|Union Berlin were undone by a solid if unspectacular Bayern Munich|
Bundesliga Latest: Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich
Stadion An der Alten Försterei
⚽ Bayern Munich - Lewandowski (PK - 40')
⚽ Bayern Munich - Pavard (80')
Bayern Munich played its first Bundesliga game in more than two months on Sunday, taking home a 2-0 win in the German capital over Union Berlin.
It feels like an eternity has passed since the last Bayern Munich game, but we’re finally back. The return to football is awkward and not without controversy, but this is a good time for fans of the club to just relax on a Sunday evening and watch their favorite team. We could all use a little pick-me-up at the moment.
Bayern have a few injuries coming into the game — most notably that of Philippe Coutinho and Corentin Tolisso, both of whom are sidelined with ankle trouble and expected to miss the season. Still, Hansi Flick has all he needs to field a proper lineup, with Robert Lewandowski returning to fitness over the course of the lockdown. Between him and Thomas Muller, the striker partnership should be taken care of. If not, then there’s still Serge Gnabry to pick up the slack, and Joshua Zirkzee on the bench if need be.
It was the lastest reminder that this is what Bundesliga football will look like for the rest of the season. And while the form and meaning of football's return will continue to be discussed, the competition presses on. While the feeling around them remains unusual and the thought of it so foreign after so long away, there is still a title to win, top six spots to secure and relegation to avoid.
Though Union played admirably, Bayern was the better team.
Bayern asserted their dominance from the beginning until the very end. Bayern showed that they are still the favorites and the leaders of the league, while Union showed that they will likely have enough fight in them to remain in the top flight next season.
As you can imagine with most teams having not played in two months, the game was a little sloppy, but hardly something to be concerned about for Bayern Munich. What would have been more concerning than being sloppy in attack would be at the back, but Bayern did well by conceding only two shots on frame and keeping Union offsides time and time again.
Bayern faces Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, while Dortmund goes to Wolfsburg on the same day. If Bayern slips up, it would make their head-to-head matchup even more important. Bayern goes to Dortmund on May 26 in the biggest game of the season.
Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin full time
Final Whistle — Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich
90'+2 FULL-TIME — Peeeeeeeeeeep! It's a routine three points for Bayern, who win in Berlin courtesy of Lewandowksi and Pavard's goals. The champions weren't at their best, but they didn't have to be. Flick now has a remarkable 34 points from a possible 36 since taking over. The Bavarians re-establish their four point cushion at the top.
89' Chance! Neuer keeps his clean sheet intact with a point blank save from Kroos, who is disappointed he didn't grab a consolation for the hosts.
88' Bayern sub: Cuisance on, Müller off.
87' Bayern coasting now, and you get the feeling Union would take a 2-0 right now too. This was always a warm-up for the big Berlin derby against Hertha next weekend.
84' Bayern sub: Perisic on, Gnabry off.
83' Union double sub: Kroos & Ryerson on, Prömel and Bülter off.
81' Pavard deserves that. Has played solidly today at both ends of the field, although Union haven't tested Bayern as much as they could have.
80' GOAL! Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich — Pavard scores! It's job done for Bayern as Pavard leaps high to nod in Kimmich's outswinging corner. Bayern are going four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga once again.
|Union Berlin 0-2 Bayern Munich|
79' Gnabry gets a shot away but Gikiewicz came out and committed himself to the block and the keeper did well.
78' Union looking better since the changes and Genz goes close with an effort from distance.
77' The closer we get to full-time without a second for Bayern, the more union will feel that they can steal something from the game.
76' So close for Bayern. Coman fires a low cross across the face of goal, all it needed was a touch, but Gnabry can't make contact, despite throwing himself at it.
73' Coman's first involvement is to win Bayern a corner off Subotic.
71' Bayern sub: Coman on, Goretzka off.
70' Union double change: Gentner & Andersson on, Andrich & Ujah off.
67' A set piece would appear to be Union's best chance, as has been the case several times already this season.
66' Lenz earns Union a corner. The big men are forward from the back, but Neuer deals with the ball in.
64' A rare foray forward for Union results in nothing. The home side need to be more direct.
62' A couple of reinforcements warming up for Union. We're yet to see any of the five substitutes that each side are permitted to make.
59' Union just lacking the attacking threat to do anything here. Bayern increasingly comfortable, but that second goal remains elusive.
