Bayern Munich continued their charge towards a 9th straight Bundesliga title on Saturday as the Bavarians defeated Werder Bremen 3-1 at the Wohninvest Weserstadion.
Leon Goretzka gave Munich the lead before former Bremen man Serge Gnabry added a second in the 35th minute. Robert Lewandowski then had several chances of his own to make it 3-0 following the half-time break, and he eventually converted one to grab his 32nd goal of the campaign.
Bremen did score a late consolation goal through Niclas Füllkrug, but Munich were still able to easily hold on to the win and all three points.
Story of the match
After a relatively even start to the contest, Munich would open the scoring in the 22nd minute. A corner whipped in by Joshua Kimmich was flicked-on by Thomas Müller, which picked out Leon Goretzka. His header went towards goal, and it flew into the back of the net past a helpless Jiří Pavlenka.
It could have been 2-0 moments later, as Robert Lewandowski’s cross found Serge Gnarby in space at the back post. However, unlike Goretzka, the winger made a mess of the finish, heading the ball well over the target.
The Bavarians nearly had a second in bizarre fashion. A first-time cross from Gnabry seemed like it was trickling wide, so Pavlenka left the ball alone thinking it would roll out of bounds. However, he made a miscalculation, and the ball actually hit off the post before settling on the goalline. The danger was eventually cleared, and Gnabry was called offside anyway, so the whole thing was really much ado about nothing.
He would not be denied again, though, as Gnabry doubled Munich's advantage in some style. Kimmich found Müller in space in the area, and he took a touch before getting his head up and laying off a superb pass to the aforementioned Gnabry. He did the rest, slotting home between the legs of Pavlenka.
Although the Bavarians were the ones creating most of the chances in the first half, it’s not like Bremen didn’t put up any fight. They kept possession at times and tried to push forward, but they just couldn’t piece things together in the final third. Munich could, though, which is why they went into the break up 2-0.
The second half followed a similar pattern. Lewandowski had his first real opportunity at goal eight minutes into the half, but his header pinged off the post and into the grateful arms of Pavlenka.
Bremen could have had a penalty moments later when Josh Sargent was bundled over in the area by Jérôme Boateng. However, despite there being contact, the referee decided not to point to the spot.
Lewandowski started to grow into the game, and he was denied on two occasions in quick succession, first by Pavlenka, and then by the crossbar.
The Polish international kept pushing forward, and even after having another effort saved by Pavlenka, he was finally able to get onto the scoresheet. It couldn’t have been much luckier, to be fair, as the ball bounced around the penalty area following a corner before falling right to Lewandowski’s feet, but it was still an instinctive finish to make it 32 goals on the campaign for the talisman.
Lewandowski came inches away from grabbing another. Bringing down the ball in sublime fashion a few yards out from goal, he went for a clever dinked finish over the goalkeeper. However, even though he got the ball over Pavlenka, he couldn’t find the back of the net as his effort hit the post.
Bremen were able to secure a late consolation goal, at least. Breaking free on the counter, Milot Rashica’s initial effort was saved by Manuel Neuer, but Niclas Füllkrug was on hand to pounce on the rebound.
It didn't matter much, to be fair, as Munich were still able to clinch all three points with relative ease.
The strange thing is that Bremen weren’t even that bad on the day.
They sat back deep for most of the contest, of course, but they did come out to play at some stages. They kept possession on occasion, and even tried to push forward whenever possible.
However, they just couldn’t stop Munich from eventually taking over. Conceding the first from a set-piece was frustrating, but there’s no way they can complain about how the second was scored considering how nice of a goal it really was.
The Bavarians took command of the contest at the start of the second half, and they could have had more than the three goals they did score if not for Jiří Pavlenka and the woodwork. It was a complete performance from Munich, which showcased why they still are considered to be the best team on the planet right now.
Man of the match - Thomas Müller
If you want to know all about the modern day Thomas Müller, just watch this game.
Robert Lewandowski will likely grab most of the headlines after his goal, but it was Müller who led the way for Munich going forward, especially early on. His two assists in the first half gave his side a big advantage going into the break, and it was no surprise to see them pull away as the game went on.
Müller’s header to set up the first goal was well-worked, but his pass on the second goal was simply sublime, as he was able to perfectly pick out Serge Gnabry in a packed penalty area.
There’s a reason they call him the raumdeuter, as Müller constantly found space in the final third despite Bremen keeping several players back most of the time. The German was still able to control the contest, further cementing the claim that he should return to the national team for the upcoming European Championship.