Tue, Mar 20, 2018 - Page 16 News List

RB Leipzig rally to claim shock victory over Bayern

AFP, BERLIN

Substitute Timo Werner on Sunday netted a second-half winner as RB Leipzig came from behind to shock Bayern Munich 2-1 as the Bundesliga leaders suffered a first defeat since November last year, a stretch of 19 matches in all competitions.

It was a historic night for sixth-placed Leipzig as they beat Bayern for the first time at the fifth attempt.

“Leipzig ran hard, were very aggressive and pressed us well,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. “We didn’t play like we have done in the past few weeks and I have to say it clearly: Leipzig deserved to win.”

Sandro Wagner gave Bayern an early lead at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena, but the hosts roared back in emphatic style through Liverpool-bound Naby Keita and Werner.

Bayern maintain a massive 17-point lead at the top of the table with a mouth-watering clash at home to third-placed Borussia Dortmund to follow in two weeks.

Heynckes made six changes from the team which won 3-1 at Besiktas JK in the UEFA Champions League last week.

Robert Lewandowski was rested from the starting lineup, but his stand-in Wagner needed just 12 minutes to put Bayern ahead.

James Rodriguez fired in a cross and Wagner headed home with Juan Bernat and Arturo Vidal lining up behind him to finish the chance.

However, Bayern were punished for dropping their tempo.

Keita equalized on 37 minutes, firing home despite the presence of a number of defenders after Werner, an early replacement after only 10 minutes when injury struck Marcel Sabitzer, had a shot blocked.

The pair combined again for the winning goal in the 56th minute.

When Keita’s pass put Werner clear, the Germany striker sprinted away from Bayern centerback Niklas Suele before hitting his shot just out of reach of goalkeeper Sven Ulreich.

It was a relief for Werner who scored his first Bundesliga goal in eight games after a barren spell of 543 minutes.

Earlier, a stunning Michy Batshuayi goal — his sixth in seven league games — gave third-placed Dortmund a 1-0 win over Hannover 96.

Batshuayi, on loan from Chelsea until May, grabbed the decisive goal with a wonderful piece of individual skill midway through the first half.

Having hit the post after just 35 seconds, Batshuayi had his back to goal when he met Andre Schuerrle’s corner at the near post with a back-heeled volley that flew into the corner.

“I saw the path to the goal wasn’t clear, but there was just a small gap and luckily it came off,” Batshuayi told Eurosport.

Hannover were denied an 81st-minute equalizer when Julian Korb poked the ball over the line, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

The victory was a solid response from Dortmund after last week’s disappointing UEFA Europa League round-of-16 exit at the hands of Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg.

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