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October 5, 2013
• BayArena, Leverkusen
Referee: K. Kircher
• Attendance: 30210
S. Sam 31'
T. Kroos 30'
Well I think I need a lie down after that ending! Bayern Munich sit atop the Bundesliga for the first time this season tonight. They didn't relinquish top spot after claiming it last season, can they do the same this campaign I wonder? That's it for now though, so from me, Harry Slavin, and big thank you for joining me and good night!
FULL-TIME: LEVERKUSEN 1-1 BAYERN. A frantic end to an enthralling encounter. Leverkusen would have been ecstatic with a point beforehand but they may very well feel they were robbed off a clear-cut penalty at the death. Bayern will also feel it's two dropped points after dominating throughout but they still go top of the Bundesliga.
90' + 4'
CONTROVERSY!!! Well, well, well. I think the referee has bottled it here. Bayern are caught on the counter as they pile forwards and Son skips away from Rafinha to get down the left. He only has Hegeler to aim for in the middle but he is bundled over the ball as he makes his run. The referee doesn't give anything though and that is full time.
90' + 4'
SCHWEINSTEIGER!!! The German midfielder rises highest from the corner and it's off the line by Donati!
90' + 3'
GOTZE!!! That may well have been the chance as Leno smothers the shot from the former Dortmund star.
We're now into three minutes of stoppages. Is there one last chance left in what has been a fairly uneventful second half.
It's all coming through Robben in these final minutes. The Dutchman cuts onto his left foot on the edge of the area. So often we've seen the winger curl the ball into the far corner from this position, but on this occasion it's too close to Leno and the keeper gathers the shot.
Arjen Robben coasts past Son on the right wing but can't get a clean shot away, his effort deflected and picked up by Leno. Do the Bundesliga Champions have anything left up their sleeve in this one?
Final substitution for the visitors as Mario Gotze comes on for Toni Kroos for the final five.
A bit of a blow for the hosts as Stefan Kiessling is forced off with an injury. Jens Hegeler, Leverkusen's Champions League hero midweek, is on in his place.
Robbie Kruse replaces Sidney Sam as Hyypia refuses to shut up shop. They've even got a free kick in a promising position here, but Son's delivery is poor and Bayern clear.
Into the final ten minutes we go then. The Bayern players are queuing up on the edge of the Leverkusen area. Still no sign of a breakthrough just yet though. Are they running out of ideas?
Half a chance for Kiessling! And he probably should be doing better. Sidney Sam swings in a deep free kick and the centre forwards steals a yard on Boateng, but isn't able to get any power behind his header and Neuer gathers easily.
Very smart stop from Leno from the free kick. Robben bends it around the wall but the Leverkusen keeper is down smartly to hold onto it.
Schweinsteiger nips in front of Toprak and gets a free kick on the edge of the 'D'. Robben is just on the field and looks favourite to hit this.
For all that he has struggled with the trickery of Ribery this evening, Donati is proving a handful himself when he comes forward for the hosts. He swings in a very dangerous cross that Boateng has to nod behind, with Kiessling lurking on his shoulder.
Die Roten are trying to get crosses into the middle but Bayer have packed that penalty area with black shirts and there are at least four of them surrounding Muller as he tries to reach Kroos's centre.
Bayern Respond with a substitution of their own. Arjen Robben comes on for the impressive Shaqiri. The Dutchman was on target midweek. Can he provide the telling moment this evening?
Leverkusen do indeed make that change and it's the ex-Bayern Munich man Emre Can that makes way for the Korean.
Yellow Card Jerome Boateng
Boateng is booked as he takes down a rampaging Kiessling with Bayer looking to break in numbers. I think that's called taking one for the team.
Another great block from Donati! Ribery's cross loops up into the air and Muller gets on the end of it, only to see his goal-bound effort hit the chest of the Italian and go behind.
They've been ever so slightly less dominant this half Munich, but I still don;t think that is cause enough for Hyypia to make bring on another striker. In any case, it looks like he will as Heung-Min Son prepares to come on.
Jerome Boateng with a crucial challenge!!! He was in the exact same position midweek and got it all wrong, bringing down Yaya Toure in full flight. This time He times it perfectly on Sidney Sam as he prevents the German winger going one-on-one with Manuel Neuer.