56' Pavard heads the resulting corner wide, but Bayern pushing here.
55' Müller picks out Lewandowski at the far post with a good cross. The Pole tries to head it back across goal, but Trimmel blocks it.
53' Bayern have gone up a gear in this second half. Creating a lot more and putting Union under more pressure.
51' Goretzka goes very close after a nice ball by Pavard. It deflects millimeters wide of the far post.
50' Schlotterbeck with a fine block on Gnabry, who pulled the trigger from the edge of the box.
48' Pavard fires in an early low cross for Müller, whose attempted flick for Lewandowski doesn't come off.
46' SECOND HALF. We're back.
*Bayern is lucky to be in the lead at halftime. Union has shown great hustle and tenacity and have often frustrated the Bayern players. Each time Bayern looked to be breaking, Union always seemed to put a foot in and disrupt the play.
*Conversely, Union is lucky to only be down 1-0. Bayern held a commanding lead in the possession and had more chances, even if they weren’t all clear-cut. Mueller’s goal was only offsides by inches.
*This game will likely not be over early. This does not feel like a game that Bayern will run away with. This game will likely go down to the very last minute. Bayern needs all three points to reestablish their four-point lead over Dortmund. Hopefully they won’t make this too dramatic.
45'+4 HALF-TIME — Peeeeeeeep! That'll do for the first 45. Bayern ahead through Lewandowski's penalty after Müller's disallowed goal. Union have done alright but need to show a bit more in attack to worry the league leaders.
45'+2 Ujah wins a corner as his header deflects off a Bayern body. Hübner gets his head to the ball in but Bayern ultimately get it clear.
45' Four added minutes for some reason.
44' Goretzka forces a Bayern corner but the flag goes up — some welcome relief for Union.
42' Union had just started to create a few chances and then Bayern strike. So typical of the champions.
40' GOAL! Union Berlin 0-1 Bayern Munich — Lewandowski sends his compatriot Gikiewicz the wrong way, rolling it to the keeper's left. That's 26 Bundesliga goals this season for the Pole.
39' BAYERN PENALTY — Subotic catches Goretzka late and that'll be a penalty. Subotic didn't know Goretzka was there, but the referee had little choice.
37' Prömel receives some treatment but is fine to continue, albeit moving a bit gingerly.
35' Prömel is caught late by Davies, who is shown a yellow card.
33' Trimmel gets another chance to pick out a cross, but it's too close to Neuer who claims it relatively comfortably. Union getting the chance to cause Bayern some problems, but not taking advantage of them.
Müller had a goal disallowed in the 17th minute.
30' Trimmel fires in an early cross for Ujah and Boateng slips but recovers.
28' The referee accidentally blocks a Bayern pass and, under a recent rule amendment, stops play and awards an uncontested drop ball for Bayern, who continue as they would have done anyway 30 seconds earlier. I've never seen a more pointless passage of play in my life.
26' A little bit of pressure from Union here, but Bayern get the resulting corner clear.
24' Lenz wins a free-kick at the expense of Kimmich, and Trimmel's ball is a dangerous one that Hübner flicks towards goal, and it flicks off a Bayern body for a corner.
22' Almost the opener for Bayern this time as Davies fires in a low cross from the left, but Gikiewicz's touch takes it away from Lewandowski and Subotic clears before Müller can get there.
19' Müller won't be receiving a Christmas card from Gnabry this year.
17' Bayern goal disallowed! Oh, Thomas Müller, what are you doing? Müller wins a Bayern corner, which Kimmich swings in. Goretzka nods it down for Gnabry, who heads it towards goal. It was going in but Müller sticks out a foot to get the goal, but he's offside, confirmed by VAR. If Müller had left it, Gnabry would have scored the opening goal.
15' Bayern really dominating the ball, as you might expect. Union defending pretty well at the moment though.
13' Davies collects Thiago's ball and picks out Gnabry, but the former Arsenal man is crowded out and his shot is blocked.
11' Lenz goes into the book for a late one on Pavard.
9' Bayern playing a very high line and this time it just catches out Ujah, who had strayed off as Union had looked to catch Bayern on the break.
7' Union chance! Ujah darts between the Bayern defenders to collect Hübner's fine pass, but Ujah's control lets him down and he fires his shot into the side-netting. A very decent opening, that.
