RB Leipzig fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Bayern München in the Allianz Arena this evening. Franck Ribéry’s 83rd minute strike was the deciding factor in a close-fought and intense match.
Both teams started at a high tempo, looking to play high up the pitch and force errors. The midfield battle was hard-fought, and neither side was able to establish a hold on an equal match. The first big chance came to Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski just before the half hour mark, when he was played on 1v1 against goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi. However, it was the Hungarian who came out on top, making a great diving save to deny the Polish international and push his shot onto the post. RB Leipzig finished the half strongly, applying pressure and looking the more dangerous of the two sides. The closest Die Roten Bullen came was through defender Dayot Upamecano, when his header from a corner rattled against the crossbar, flying past a stranded Manuel Neuer in the Bayern net. The game remained goalless as both teams went into the dressing rooms at the break.
Chances were also few and far between after the interval. Bayern went close after a whipped cross from Kingsley Coman flew into the RBL box, but no FC Bayern player was able to connect and prod the ball home. At the other end, Timo Werner went through on goal and had a shot well-saved, although had he scored, the offside flag would have ruled his strike out. The match found itself in a bit of a stalemate at this point, with both teams’ defences nullifying each others’ attacking threat. It wasn’t until the 79th minute that a team had a major chance, when Péter Gulácsi was called into action, making a save of the season to keep FC Bayern out. Bayern kept on pressurising, and were eventually rewarded for their efforts just four minutes later, when Franck Ribéry slotted the ball into the net after a goalmouth scramble. RBL looked to bounce back immediately, and almost did when Yussuf Poulsen’s header went inches wide of the left-hand Bayern post. Ultimately, Die Roten Bullen were unable to respond, and were left with ten men in a dramatic finale when substitute Stefan Ilsanker saw his marching orders for a straight-red card tackle on Thiago. A subsequent melee saw Bayern substitute Renato Sanches also sent to the stands. The match ended 1-0 to the hosts, with Leipzig perhaps ruing their chances and heading home pointless, despite a strong defensive display.