1-0, Lewandowski 9'. 1-1, Naldo 13'.
Bayern Munich 1-1 Schalke 04: Royal Blues battle for hard-fought draw
Image credit: Bundesliga.com

Bayern Munich 1-1 Schalke 04: Royal Blues battle for hard-fought draw

It was end-to-end but a brave performance overall from the visitors.

Jonathan Walsh
Bayern Munich(4-2-3-1) Neuer; Rafinha (Lahm 77'), Martinez, Hummels, Bernat (Alaba 77'); Vidal, Alonso; Robben (Coman 72'), Müller, Costa; Lewandowski.
Schalke 04(3-5-1-1) Fährmann; Höwedes, Naldo, Badstuber (Nastasic 59'); Caligiuri, Bentaleb, Stambouli, Goretzka (Kehrer 87'), Kolasinac; Schöpf; Burgstaller (Coupo-Moting 73').
REFEREEMarco Fritz (Korb). Booked: Bentaleb (61'), Martinez (77').

First half goals from Robert Lewandowski and Naldo meant both Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 couldn't be separated in a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Team news

Following their win over Werder Bremen last weekend, Carlo Ancelotti opted for four changes from that starting eleven. Rafinha, Juan Bernat, Arturo Vidal and Douglas Costa came in for Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Franck Ribéry and Joshua Kimmich.

Markus Weinzierl was under increasing pressure after a limp 1-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last time out. In a bid to breathe fresh life into the side, Holger Badstuber, Daniel Caligiuri and Benjamin Stambouli replaced Matja Nastasic, Johannes Geis and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

Naldo cancels out Lewandowski opener

Despite some early resistance from the Royal Blues, the first real clear-cut chance of the game fell for Lewandowski and it was no shock when he converted. Arjen Robben made the initial running and that was enough to feed Vidal, who turned the ball to their Polish talisman to chip comfortably over the oncoming Ralf Fährmann.

Though as Thomas Müller failed to pick out Costa in a clear position, Schalke grabbed a shock equaliser in some style. After Guido Burgstaller managed to win a free-kick on the edge of the area, Caligiuri laid the dead-ball off for Naldo to slam at goal and that he did. Manuel Neuer couldn't reach it, as the ball skidded in at the near post.

It could have been even worse for Bayern mere moments later. A quick counter and incisive pass from Leon Goretzka played in Sead Kolasinac but Neuer made himself big and tipped the Bosnian's shot over the bar. The hosts had gone from looking so comfortable to a side that was being picked apart from Schalke got the chance.

Still, Ancelotti's men looked to come forward but found a rugged and stoic Schalke defence in their way. Burgstaller would fire into the side-netting and then rattle the bar before Goretzka's mazy run was halted at just the right time.

Bayern then showed that they can turn it on when they wish, with Lewandowski's curling effort clipping the top of the bar via a deflection. It was a breathless first half, and one which showcased the brilliance of both sides when it came to moving forward with pace and purpose.

Schalke stay strong for a draw

The second half began with Schalke looking to continue their counter-attacking style as Bayern looked more threatening with Robben and Lewandowski keen to restore their lead. Alessandro Schöpf looked particularly enterprising for the Royal Blues, with his pace proving a real handful for a rather rusty looking Bernat.

Schalke thought they'd taken the lead when a volleyed effort from Nabil Bentaleb was flicked goalwards by Caligiuri, only for the Italian to spin round and see the linesman's flag before he had ran off to celebrate. The Royal Blues were relatively calm in the second half, though the hosts were gradually beginning to work them down.

The final 10 minutes finally saw the Bavarians really click into gear and ramp up the pressure. Lewandowski couldn't quite get on the end of a Costa cross, Xabi Alonso fired over the crossbar and Javi Martinez drove the ball just wide of the far post after having ample time to find the finish required.

Kingsley Coman would have the very last opportunity, though Matja Nastasic made a crucial intervention to poke the ball away and secure a hard-fought draw. Bayern stretched their lead at the top to four points, although RB Leipzig have a game in hand. As for Schalke, they remain 11th on 22 points.