Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Lekerkusen: Late own-goal end Bavarians' winning streak

Bayern Munich saw their run of eight straight Bundesliga games come to an end when they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

Stefan Kiessling got a breakaway goal for the visitors just before half-time, but Mario Mandzukic equalised for the dominant hosts with 12 minutes left to play. However, with die Roten pressing for a winner, Sidney Sam’s header was diverted past Manuel Neuer by the unfortunate Jerome Boateng.

The Bavarians were the ones to start the game on top. Within two minutes of kick-off, Toni Kroos sprayed a ball to Thomas Muller on the right wing, and the Germany winger wasted no time in sending in a crisp cross that Bastian Schweinsteiger tried, in vain, to divert into the net.

Soon after, David Alaba picked out Schweinsteiger, who found himself crowded out by Stefan Reinartz before he could get away a shot, before the Bayern vice-captain sent in a cross to Muller, who headed wide.

Holger Badstuber was the next player to centre the ball, and Mario Mandzukic forced a great reaction save from Bernd Leno, who got down well to parry it, and Alaba was inches away from diverting the ball into the net.

It seemed to be a matter of time before the hosts took the lead, but they were perhaps unlucky to avoid falling behind when a Kiessling effort from a set piece was ruled out for a dubious foul on Dante by Philipp Wollscheid.

Leverkusen were heartened by the incident, and would have taken the lead on 32 minutes, were it not for a fantastic touch by Neuer which took a Dani Carvajal cross diverted away from Kiessling’s head.

At the other end, some fine combination play from Muller and Mandzukic released Kroos in the box, but the 22-year-old fired straight at Leno from close range, before Schweinsteiger’s powerful drive from 25 yards was diverted wide by the young keeper.

Eventually, though, Bayern’s wastefulness came back to haunt them. Leverkusen counterattacked superbly, and Simon Rolfes released Andre Schurrle, who pulled it across the face of goal for Kiessling, who tapped home.

Seconds before the interval, the lead was almost doubled, only for the hosts’ blushes to be spared by a dubious offside decision against the goalscorer.

After the break, Bayern needed to take back the impetus. Heynckes introduced Xherdan Shaqiri in the place of Holger Badstuber, and the Swiss youngster almost made an immediate impact, picking out Kroos, who sent a shot wide via a deflection.

Leno got down fantastically to tip a stinging shot from Jerome Boateng around the post, before chipping the ball into Muller, who headed  wide under pressure from Wollscheid.

Arjen Robben was came on after an hour in the place of Luiz Gustavo, but within seconds, Bayern almost fell two behind, only for Kiessling to head an inviting cross into the ground, and straight at Neuer, who then made a decent stop from a Gonzalo Castro.

Shaqiri came close to grabbing an equaliser soon after with a 25-yard effort which Leno did well to parry, before the former Basel man picked up a booking for a cynical dive in the area which was rightly punished.

Robben played a well-weighted ball to send Mandzukic clear, only for Wollscheid to make a brilliant block to stop the Croatian from getting a sight of goal, and Toprak soon followed suit to deny Muller.

Time was running out for the Bavarians to get back into the match, and Leverkusen’s stern defence showed no signs of subsiding, until the 77th minute. Claudio Pizarro, fresh on as a substitute, played in Mandzukic, who headed into the net with Leno stranded.

Within seconds, they were within inches of turning the game on its head entirely. Pizarro drove a cross-shot across the face of goal, it struck the bewildered Mandzukic, and bounced agonisingly off the post.

The hosts pressed for a winner, but four minutes from time, they were left reeling. Carvajal sent in another great cross from the right, Sidney Sam got his head to it, and it struck the unfortunate Jerome Boateng in the face and trickled past Neuer.

Manuel Neuer had a hand in setting up a 93rd minute chance for Mandzukic who headed across the woodwork, but it was all too late. The Allianz Arena had been stunned: Bayern’s unbeaten record had come to an end, and Leverkusen had claimed their first awway against Bayern for over 20 years.

