News Live Scores

Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern München Live Commentary, 12/01/2018

1 - 3
K. Volland (70)
Javi Martínez (32)
F. Ribéry (59)
J. Rodríguez (90+1)


That's all for our live coverage, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
New year, same results for Bayern as they record a fifth successive Bundesliga victory - but their first at the BayArena since 2013 - to widen their lead to 14 points at the summit. Javi Martinez and Franck Ribery scored their first goals of the campaign to open up a 2-0 lead, before Kevin Volland and James Rodriguez exchanged late tallies to end a thrilling contest to open up the new year in the German top flight.
C. Tolisso
T. Müller
Bayern München
90' + 2' A final change for Bayern as they look to run the clock out, with Tolisso replacing Muller.
J. Rodríguez
Bayern München
90' + 1' THREE GOALS, THREE POINTS! Absolutely sublime! James caps off a terrific night with a goal of the highest quality as he places a gorgeous free-kick into the top corner! That truly is a work of art, and it wraps up the points for Bayern!
90' James goes down just outside the penalty area, squarely in the centre of the pitch, as he's caught by Lars Bender. That was an important challenge from the midfielder, as it denied the Colombia international what would have been a clean shot at goal.
88' For a while there Bayern's lead was looking under real threat, but they're looking much more assured now in their efforts to see this through. Victory would widen their commanding lead at the summit to 14 points - a gap that is incredibly likely to be overcome.
86' Bayern doing their best to take the sting out of the match here, working the ball around as they try and stay in possession. Their patience is pulling Leverkusen out of position as the hosts press desperately to win it back. They finally do, deep in their own end, but quickly give it back in the final third following two failed attempts to force their way through.
84' STAT: Leverkusen failed to beat any of their top five counterparts (FCB, S04, BVB and RBL) before Christmas, taking just three of a possible 12 points.
82' Wonderfuly poised at the BayArena for what's shaping up to be a frantic conclusion. The tempo is back in the match as the hosts commit bodies forward, leaving themselves vulnerable to Bayern on the break, which in turn is leaving more room for Leverkusen to attack as the visitors send men forward on the counter.
80' Can Wagner mark his return with a goal? He has an impressive record against Bayern's opponents tonight: Wagner – Bayern’s second-most expensive winter purchase – has claimed more goals and assists against Leverkusen than any other side (6 in 9 outings; 4 goals, 2 assists).
S. Wagner
F. Ribéry
Bayern München
79' HERE HE IS! Sandro Wagner is brought on for his much-anticipated return, making his first Bayern appearance since 2007! The striker replaces Ribery for the final 10 minutes.
78' CLOSE AGAIN! Alario this time threatens to restore parity as he fires narrowly wide of the top corner from outside the area. This is shaping up to be a terrific finish!
A. Mehmedi
J. Brandt
Bayer Leverkusen
77' A final change for Leverkusen here as Admir Mehmedi replaces Brandt.
76' SO NEARLY THE EQUALISER! Leverkusen break threateningly, not lacking in pace or support. Havertz rolls the perfect ball in for Volland, who has a clean sight at goal, but a heavy touch allows Sule to get across and snuff it out at the vital moment!
74' STAT: Bayern are winless in four in Leverkusen – their longest ongoing wait for a victory away to a current Bundesliga side. They haven’t won a league game in the BayArena since March 2013 (2-1).
72' That goals has done wonders to spark the noise level inside the stadium. These home supporters are on their feet and urging their side forward once again. Leverkusen have 20 minutes to salvage something and keep their lengthy unbeaten run intact.
K. Havertz
Bayer Leverkusen
70' Havertz is credited with the assist.
K. Volland
Bayer Leverkusen
70' GAME ON NOW! We're in for a grandstand finish at the BayArena as Leverkusen cut Bayern's lead in half! Havertz plays a simple pass across for Volland, who has a go from 20 yards and his effort takes a wicked deflection, leaving Ulreich with no chance. From out of nothing, the hosts are right back in it!
69' The sting has really come out of the match here since Bayern's second, with the trio of substitutions certainly not helping matters. Leverkusen need to show more going forward, plain and simple. They've had their fair share of possession, but the quality and creativity just has not been there.
67' STAT: Only once have Bayern lost a Bundesliga match in which Franck Ribery has scored (W64, D2)
K. Coman
A. Robben
Bayern München
65' Bayern make their first change as well here with Kingsley Coman on to replace Robben.
L. Alario
D. Kohr
Bayer Leverkusen
65' Leverkusen's second change sees forward Lucas Alario replace Kohr.
62' It's really a case of what could have been for Leverkusen, who came no more than an inch or two away from restoring parity moments ago when Bailey's effort struck the crossbar. Less than five minutes later they find themselves two-goals down, and they have it all to do now.
B. Henrichs
K. Bellarabi
Bayer Leverkusen
60' Leverkusen's response to that goal is a substitution, with Benjamin Henrichs on to replace Bellarabi.
