Bayern Munich breezed to an easy 3-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld on Sunday to go within one win of retaining their Bundesliga title again.
Jacob Laursen turned the ball into his own net to give Bayern the advantage, with Serge Gnabry netting in first half stoppage time to make it 2-0. Substitute Jamal Musiala made it three late on, converting from Robert Lewandowski’s pass.
The minnow hosts went close first, with Patrick Wimmer dispossessing Alphonse Davies before striking into the side-netting.
However, Bayern soon settled into a dominant pattern and would have taken the lead if not for Stefan Ortega’s fingertip save onto the crossbar.
It mattered little as Julian Nagelsmann still went ahead inside ten minutes as Davies’ cross was bundled into his own net by Laursen. Initially disallowed for offside, the goal was given upon consultation with VAR.
Masaya Okugawa sent a half-volley over the bar for Arminia before Ortega was again called into action, this time pushing Robert Lewandowski’s shot away from danger.
Okugawa looked to have pulled Ariminia level courtesy of a looped finish following some awful Bayern defending from a long ball, but the Japanese midfielder had just strayed offside and the goal was chalked off.
Neuer was required to keep Ariminia at bay and that allowed the Bundesliga champions to make it 2-0 shortly after. Joshua Kimmich was given all the freedom of Bielefelder Alm and picked out Gnabry with a lobbed pass over the home side’s backline. Gnabry lashed in on the volley for his 12th league goal of the season.
Bayern walked through the final stages of the game before turning up the heat to sign off with some style, with Musiala arriving to finish well from Lewandowski’s pass.
Ariminia are one of the most toothless teams in Europe, with only Norwich scoring fewer goals in the continent’s top five leagues this season, and their steady stream of chances was surprising against a Bayern side widely expected to chalk up a cricket score after their Champions League exit at the hands of Villarreal.
As it was, a couple of moments of individual quality from the likes of Kimmich, Gnabry and Musiala the difference, with the away side’s general play stodgy throughout the 90 minutes.
The win strengthens Bayern‘s grip on first place in the Bundesliga, re-establishing their nine-point lead over Borussia Dortmund in second. The two teams will face off in Der Klassiker next Saturday.
GK: Manuel Neuer – 7/10 – Had to scamper off his line to mop up on occasion. Made a few good stops and distributed well.
RB: Benjamin Pavard – 7/10 – Moved into a back three when Nianzou was substituted at half time. Brought the ball forward well.
CB: Dayot Upamecano – 6/10 – Survived an early but wishful penalty appeal when Wimmer went down. Looked exasperated at times, with a lack of protection in front making Arminia a threat.
CB: Tanguy Nianzou – 4/10 – Lacked authority at the back for Bayern. Needed to show more intensity and was lucky Okugawa’s strike was ruled out for offside. Was also booked.
LB: Alphonse Davies – 8/10 – Good work down the left to set up Bayern’s opener. Beat a few players with some excellent dribbles and was solid in defence, making three tackles.
CM: Joshua Kimmich – 7/10 – Waltzed forward and sent a perfect ball to Gnabry for Bayern’s second. Booked for a cynical challenge.
CM: Leon Goretzka – 6/10 – Had a few opportunities to get on the scoresheet and created some chances too. He and Kimmich did leave his defenders with a lot of work though, often pushing high up the pitch and not recovering.
RM: Serge Gnabry – 8/10 – Looked short on confidence at points, taking the wrong options in attack. However, he took his goal wonderfully, perfectly connecting with Kimmich’s pass.
AM: Thomas Muller – 5/10 – Not at his clinical best with his passing, giving the ball away a little too often. Subbed off after the hour.
LM: Marcel Sabitzer – 5/10 – Didn’t get on the ball too often, having just 34 touches in his 61 minutes. Not influential and taken off alongside Muller.
ST: Robert Lewandowski – 7/10 – Nearly got the opener, but it was turned into the net by Laursen. Not the most proficient in front of goal but did set up Musiala with a nice cross.
SUB: Josip Stanisic – 6/10 – Some stiff defending had Arminia asking for a penalty, but nothing was given.
SUB: Jamal Musiala – 7/10 – Made an impact off the bench, impressing with some driving runs in attack. Got on the end of Lewandowski’s cross to make it 3-0.
SUB: Leroy Sane – 5/10 – Got through some running but the quietest of Bayern’s substitutes.
SUB: Eric Choupo-Moting – N/A
SUB: Gabriel Vidovic – N/A