Josip Brekalo im Zweikampf mit Thomas Müller.
16.12.2020
First Team

Narrow defeat despite strong display

VfL lost 2-1 in Munich on Wednesday, suffering their first Bundesliga defeat of the season.

Josip Brekalo im Zweikampf mit Thomas Müller.

The Wolves took an early lead through Maximilian Philipp and put in a creditable performance overall, but that was not sufficient to prevent Bayern Munich from securing three points at the Allianz Arena.

Sole switch

Oliver Glasner was forced into making one adjustment to the side that defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 on Friday, slotting in former Bayern youth player Marin Pongracic for John Brooks, who picked up a knock in the aforementioned match. The injured pair of Renato Steffen and Admir Mehmedi also missed out, as did William, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week. Club captain Josuha Guilavogui took a place on the bench, making a welcome return to the match squad.

Philipp opener

The visitors, acutely aware that Bayern had conceded the first goal in each of their last five league matches, began in impressive fashion, and they took the lead in the fifth minute when Philipp volleyed home Kevin Mbabu’s inviting cross to score his first Bundesliga goal in over two years. They could have made it two a few minutes later, when a fine move ended with Josip Brekalo – making his 100th competitive appearance for the club – curling an effort wide of Manuel Neuer’s right-hand post.

Bayern inevitably responded through Robert Lewandowski, but Koen Casteels was equal to his close-range shot. VfL continued to look extremely dangerous on the counter-attack, and could have doubled their advantage through another, more powerful volley from Philipp, but his effort was deflected just wide off David Alaba.

Just as the referee was considering blowing for half-time, Bayern equalised, as Lewandowski headed Kingsley Coman’s cross from the left into the back of the net.

Bialek unfortunate   

The Wolves’ desire to avoid defeat in Munich for the first time since September 2017 was dealt a blow in the 50th minute, Lewandowski beating Maxence Lacroix and firing past Casteels to complete the turnaround for the home side. Unbowed, the Green-and-Whites kept probing, particularly down the right side through Ridle Baku and Mbabu. Philipp shot straight at Neuer from the edge of the box and Xaver Schlager tried his luck from distance, while Coman came close at the other end.

Five minutes from time, VfL came close to grabbing a dramatic equaliser, but a forceful drive from substitute Bartosz Bialek was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Neuer. From the ensuing corner, the ‘keeper denied Bialek again, ensuring that all three points would remain in Munich.

VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels (c) - Mbabu, Lacroix, Pongracic (Guilavogui 79’), Roussillon (Otavio 86’) - Schlager, Arnold - Baku (Bialek 70’), Philipp (Ginczek 86’), Brekalo (Victor 70’) - Weghorst

Bayern Munich: Neuer (c) - Süle, Boateng, Alaba, Hernandez - Tolisso (Roca 70’), Sane (Costa 90’), Gnabry (Musiala 70’), Müller, Coman - Lewandowski

Goals: Philipp (5'), Lewandowski (45+1’, 50’)

Yellow cards: Arnold / Gnabry, Sane, Coman

Attendance:

Referee: Marco Fritz (Korb)

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