Berlin, April 4 (IANS) Bayern Munich opened up a seven-point advantage atop the standings after beating second-placed rivals Leipzig on the sole goal from Leon Goretzka in the 27th round in the Bundesliga.
The German giants staged a clinical performance after beating courageous Leipzig on the first-half hammer from Leon Goretzka, Xinhua reported.
Hosts Leipzig started powerfully in the top of the league clash and dominated possession, but they had to wait until the 19th minute before Marcel Sabizter’s long-range effort called Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into action.
Contrary to the usual practice, Bayern defended deep and waited for counterattacking opportunities. The visitors’ strategy paid off with 38 minutes gone, as Joshua Kimmich’s deep through ball found Thomas Muller, whose cutback pass allowed Goretzka to drill the ball from 12 meters into the top right corner.
Leipzig was shocked whereas Bayern kept custodian Peter Gulacsi busy as Leroy Sane and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting came close before the break.
After the break, Leipzig came out with its guns blazing but neither Christopher Nkunku, Dani Olmo nor Sabitzer was able to make the most of promising chances.
Sabitzer remained a factor in Leipzig’s game as his dangerous long-range efforts forced Neuer to make two diving saves in the closing stages.
Bayern lurked for fast breaks but was able to protect its narrow lead until the final whistle to move seven points clear of Leipzig.
With the result, leaders Bayern snatched its 20th win while Leipzig suffered its fourth defeat of the season.
“We played very well. Especially the second half was very good. I think we were overall the better team today but if you don’t score, you can’t win. We have to make the most of our chances,” said Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann.
“It was a typical top clash. We needed some time to gain a foothold into the game while Leipzig played offensively minded from the kickoff. However, we scored a crucial goal before the break. Leipzig continued strongly but we showed a great mentality,” said Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick.
Elsewhere, Borussia Monchengladbach came from behind and reaped its second straight win after shocking Freiburg 2-1 thanks to a second-half brace from Marcus Thuram.