Bayern Munich held out to take all three points in a 2-1 victory at home to Freiburg, opening a four-point gap at the top of the Bundesliga ahead of second-placed RB Leipzig.
The game was marred from the first whistle with a false start, an injury and a VAR check in the opening five minutes, but it didn’t harm Die Roten who found the back of the net through Robert Lewandowski after just seven minutes.
Freiburg weren’t without their chances and came close through Roland Sallai in the first half, but Bayern always looked comfortable and dominated possession, despite lacking any extra bite with Serge Gnabry forced off through injury.
Bayern continued to dominate possession into the second half but again lacked any real urgency and were punished as a result, when substitute Nils Petersen popped up from a corner and headed past Manuel Neuer after 62 minutes with his first touch of the game.
Freiburg’s equaliser was exactly what a complacent Bayern needed, however. Hansi Flick’s side upped the ante and regained the lead through Thomas Muller after 74 minutes. Lewandowski did well to win a loose ball shortly after and forced a smart save out of Florian Muller in the Freiburg goal, but couldn’t double his tally.
The visitors didn’t let up as Petersen smashed the crossbar in the 90th minute, but Bayern held on to claim all three points.
Here’s how the players rated from a snowy afternoon at the Allianz Arena.
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 5/10 – Neuer had little to do and could do little to stop a diving header from Petersen, who was left completely free at the back post.
Benjamin Pavard (RB) – 5/10 – Pavard struggled when given the ball in advanced areas of the pitch, but was comfortable in stopping attacks from blossoming down the right flank.
Jerome Boateng (CB) – 6/10 – Little to do defensively beyond a flurry in the first half and played one or two sharp vertical passes as the game went on.
David Alaba (CB) – 6/10 – Alaba was similarly quiet to his centre back colleague, but did well to cover for Davies when needed.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 5/10 – The Canadian wasn’t at the level fans have come to expect from him. A little too cautious venturing forward and was caught sleeping at the back post which allowed an unexpected equaliser to creep in.
Joshua Kimmich (CM) – 5/10 – Unusually poor performance from Kimmich who was too casual in possession. Fired one or two wayward passes and held the ball for too long in spells, which slowed his side down.
Leon Goretzka (CM) – 5/10 – When Kimmich isn’t ticking, neither is Leon Goretzka. Bayern’s engine barely made it out of first gear, which was an issue for most of the XI.
Serge Gnabry (RM) – 7/10 – Gnabry looked electric with every touch of the ball and was causing problems both wide and centrally, but suffered an injury and limped off just shy of the half hour mark. A real shame.
Thomas Muller (AM) – 8/10 – Muller looked sharp as ever from the first whistle. Be it pulling away defenders with smart movement or arriving late and threading play together himself, a well taken goal and an assist was testament to just how crucial he is to Die Roten.
Kingsley Coman (LM) – 6/10 – Coman ran tirelessly and got back to help Davies defensively when needed, but admittedly lacked a convincing end product to beat his man.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 7/10 – Despite scoring the opener and his side wielding most of the possession in the first half, Lewandowski was often left waiting to receive the final ball. Unlucky to rattle the crossbar in the second half.
Leroy Sane – 6/10 – The German put in another modest performance, but gradually grew into the game. Forced another fine save out of Florian Muller towards the end following an impressive, mazy run at goal.
Jamal Musiala – N/A
Corentin Tolisso – N/A
Javi Martinez – N/A
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting – N/A