J. Rodríguez
Bayern München
59' James is credited with the assist, but that was all in the quality of the finish from Ribery.
F. Ribéry
Bayern München
59' BAYERN DOUBLE THEIR ADVANTAGE! Leverkusen have a mountain to climb now! It's a night of firsts for Die Roten, as Ribery tallies his first of the season as well! James plays a quick ball out wide for the Frenchman, who cuts inside of Tah and guides a finish beyond Leno!
57' NOT FAR AWAY! The chances are starting to come again at both ends here. Muller takes a pass and seems to catch Leno off guard with an early strike from just over 20 yards, and he doesn't miss by much at the near post!
55' OFF THE BAR! Well that will fire this crowd up! Outstanding skill from Bailey, dribbling beyond his marker and turning into space before lifting a sublime strike over Ulreich. His effort dips beyond the keeper, but smacks off the crossbar!
54' BIG DEFLECTION! Brandt unloads a free-kick from just under 30 yards that takes a wicked deflection en route, but drifts beyond the far post! That could have gone anywhere...
52' STAT: Leverkusen are unbeaten in nine home league games (W4 D5), netting multiple goals on seven occasions (F19; 2.1 per game). They haven’t lost in Leverkusen since April 2017 (4-1 vs. Schalke).
50' A rather uneventful start to the second half at the BayArena, with neither side really pushing forward just yet. Bayern manage the first attack, with Robben charging forward and cutting onto his left as he so often does, but he opts to try and cross the ball in instead, and it proves the wrong decision.
48' So, perhaps surprisingly, no changes were made by Leverkusen at the interval. They have scored a much higher percentage of their goals in the second half this season, so they can take solace in that, which may be why Herrlich is not being rash in forcing a change.
46' Here we go again!
Javi Martinez's first goal of the season has Bayern deservedly ahead following an entertaining first 45 minutes of Bundesliga action in 2018, at the BayArena. Both sides have had their chances, however, as it remains wonderfully poised for the second half.
44' Half-time approaching now and it's looking like Bayern will go into the break ahead. Changes will likely be forthcoming as Herrlich will want to tweak his side a bit as they go on in search of an equaliser.
Yellow Card
Bayern München
42' Rafinha commits himself too early as he lunges in with a challenge on Brandt, who did well to twist away and shield the ball, which results in a yellow card for the Bayern full-back.
40' STAT: Bayern have won nine of their 10 league games since Jupp Heynckes returned (L1 – 2-1 vs. BMG). They were top at the midway point for the seventh consecutive season and are 11 points clear of Schalke in second – the largest-ever advantage at this stage of a top-flight campaign.
38' Leverkusen have lacked width in attack, which seems to be plaguing their consistency on the front foot. That's not so much of an issue on the break, but Bayern have limited their chances to counter, instead forcing them to try and build in possession - and they have not been able to do so thus far.
36' The tempo has fizzled out since the goal, with the ball being contained largely in what's become a congested midfield third. There's no doubting the compete level for these two sides, but their desire to win the ball back here has resulted in a struggle for either club to break into attack at the moment.
34' That's the first goal Bayern have scored at the BayArena since 2013, and it comes at a great time to silence this raucous home support. The hosts have been excellent in this first half, but it will be interesting to see how they bounce back after conceding the opener. Will they let that shatter their confidence?
Javi Martínez
Bayern München
32' WELL THERE'S A GOAL! Sloppy Leverkusen defending leads to the breakthrough for Bayern! The hosts fail to clear the ball following a corner, as Vidal's initial header bounces into the path of Javi Martinez, who places a first-time effort into the top corner for his first goal of the season!
31' Through 30 minutes at the BayArena and it remains goalless. As you can see from the previous stat, that's unlike what we have come to expect from Leverkusen's matches this term. This clash certainly does appear to have goals in it, they just haven't come to fruition yet.
29' STAT: Leverkusen’s 17 Bundesliga games have featured 57 goals this term (3.4 per game) – only BVB’s featured more (63).
T. Müller
Yellow Card
Bayern München
27' A Vidal strike from the edge of the penalty area is deflected en route to goal, leading to an awkward save from Leno, and then Muller lunges into a challenge on Volland in an attempt to win the rebound, which sees him into the book.
25' NOT FAR AWAY! Leno beats away a cross in from the left but fails to control the rebound, which he knocks into the path of James. The Colombia international meets it with a blistering first-time effort from 20 yards, but it swerves narrowly wide of the near post!
23' Leverkusen remain in the ascendency as Bayern's attacking influence has been very limited over the last five minutes. The hosts have really settled in after looking almost too energetic from the off, which translated into some frantic play.
21' Being one of the best counter-attacking sides in the Bundesliga, it would make sense to believe Leverkusen's best chance at beating Bayern tonight will come via their opportunities on the break. That stands the test here as a prolonged spell in possession for the hosts results in precious little. They look much more threatening attacking with pace, as opposed to a slow, patient build.
19' STAT: Leverkusen are unbeaten in 12 Bundesliga matches (W6 D6) – the best run in the division. They haven’t lost since matchday five (2-1 vs. BSC).
