outfield defence and the Croatian was shown his second yellow card.
Twice Muller prowled around the six-yard box where he received passes from both flanks but on each occasion he was closed down by the ever-alert home defence.
Leverkusen, perhaps emboldened by their opponents’ inability to make the breakthrough, began to attack once more but in their eagerness to pour forward they left large spaces at the back that Bayern sought to exploit.
Muller turned provider to create a magnificent chance for Lahm when he slotted the ball through a defender into the six-yard box but somehow the substitute steered his shot wide of the left post when it appeared harder to miss.

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