Champs Bayern rout Stuttgart Keep pace with leader Borussia Dortmund

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Jan 2019 12:41:26



Six-time defending champion Bayern Munich routed Stuttgart 4-1, to keep pace with leader Borussia Dortmund, which has a six-point advantage over the Bavarian club in the Bundesliga table. Bayern on Sunday was unable to maintain the 1-0 lead they acquired during the first half and headed to the dressing room tied at 1-1, but they got the job done in fine form in the second 45 minutes of play, reports Efe news.

The Bavarians’ coach Niko Kovac once again used the same starting lineup that earned the team, in their previous Bundesliga match, a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim, meaning that Colombia midfielder James Rodriguez started on bench.

At the other end of the field, Stuttgart coach Markus Weinzierl tried to close ranks and wait for an opportunity for a counterattack relying on the speed of forwards Anastasios Donis and Nicolas Gonzalez.
Stuttgart’s resistance, however, lasted for only five minutes, as Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring on a close range shot off a pass by Polish striker Robert Lewandowski.

Just three minutes later, right back Joshua Kimmich had a chance to double Bayern’s lead with a shot inside the area, but it went wide. Afterwards, Stuttgart tried to control the game, seeking the equalizer while Bayern seemed to have taken their foot off the pedal, allowing their rivals to notch their tally in the 26th minute, when Donis controlled a long pass and fired a nice shot that got past goalkeeper Maunel Neuer.

Having scored the equaliser, they stuck with their initial plan in a bid to maintain the 1-1 draw and they nearly got the lead 10 minutes later, when Donis fired from short range, but his shot hit Neuer’s body.
It took Bayern a minute to react, as French forward Kingsley Coman tried his luck with a close range shot that was blocked by goalkeeper Ron Robert Zieler in the 37th minute, and then another effort on his part went wide in the 44th minute.

After the intermission, Bayern sought to regain the lead, with Kovac sending winger Serge Gnabry onto the field to replace Javi Martinez. Bayern put Stuttgart on their back foot from the beginning of the second half, and in the 55th minute Gnabry rewarded his coach’s confidence as his shot was deflected by Stuttgart midfielder Christian Gentner, who inadvertently put the ball home.
Gonzalez nearly drew level in the 64th minute, when his shot hit the woodwork and on the very next play Bayern was awarded a penalty kick that Lewandowski fired into the crossbar.

Midfielder Leon Goretzka scored the insurance in the 71st minute on a header off a corner kick by Kimmich and 14 minutes later Lewandowski rounded off the rout as he dribbled past goalkeeper Zieler and put the ball home.