Bayern Munich have dropped points for only the second time this season, as the Bavarians were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen on Saturday afternoon.
It was a thrilling contest at the Allianz Arena. Both teams pushed forward, which led to chances and goals. The Green-Whites took the lead right before the halftime break, as Maximilian Eggestein picked out the bottom corner with an excellent finish. Munich equalized at the hour mark courtesy of a header from Kingsley Coman, and many assumed they would go on to find a winner.
That never came, though, as Bremen held on to secure a fifth straight 1-1 draw, which is a Bundesliga record.
Story of the match
Munich controlled possession early on, but it would be Bremen who created the first major chance of the contest. A cross from Milot Rashica picked out Josh Sargent, who got a foot out to redirect an effort towards goal. However, he would be denied by a quick reflex save from Manuel Neuer.
Remarkably enough the away side would come close 10 minutes later. Rashica was the creator once again, this time finding Leonardo Bittencourt at the back post with a clever pass. His attempt was a much weaker one, though, as he miss-hit a volley that flew wide of the target.
Bremen shockingly opened the scoring right before the break. A moment of magic saw Sargent turn Javi Martinez before breaking free down the right wing. His cutback to Maximilian Eggestein was perfect, and the finish was somehow even better, as the German slotted home a first time shot into the bottom corner with his weaker left foot.
Bayern just never got going in the first half. They had plenty of the ball, but just didn’t do anything with it in the opening 45 minutes.
The second half burst into life instantly. First, Rashica got in behind the backline on the counter but bottled the finish. Then, a long shot from Douglas Costa deflected before smashing off the crossbar.
Bayern kept up the pressure, and they would finally equalize at the hour mark. A superb cross from Leon Goretzka flew past almost everyone at the back post, eventually making its way to Kingsley Coman. He managed to head home from a tight angle, reminding many of the headed goal he scored in the UEFA Champions League final last season.
Both sides really went for it late on, to be fair to them. Munich should have taken the lead with about 10 minutes to go, as substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting skied a shot from close range. Moments later Sargent had a chance of his own, but his strike was saved well by Neuer once again.
Those would prove to be the final highlights of the contest. Munich never kicked into top gear, but Bremen still deserve plenty of credit to hold on and snatch a point against the reigning Bundesliga and European champions.
A tale of two sides
It’s clear that one team will be much happier with a point than the other.
As mentioned earlier, Munich just didn’t look like themselves. Sure, they were resting a few key players and others had to miss out through injury, but those on the field didn’t really step up to the occasion.
Robert Lewandowski went missing, and nothing Thomas Muller tried came off. The midfielders were too slow when moving the ball around, and the backline was burned on too many occasions. The only player who did his job was Manuel Neuer, as the goalkeeper made a number of big saves to preserve a point.
This showing was likely just a bad day at the office, but manager Hansi Flick should start to worry if his team plays this poorly again in the near future.
For Bremen, this was obviously their best performance of the season. They just wanted it more than their opponents, as they were flying into tackles and running up and down the field.
The Green-Whites finally seem solid at the back, as they never felt overwhelmed at any stage. Up top, they looked dangerous on the counter, and could have had more goals if they were just a bit more clinical or if there was anyone else in the world instead of Neuer in goal.
It’s unclear where this Bremen side will finish come the end of the season, but this result shows they can still contend with the big boys of the Bundesliga.
Man of the match - Josh Sargent
Everyone wearing white put in a huge shift on the afternoon, but it was Josh Sargent who really stood out for the away side.
Leading the line on his own, the American was immense throughout. He created Bremen’s only goal of the contest, sending Javi Martinez for a hot dog before laying off an inch perfect pass to Maximilian Eggestein. Sargent could have had a goal himself if not for Manuel Neuer, as he came close on a handful of occasions.
He did what was needed defensively as well, tracking back to put pressure on the Munich midfielders whenever they got on the ball. Sargent also dropped deep to help his team on the counter, as his movements opened up space for teammates in behind.
It was a complete performance from Sargent, who has really grown as a player this season. Long may this purple patch continue.