Shaqiri: I do not like being compared to Ribery

Bayern Munich attacker Xherdan Shaqiri has stated that he does not like being compared to team-mate Franck Ribery.

The former Basel player, who has already started three leagues games for his club, is likely to deputise for the injured Frenchman in the Bavarians’ clash with Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

While admitting that Ribery is an outstanding model and a world-class player, Shaqiri made clear that he is keen on developing his own style of football.

“On the pitch, I can learn a lot from him. His unpredictability is unique. I like that a lot. But generally I don’t like to compare myself to others. I am myself and not Ribery or anyone else,” Shaqiri told Bild.

“I think that so far, they [Bayern Munich] are very satisfied [with my performances]. I certainly am. I think that [coach] Jupp Heynckes cannot look past me. That’s why he gave me a lot of match time already.”

“Twelve points is a nice cushion. I like that Dortmund have to look up on us from below. But there are many games left and a 12-point advantage right now is not yet enough for the championship.”

Finally, Shaqiri shed some light on how he achieved his extraordinary physique, insisting that his muscularity is hereditary.

“I’m never in the weight room. I never do push-ups at home. My father looked like this, I’m naturally this way.”

We can beat Bayern in Munich, says Leverkusen's Hyypia

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia insists his team can defeat Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Sunday suggesting “anything is possible.”

Die Werkself have gone 23 years without a victory away to the Bavarians, who set a league record for the best start this season after eight wins in eight matches.

Hyypia believes the momentum from Thursday’s 4-0 thrashing of Rapid Vienna in the Europa League can help his side break their Munich hoodoo.

“It is going to be tough for us, but you never know – anything is possible in football. Even winning 4-0 in front of 50,000 hostile fans, which is what Leverkusen did at the Ernst-Happel Stadion against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League,” said the Finnish legend to Bundesliga.de.

“It was good to see that we performed for the 90 minutes. I think that gives us confidence for the future because we saw how many goals we can score.”

Sunday’s clash at the Allianz Arena kicks of at 17:30CET.

Heynckes: We must keep our feet on the ground

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has warned his side that claiming victory will be a tough task when they host Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday.

The Bavarians sit pretty at the top of the Bundesliga, crucially nine point clear of current champions Borussia Dortmund, having amassed eight wins on the trot.

However, the 67-year-old has warned them not to underestimate their opponents, who are in a good run of their own of late.

“They are in very good shape at the moment,” he commented at a press conference. “They play flowing, attractive football and they are very skilful.

“We would be well-advised to keep our feet on the ground, approach it professionally, and not rely on statistics. Instead, we should carry on doing what we’ve been doing in the league so far.”

Club captain Philipp Lahm echoed his coach’s thoughts regarding the upcoming encounter, maintaining his team-mates would have to be on their toes when entertaining the Werkself.

“From the start, we must be wide awake,” he insisted. “Leverkusen are a dangerous team. “However, if we impose our authority on the game, there can only be one winner, and that will be us.”

The trio of Franck Ribery, Daniel Van Buyten and Javi Martinez will be absent for the home side, who have been boosted by the return of Arjen Robben.

Voller: Leverkusen need a perfect day to beat Bayern Munich

Rudi Voller has stressed that Bayer Leverkusen will have to be at their very best in order to get a result in Sunday’s Bundesliga match away to Bayern Munich.

B04 have not won an away game against Bayern for 23 years, and the former Germany international is desperate for them to end their losing streak in Munich this weekend.

“We’ve beaten Bayern a couple of times at home, but not in Munich,” Voller was quoted as saying on the official Bayern Munich website.

“Well, it’s partly because Bayern are always so strong at home. We’ve come close a couple of times, but just fallen a fraction short. But we’ve not given up hope yet and we’ll give it another try this Sunday.

“Obviously, when you visit the Allianz Arena, you need the ultimate perfect day to come away with anything from Munich, and you need Bayern not to have the same kind of day.”