Bayern Munich were keen to take all three points in a 2-1 home win over Freiburg, opening a four-point lead in the Bundesliga ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig.
The game was marred from the first whistle by a false start, injury and VAR check in the opening five minutes, but it didn’t hurt Die Roten who found the back of the net thanks to Robert Lewandowski after only seven minutes.
Freiburg were not without chances and moved closer to Roland Sallai in the first half, but Bayern always looked comfortable and dominated possession, despite the lack of an extra bite with Serge Gnabry forced to injure himself.
Bayern continued to dominate possession in the second half, but again lacked real urgency and were punished accordingly, when substitute Nils Petersen came out from a corner and passed Manuel Neuer after 62 minutes with his first touch of the match.
Freiburg’s equalizer was exactly what a complacent Bayern needed, however. Hansi Flick’s sides improved and regained the lead thanks to Thomas Muller after 74 minutes. Lewandowski did well to win a loose ball soon after and forced a smart save on Florian Muller in the Freiburg goal, but couldn’t double his total.
The visitors did not let go when Petersen smashed the crossbar in the 90th minute, but Bayern held on to claim the three points.
Here’s how players rated a snowy afternoon at the Allianz Arena.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 5/10 – Neuer didn’t have much to do and couldn’t do much to stop a diving header from Petersen, left completely free at the far post.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 5/10 – Pavard struggled when given the ball in the forward areas of the pitch, but he was comfortable preventing attacks from blossoming down the right flank.
Jérôme Boateng (CB) – 6/10 – Little to do defensively beyond a flurry in the first half and played a sharp vertical pass or two as the game progressed.
David Alaba (CB) – 6/10 – Alaba was just as quiet as his middle-back colleague, but did well to cover Davies when needed.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 5/10 – The Canadian was not at the level fans expect him to be. A little too careful to venture forward and was caught sleeping at the back post allowing an unexpected equalizer to creep in.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 5/10 – Unusually poor performance by Kimmich who was too casual in possession. Shoot one or two capricious passes and hold the ball too long in spells, slowing down his side.
Léon Goretzka (CM) – 5/10 – When Kimmich isn’t filming, neither is Leon Goretzka. Bayern’s engine barely came out of first gear, which was a problem for most XIs.
Serge Gnabry (RM) – 7/10 – Gnabry looked electric with every touch of the ball and was causing trouble both off and down but suffered an injury and limped just before the half hour mark. A real shame.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 8/10 – Muller looked sharper than ever from the first whistle. Whether it was driving the defenders away with a smart move or arriving late and playing together himself, a goal well taken and an assist was testament to how crucial he was for Die Roten.
Kingsley Coman (LM) – 6/10 – Coman ran relentlessly and returned to help Davies in the defense when needed, but admittedly lacked a compelling end product to beat his man.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 7/10 – Despite scoring the opener and his side holding most of the possession in the first half, Lewandowski was often left waiting to receive the final ball. Unlucky to shake the crossbar in the second half.
Leroy Sane – 6/10 – The German put in another modest performance, but gradually developed into the game. Florian Muller forced another late stoppage at the end after an impressive mazy run to goal.
Jamal Musiala – N / A
Corentin Tolisso – N / A
Javi Martinez – N / A
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – N / A