17' INCHES WIDE! Kohr easily beats James to the corner, guiding a header at goal, but it drifts inches beyond the near post with Ulreich rooted to his spot!
17' A first effort on target comes from Vidal, who lashes a strike at goal from a tight angle, likely hoping for a deflection on the way through, but Leno is able to beat it behind for a corner. The ensuing delivery is dealt with by Leverkusen, who immediately break and win a corner of their own at the other end through Bailey.
K. Bellarabi
Yellow Card
Bayer Leverkusen
15' Rash challenge from Bellarabi! Leverkusen taking no prisoners in the early stages, and that's a bit of a dangerous lunge from Bellarabi who sends Ribery crashing to ground. That's a clear yellow card - he can have no complaints.
14' A lovely ball from Robben springs Ribery down the left, who then plays James through, but the midfielder's cross lacks quality as Leno is able to collect. Bayern attacking with plenty of pace on the break, though, which will have to be a concern for Leverkusen as they're getting caught short at the back as a result of their high press.
12' This has been an excellent watch through a little over 10 minutes. Both sides have quite the appetite by the looks of things, and that's translating into some entertaining football thus far. The two sides have plenty of energy both on and off the ball - now can they keep up this intensity?
K. Volland
Yellow Card
Bayer Leverkusen
10' Well Bender's good fortune is to Volland's detriment as the striker is shown a yellow after arriving late with a challenge at the halfway line. The referee is just trying to calm things down here.
9' Lars Bender is very lucky to escape a booking after pulling James down from behind off the ball to prevent the midfielder from sprinting forward and joining the break.
8' STAT: Bayern are on a three-game wait for a goal in Leverkusen – they haven’t netted there since October 2013 (Toni Kroos in a 1-1 draw). This is their longest ongoing wait for a goal away to a current Bundesliga side.
6' Excellent play from Leverkusen on the break after snuffing out the chance from the set-piece, but Bailey over-runs the ball and loses his footing at the vital moment. Terrific tempo here!
5' GREAT CHANCE EARLY ON! Bayern full steam ahead as Robben leads the charge on the break, taking on Tah before squaring for Ribery, but the winger's effort is blocked superbly by Bellarabi, who then concedes a free-kick just seconds later for a foul on Vidal on the fringes of the penalty area.
3' Plenty of Bayern possession in the early going, but the bulk of it is coming in their own end as they try and cope with Leverkusen's high, intense pressing. There's a great energy in the stadium, with plenty of anticipation surrounding what should be a terrific match of football.
1' AND THEY'RE OFF! The first Bundesliga action of 2018 is underway as Bayern, in white, kick-off, attacking right to left, with Leverkusen in red.
Sandro Wagner is on the bench for Bayern despite heavy speculation that he would start in place of Lewandowski. The striker is in line to make his first appearance for Die Roten since September 2007.
Bayern are missing a trio of key players as the second half of their season gets going tonight - Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels and Joshua Kimmich all unavailable - as Jupp Heynckes makes five changes from their win in Stuttgart. David Alaba, Niklas Sule and Thomas Muller replace the trio, while Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery also come into the side at the expense of Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman.
Heiko Herrlich makes four changes to his side from the 4-4 draw in Hannover, their final match before the break. Leon Bailey is rewarded for his brace with a starting place, while Kevin Volland is restored in attack, replacing Admir Mehmedi and Lucas Alario. Wendell and Dominik Kohr are also brought into the side at the expense of Benjamin Henrichs and Panagiotis Retsos.
SUBS: Wagner, Bernat, Rudy, Starke, Tolisso, Coman, Kimmich.
BAYERN (4-3-3): Ulreich; Rafinha, Boateng, Sule, Alaba; James, Martinez, Vidal; Robben, Ribery, Muller.
SUBS: Retsos, Alario, Mehmedi, Baumgartlinger, Aranguiz, Ozcan, Henrichs.
LEVERKUSEN (3-4-3): Leno; Tah, S. Bender, Wendell; Bellarabi, Kohr, L. Bender, Bailey; Havertz, Brandt, Volland.
Leverkusen are far less comfortable in their position, despite their lengthy unbeaten run, locked in a dog fight for a top-four finish. They currently hold down fourth place, but just two points separate third place from eighth, setting up a dramatic second-half push.
Heading into matchweek 18, as the second half of the season gets underway, Bayern already appear to have a hand on what would be their sixth successive Bundesliga title, 11 points ahead of their closest competitor.
Die Roten were winners of their last four headed into the Christmas break, a streak they will put to the test tonight, while Leverkusen’s lengthy unbeaten run will be tested – they have not lost a Bundesliga match since September.
Is there a better way to kick-off the second half of the Bundesliga season? Leaders Bayern head northwest for a date with the league’s most in-form side, Leverkusen, as the winter break comes to an end.
Hello and welcome to the BayArena for live coverage of this match under the Friday night lights as Bayer Leverkusen host Bayern Munich!