LENO WITH ANOTHER CRACKING STOP!!! It's another cross-field ball that catches the home side out and Ribery is in behind. This time he takes a touch before bearing down on goal and thumping an effort at goal, Leno getting a strong hand to it to put it behind for a corner.
Lovely effort from Ribery! The Frenchman watches the ball all the way from Lahm's deep cross and executes a perfect first time volley that Leno does well to get down to and hold.
Good, strong defending from Dante. Leverkusen threaten a rare break and Kiessling aims to send away Sam in behind Die Roten's back-line but the Brazilian shows good strength to ease the winger away from the ball and mops up things at the back by putting in the clearance.
OFF THE LINE!!! Ribery makes a smart front post run at yet another Bayern corner. The Frenchman connect well enough with Shaqiri's set piece, sending a volley towards goal that Donati has to clear off the line.
Yellow Card Sebastian Boenisch
Shaqiri has had a bright opening to this half and he skips past Boenisch, only to be scythed down by the Polish international. The left-back is booked and Bayern have another free kick in a dangerous position.
DANTE!!! The Brazilian rises highest at the corner to head goalwards but can only divert his effort straight at Leno.
Shaqiri wins a free kick on the right and gets up to take it himself. He whips in a dangerous delivery that flies over everyone, Leno having to touch the ball away for a corner to make sure it doesn't drop in.
Immediately Die Roten have their opponents on the back foot, and they really should have a penalty. Muller picks the ball inside the area and has Toprak tugging at his jersey as he turns. The Bayern forward is incensed but referee Kircher is unmoved.
Here we go then. Bayern get us back underway, clad in their Lederhosen inspired away kit. Can Leverkusen hold out?
The teams are back out. Kroos and Muller are stood over the ball and are about to get us back up and running at the Bay Arena.
As it stands then, Guardiola's Bayern will be sitting top of the Bundesliga come full-time, albeit only by a single point. They'll be hoping they can make that three points by 45 minutes time.
The difference between the style of the opening goals provide pretty accurate definitions of each team's approach to that half. Bayern's was slick, well executed and stylish. Bayer's was chaotic and very, very fortunate.
Those half-time stats make for pretty incredible reading. Bayern have had a whopping 72 per cent of possession and have completed 90 per cent of all passes. There was another European side who used rack up those sort of stats not so long ago. I think they might have been from Spain.
HALF-TIME: LEVERKUSEN 1-1 BAYERN. An extraordinary first half as Bayern completely dominate yet don't take a half-time lead back into the dressing room with them. There build up play has been a joy to behold, but they still have some work ahead of them in the second half.
We have played the first full 45 here and referee Knut Kircher decides there is no time to be added on so that will be that for the first half!
Ribery goes across to take a corner and is confronted by what appears to be a fan. It becomes clear though that the words exchanged a friendly, perhaps even amorous as the bald supporter departs having received a peck on the forehead from the French winger. Err...Cute?
Less than five minutes now for the hosts to hold out until the break. I can't remember a side having scored a goal they were less deserving of.
Shaqiri cuts back onto the trusted left boot again on the right flank and stings the palms of Leno once more. Bayern are still getting away far too many shots here and the Bayer defence look far from solid. I've seen fewer holes in a slice of Leerdammer.
That Leverkusen equaliser hasn't done anything to turn the tide here and it's more of the same as the visitors continue to bring the game to the hosts.
WHAT A MISS FROM MULLER!!! Ribery and Alaba are being given a license to thrill by the Bayer defence down that left side. This time the pair link up to set up an unmarked Muller at the back post, but he can only direct his header over the bar with the goal gaping.
So back to square one then. It was the first real Bayer attack of the game and they've produced a goal. It's more through luck than endeavor the home side are on level terms. Can they make the most of that good fortune now?
Goal Sidney Sam
GOOAAALLL!!! BAYER HIT BACK INSTANTLY!!! What a response from Bayer! Did anyone see that coming? Lars Bender sends a deep cross into the Bayern box and in all truth Neuer is at fault as he comes for the cross and doesn't get enough on it. The ball breaks for Rolfes whose shot is palmed by Neuer into the path of Sidney Sam who has a simple tap in to level things up.
Assist Franck Ribéry
Goal Toni Kroos
GOOOAAAALLL!!! KROOS FOR MUNICH. To say it has been coming is an understatement. Ribery picks up the ball in acres of space on the left and takes on Donati. He get's past the right-back and picks out Kroos on the edge of the area, who gives Leno no chance with a well place shot that zips into the roof of the net. That could be the first of many.
