This evening, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig played out a goalless draw in a top of the table clash at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Despite a few very decent chances for each side, neither team could make them count as things remain right where they were in the Bundesliga title race.
Not much involvement for Bayern star man Lewandowski
Bayern Munich’s star man Robert Lewandowski has been a phenom this season, especially in front of goal. However, he had very little impact on proceedings tonight.
His best chance to score tonight came late in the first half as he played a lovely ball down the right wing to Thomas Muller. The German veteran whipped in a cross to the back post, where Lewandowski had made his way, but he couldn’t get enough contact on his effort and Dayot Upamecano turned it behind for a corner.
Perhaps the biggest contribution to the game from Lewandowski came midway through the second period as he was brought down in the area – earning his team a penalty. However, although it was a clear foul, Lewandowski was offside in the build up and so VAR overturned the decision.
Lewandowski still has 22 goals in 21 appearances this season, which is a quite frankly ludicrous return. If I were you, I’d have my money on him being on the score sheet next week when Bayern take a trip to Cologne.
Leipzig poor in front of goal
RB Leipzig were very wasteful in front of goal tonight! Despite having plenty of fantastic opportunities to win the game, they just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Even the normally deadly Timo Werner missed an absolute sitter as Christopher Nkunku laid one on a plate for him in the box. Werner, in an absolute mile of space, shaped his body to shoot, let the ball run across him and smashed it wide of Manuel Neuer’s post. An absolutely HUGE miss and one that I’d expect every striker to bury.
Marcel Sabitzer had a huge chance to give his side the lead too straight from the kick off in the second half. The ball fell to his feet dead centre of the goal, ten yards out – he was leaning slightly too far back and smashed his effort over the bar. The goal was at his absolute mercy – really should have scored.
If Leipzig had have been able to find their usual form in the 18-yard-box, they’d be top of the league tonight and one step closer to their first ever Bundesliga title. As it is, they couldn’t, and they remain behind Bayern.
Alphonso Davies is brilliant, but lacks end product
Alphonso Davies, who is normally a winger, has filled in brilliantly at left-back this season as Hansi Flick and his predecessor Niko Kovac have used the usual left-sided full-back David Alaba as cover in the centre of defence.
Despite being out of position, he’s still been fantastic this term and today was no different. HOWEVER, for all the pace he shows on the ball and the way he dribbles with it, he NEEDS to add a final product to his game.
While I’m sure it will come as he matures as a player, there were far too many instances tonight where he would fly down the wing, beat his man and then deliver a shockingly poor ball into the area.
The second he can master the art of a decent cross, he’ll become one hell of a player.
Neuer rash decisions
Manuel Neuer is one of the best goalkeepers I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch play the beautiful game – BUT, he has a tendency to make some utterly ridiculous decisions.
As anyone who watches Neuer on a regular basis will know, he plays with such confidence and probably wouldn’t look too out-of-place in the central midfield. As it is, sometimes his confidence can get him in trouble – as it very nearly did on multiple occasions today.
Early in the second half, he came rushing off his line and out of the box to race Timo Werner to a loose ball. In reality, he was never getting there, but in his head he thought he could make it. Werner, who isn’t shy of pace, nicked the ball past him leaving Neuer 20 yards from his goal and behind the ball.
Fortunately for him, David Alaba managed to get back and make a block to stop Werner from putting his side in the lead – but it shouldn’t have been necessary. The defenders were well positioned enough to have snuffed out the danger – he simply didn’t need to do it.
He did the same thing in the first half too – only that time he actually got to the ball. As well as that, he also likes to play football a little too often. In the first half today, he was caught out doing that as he gave the ball away in a dangerous area – fortunately for him, his team were alive to the danger and restricted Sabitzer to a poor shot which flew over the crossbar.
Title race going down to the wire
The title race in the Bundesliga is one of the best we’ve seen in a while this year. With just eight points separating the top six teams, it really is anyone’s title this season.
Bayern Munich are a single point ahead of Leipzig in second, with Borussia Dortmund lurking three points behind them in third. Monchengladbach, who have a game in hand following the postponement of today’s match-up with Cologne, are also three points behind Leipzig – but now, perhaps crucially, have a game in hand.
Then, just outside the top four, Bayer Leverkusen, who beat Dortmund in a thriller yesterday, are lurking just a couple of points back, with Schalke two points behind them. Honestly, if either of those two can get string four or five wins together, they could be right back in the mix.
Every single team at the top of the division has lost games this season, and I fully expect that to continue happening. This title race is going down to the wire – and I am loving it.
Personally, I fully expect Bayern to come out on top once more – sheerly just through experience of these situations. I’d love to see a different winner though- even if it is Leipzig.