German giants Bayern Munich defended their top spot after carving out a hard-earned 1-0 win over resilient Arminia Bielefeld on the solitary goal from Leroy Sane in the 13th round of the Bundesliga.
The Bavarians took the reins from the start and pressed Bielefeld into the defence in a late Saturday game. Bayern created several chances in the opening stages as Thomas Muller headed wide narrowly in the sixth minute before Alphonso Davies unleashed a dangerous shot from close with 15 minutes gone.
The hosts overran Arminia’s defence, but Bayern remained wasteful as neither Leroy Sane nor Robert Lewandowski could beat the visitors’ goalkeeper Bielefeld Stefan Ortega despite promising chances.
Arminia tried some fast breaks but couldn’t do damage to Bayern’s well-positioned defence in the first 45 minutes, Xinhua reports. Bayern assumed control again after the restart as Sane and Muller continued to squander presentable chances in front of the target in the opening period of the second half.
Lewandowski should have broken the deadlock at the hour mark, but the Pole missed the far post with all the time and space from inside the box. Bayern’s pressure eventually paid off after a combination via Muller allowed Sane to open the scoring with a well-placed curl from the edge of the box into the top right corner with 71 minutes gone.
The hosts pressed for another goal, but Ortega denied Kingsley Coman in the 77th minute before Serge Gnabry rattled only the woodwork following a solo run moments later. With the 10th victory of the campaign, Bayern Munich defended the top spot in the Bundesliga table while Arminia Bielefeld stay on the 17th position, which is a direct relegation spot.
“It was a laboured victory. We are happy that we secured all three points on home soil. Bielefeld defended well and made our life difficult, but it was important to keep a clean sheet today,” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer said.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund came from behind with goals from Emre Can, Donyell Malen and Erling Haaland to overpowered hosts Wolfsburg 3-1 in another late Saturday match.
Both sides staged a lively opening period as Dortmund’s Marco Reus tested Wolfsburg keeper Pavao Pervan with two minutes played before Wout Weghorst opened the scoring with his chest from close range moments later.