Kiessling tries to take on Boateng as Leverkusen are given the slightest of opening down the right, but the striker shows a very heavy touch and send the ball straight out for a goal kick.
Maybe they are human after all! The ball is played to Ribery at a fairly innocuous pace but the winger has a monetary lapse in concentration and lets the ball roll under his foot and out for a throw in.
Philipp Lahm has admitted to the press he is reveling in his new holding role under Guardiola and it looks evident again tonight. He shows off with a lovely turn in the midfield to shake off the attention of Rolfes and feed the ball to Shaqiri.
What a move from the visitors, it really is poetry in motion. Shaqiri takes the ball for a wander on the right and he is able to pick out Ribery at the back post with a deliberately floated ball. The Frenchman then provides an inch-perfect lay off for Toni Kroos who slams a thunderous effort straight at Leno. It's effortless from Guardiola's men at the moment.
Jerome Boateng takes a knock in a challenge with Kiessling and play is stopped briefly. The central defender was sent off midweek against Man City and will be looking to make amends tonight with a solid display.
Some lovely build up play from Die Roten as they work the ball out towards Shaqiri on the right once more. They looked good under Jupp Heynckes last year. After just a few months with Guardiola in charge, it's obvious they're capable of even more.
Xherdan Shaqiri cuts in from the right onto his right foot and tries to test Leno from range, but Emir Spahic gets his body in the way. Brave defending from the centre-back here.
Leverkusen finally get the ball away and threaten to break. The ball is punted forward to Stefan Kiessling who is in acres of space. The forward holds up play to wait for support and picks out Rolfes, whose shot is blocked behind for a corner.
HOW DID THAT NOT GO IN!? Ribery turns Donati inside out on the left flank and his low cross is struck with such venom that it takes two ricochets, one off Shaqiri and one of Can, before Leno is able to smother the ball just before it crosses the line.
FANTASTIC PLAY FROM MULLER!!! Playing in the central attacking role again tonight, the German takes down Shaqiri's cross with a lovely deft touch, but his shot on the turn is dragged just wide.
It's not just the ability they have to hold onto possession, but the tenacity with which they chase to get it back that can undo teams. It's almost the case here as Bayern win the ball deep in the Bayer half, the ball fed to Toni Kroos who skews his effort just wide of the far post.
Bayer attack down the left and force a throw in deep in the Bayern half. Any pressure is frittered away though as Giulio Donato fluffs his throw in and sends it looping high in the air! That's not something the right-back will want reminding of later.
It's already evident, even inside the first few minutes here, that Bayern are already on the front foot. Alaba skips down the left and his deep cross has to be nudged behind for the first corner of the game.
David Alaba wins an early free kick and the visitors choose to take it early. It results in Rafinha picking up the ball wide on the right and firing a rash effort well over the bar.
Bayer Leverkusen get us up and running here in a packed Bay Arena. Who's going top this evening in the Bundesliga then?
The side's are out in Leverkusen. It's back to domestic duties for Pep Guardiola's side after their impressive midweek display against City. Leverkusen also won out in Europe midweek. It's a tougher task to repeat that feat this evening.
The visitors this evening are currently on a 32-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, having not lost a game since the 28th of October last year. There opponents on that occasion? Why it was only the very same foe they face tonight! Can Bayer finish what they started tonight?
BAYERN: (4-1-4-1) Neuer; Alaba, Dante, Boateng, Rafinha; Lahm; Ribery, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Shaqiri; Muller.
LEVERKUSEN: (4-3-3) Leno; Can, Spahic, Toprak, Donati; Rolfes, Reinartz, Bender; Boenisch, Kiessling, Sam.
We've got just under quarter of an hour until we get underway here so let's get stuck in by starting with the team news ahead of kick off.
It's already been a busy day in the Bundesliga and with shock result from Borussia Park - where home side Monchengladbach inflicted defeat on Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund for the first time this season - a win for either side tonight would see them sitting pretty at the top of the Bundesliga tonight.
Good evening and welcome to coverage from the Bay Arena as third place Bayer Leverkusen prepare to lock horns with second place Bayern Munich. I'm Harry Slavin and I'll be here to take you through all the action!
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