5' Pavard puts in a nice cross that finds Lewandowski and then Goretzka, but the ball doesn't come down for either of them. The flag was up anyway.
3' Bayern will have been grateful for the Bundesliga's hiatus, in some ways. Lewandowski had just sustained an injury that would have kept him out for a chunk of the run-in, but he has been able to recover from that in time for Bayern's title push.
2' Lewandowski with an early sighter from distance. It deflects up and loops just over the bar for a Bayern corner, but Union get it away.
1' KICK OFF — We're underway!
17:50 Players out
Well then, the warm-ups are warming down and we're close to kick off in the German capital. In line with the Bundesliga's protocol, non-playing staff are wearing masks and substitutes will too. Almost time for kick off...
-- 17:40 Rummenigge rubbishes Sane reports
Bayern's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has dismissed reports that they are closing in on the signing of Germany winger Leroy Sane from Manchester City. When asked by Sky Germany whether there was any truth in kicker's report that Bayern and City are only €10million apart in their valuation, he described that as "laughable". However, he was happy to say that captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will sign a new contract. We may hear more about that one in the coming days.
-- 17:25 Union flying high
Union Berlin have surpassed expectations this season and seem to be on their way to a second straight season in the top flight. Their debut Bundesliga campaign sees them sitting comfortably in 12th, with a game in hand on the sides directly above them. They're not expected to get anything from this game, but they weren't expected to get anything when Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach visited the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.
-- 17:15 Hansi Flick and chill
Hansi Flick is looking to continue the extraordinary run of victories that he has enjoyed since taking over as Bayern coach, and was given the keys to the castle on a permanent basis last month. Flick has amassed 31 points from a possible 33, and they're odds on favorites to make that 34 from 36 in Berlin.
-- 17:00 CET Team news!
Union XI: Gikiewicz; Schlotterbeck, Hübner, Subotic; Lenz, Trimmel, Prömel, Andrich; Ingvartsen, Ujah, Bülter
Bayern XI: Neuer; Pavard, Boateng, Alaba, Davies; Thiago, Kimmich; Müller, Goretzka, Gnabry; Lewandowski.
-- Good afternoon! After the Bundesliga returned in the Ruhr derby, there is more to come on Sunday. Bayern Munich's trip to Berlin to play Union should make for a thrilling game, but will certainly be less of an occasion without the usually intense atmosphere of the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. These Geisterspiele, or "ghost games", will make football different experience for all involved.
-- Earlier in the season
The first meeting feels like a really long time ago now if we're honest. Bayern narrowly got the better of Union in Munich. A 2-1 win came thanks a Robert Lewandowski winner (who else?) in a game where Union missed a penalty and Lewandowski had a second ruled out.
-- Union team news
Union have had a curious week. First Yunus Malli tested positive for the coronavirus and then it was announced that head coach Urs Fischer will miss the game against Bayern for private reasons. Union will be without their fans, their newest playmaker and their head coach on Sunday.
-- Bayern team news
Bayern look fully fit other than the long-term injured Coutinho, Tolisso and Süle. Javi Martinez remains a doubt.
-- Bayern head coach Hansi Flick spoke Friday about having to wear a face mask on the sidelines, but by Saturday afternoon the rules for head coaches had changed and they were no longer required to wear one during games.
Flick also said he was happy about the option of five subs, but said he hoped teams wouldn't use it to waste time.
-- Pre-match spotlight: Robert Lewandowski
One of the best strikers in the world and the difference last time out, how sharp is the Pole after this unexpected break? He has 25 Bundesliga goals already this season, and is closing in on 230 Bundesliga career goals. As so often is the case for Bayern, if he plays well so do they.
-- Pre-match spotlight: Rafal Gikiewicz
Beloved but departing at the end of the season, keeper Gikiewicz has been a mainstay at Union Berlin for years. The Polish keeper will go against fellow international teammate Lewandowski on Sunday and will be keen to prove his worth. He has six clean sheets this season and although not one of the top keepers in the league, he has been a key cog in Berlin's impressive campaign.
Union Berlin XI: Gikiewicz - Subotic, Schlotterbeck, Parensen - Lenz, Andrich, Genter, Trimmel - Bülter, Andersson, Ingvartsen
Bayern Munich XI: Neuer - Pavard, Boateng, Hernandez, Davies - Kimmich, Thiago - Gnabry, Müller, Goretzka - Lewandowski
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