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Bundesliga Review – Bayer humble leaders Bayern by Archie Rhind-Tutt

Sami Hyypia claimed anything was possible before Bayer Leverkusen’s trip to Bayern Munich as he insisted his side could win at the Allianz Arena. Hyypia’s comments would have no doubt surprised the Bayern hierarchy. After all, going into Sunday’s encounter, Bayern had won all eight of their Bundesliga games this season. To say that Jupp Heynckes’s side had been merely winning doesn’t give the Bavarians enough credit, because the Bundesliga’s record champions have been dominating in each and every game. It’s not like they didn’t have the majority of the play either on Sunday but for the first time this season, Bayern were humbled at the Allianz Arena.

Now in situations where big teams suffer shock defeats, it’s very easy to focus on the woes of the losers, so let’s credit Bayer Leverkusen here. The coaching duo of Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia are doing a good job at the BayArena. The weekend’s result was not only momentous for them but for the club as well, because Bayer hadn’t won at Bayern for just over 23 years. Add into the mix that this was a win over former coach Jupp Heynckes and this victory was all the sweeter for Leverkusen – a team with the talent to push on into the top four. They certainly showed its well within their reach with their performance on Sunday.

Most teams struggle to get out of their own half when they travel to Munich, yet Bayer were managing to create chances. Yes, they had to endure prolonged spells of pressure on their goal. Bernd Leno though was equal to anything Bayern had. When they ventured into what’s seen as uncharted territory in the Allianz Arena, that being Bayern’s half, they were causing problems. Stefan Kiessling had a goal harshly ruled out for an infringement in the box. The visitors carried on regardless. Leverkusen were rewarded when that man Kiessling finished off a good passing move just before half time.

Cue the inevitable Bayern bombardment which follows any opposition goal. The visitors kept their discipline for much of the second half but their resistance was broken when Mario Mandzukic headed in from super sub Claudio Pizarro’s cross. From there, Bayern looked the only winners with just over ten minutes to go. Bayer’s chance looked to have gone, especially with André Schürrle spurning a glorious opening just before Bayern’s equaliser. Fortune looked to be with the league leaders in the final stages. Yet the slice of luck they needed came at the wrong end of the pitch.

Sidney Sam’s header was drifting wide three minutes from time. Then the ball hit an object, namely Jerome Boateng’s face, wrong footing Manuel Neuer before bouncing tamely into the corner of the goal – Leverkusen were ahead. When Sami Hyypia said anything was possible prior to the game, this probably wasn’t what he would have had in mind.

Nor would he have envisioned Manuel Neuer dribbling past players outside the Bayer Leverkusen box during stoppage time. That’s exactly where Germany’s number one was, and he nearly grabbed an astonishing assist too but Pizarro’s strike struck the bar. It wasn’t to be as Hyypia’s words were to ring true.

It’s not really surprising that he held such an attitude before the game. This is a man who was part of a team that came from three goals down in a Champions League final. Just getting into that competition again would suit Hyypia and his coaching partner Sascha Lewandowski. More consistency is required for that to happen but as Bayer Leverkusen proved this weekend – anything is possible.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga…

  • So with Bayern Munich losing, it was catch-up time for the chasing pack. Schalke made sure of this with a 1-0 win against Nuremberg, meaning they’re just four points off the top. Champions Borussia Dortmund also secured an important win at Freiburg. That’s the Black and Yellows first away win of the season too but they’re still nine points behind Bayern.

  • Bayern losing at home wasn’t the only shock on Sunday. Borussia Mönchengladbach finally found some form as they came from 2-0 down to win at Hannover. The Bundesliga’s favourite Venezuelan, Juan Arango, was the star of the show in Lower Saxony. It’s the first time Mirko Slomka’s side have been beaten at home in the Bundesliga since April 2011. Who beat them that day? Gladbach! It’s a funny old game isn’t it?

  • Mainz have crept into the top six after a low key but good start to the season. Hungarian striker Adam Szalai grabbed a hat trick on Saturday against toothless Hoffenheim. Toothless was the word of choice too at Stuttgart’s 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Defender Georg Niedermeier lost a tooth after a challenge with Alexander Meier, before playing on, of course.

  • With Felix Magath in charge this season, Wolfsburg had only scored two goals in 8 games. In their first game without him, they scored four as they thrashed Fortuna Düsseldorf. Enough said.

  • Hamburg, the side who have the unenviable task of playing an angry Bayern Munich next week, won 2-0 at Augsburg. And finally, in a weekend when quite a few records were broken, Greuther Fürth broke two themselves. They scored their first home goal of the season against Werder Bremen in a 1-1 draw – thus securing their first point at the Trolli Arena in the Bundesliga.

For more on the Bundesliga on Twitter, follow @archiert1

Matchday 9 Results:

Augsburg 0-2 Hamburg

Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-4 Wolfsburg

Freiburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Fürth 1-1 Werder Bremen

Mainz 3-0 Hoffenheim

Schalke 1-0 Nuremberg

Stuttgart 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Hannover 2-3 Gladbach


1FC Bayern Munich980127:4+2324CL*
2FC Schalke 04962118:8+1020CL*
3Eintracht Frankfurt961220:13+719CL*
4Borussia Dortmund943220:11+915CL* Qual.
5Bayer 04 Leverkusen943215:12+315EL* Qual.
61. FSV Mainz 05942312:10+214EL* Qual.
7Hamburger SV941411:11013
8VfB Stuttgart933310:15-512
9Borussia Mönchengladbach933312:18-612
10Hannover 96932418:16+211
11SV Werder Bremen932415:14+111
12SC Freiburg932413:12+111
13Fortuna Düsseldorf92437:12-510
141899 Hoffenheim922513:20-78
151. FC Nuremberg92257:15-88
16VfL Wolfsburg92256:16-108Play-offs
17FC Augsburg91355:13-86Relegation
18Greuther Fürth91356:15-96Relegation

Table thanks to Official Bundesliga Website

Article originally written @ Football Fan Cast

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