Bayern Munich have only lost points for the second time this season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Werder Bremen on Saturday. (More football news)
Maximilian Eggestein’s well-crafted goal gave the visitors a deserved lead at the end of the first half before the Champions returned through Kingsley Coman after the hour.
But they couldn’t build on their tie, as a stubborn performance by Florian Kohfeldt’s men earned a deserved share of the booty.
Werder traveled to the Allianz Arena after avoiding defeat in his previous four outings, although all of them ended in draws.
And, with Bayern having achieved 10 straight wins in this game, they would have expected to dominate from the start, rather than giving up the best chances in the first half.
However, only a brilliant save from Manuel Neuer kept Josh Sargent from getting close early, before Leonardo Bittencourt stole into the side net when he could have done better.
The hosts’ pace was undoubtedly damaged by Theo Hernandez’s early loss to injury, a blow that saw Leon Goretzka presented and Javi Martinez and David Alaba switch positions.
Werder took advantage of the uncertainty at the back as Sargent burst in behind the flank, gathered by Martinez and Alaba, before falling back to Eggestein at home just before half-time.
Milot Rashica should have made two shortly after the restart, taking too much time in a one-on-one situation, prompting Douglas Costa to respond by breaking the bar with deflected effort.
It marked the start of a long-awaited period of pressure from Bayern which eventually revealed Coman was heading towards Goretzka’s right-wing cross at the far post.
But, despite the introduction of Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry off the bench, Hansi Flick’s men struggled to create a lot of scores in the final half hour.
In fact, only another one-handed save by Neuer prevented the visitors from taking the victory over Sargent with five minutes of normal time.
Just a point
– FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) November 21, 2020
What does it mean?
Bayern’s grip in first place in the Bundesliga was loosened by lost points, with RB Leipzig now able to equalize if they beat Eintracht Frankfurt later on Saturday.
Werder, meanwhile, remain in the middle of the table thanks to a fifth consecutive stalemate.
Friedl keeps Bayern at bay
Any team that prevents Bayern Munich from winning at home will have to defend themselves well and Werder certainly did, with Marco Friedl arguably the choice of the bottom three.
The Austrian led his side on tackles (four), clearances (nine) and interceptions (three) to help Robert Lewandowski stay clear in a Bundesliga game for the first time this season.
Alaba struggles after the change
David Alaba’s life may not have been made easier by an early switch from center-back to left-back, but the defender still hasn’t hit his usual standards.
He has won only 33% of his duels, made no tackles or interceptions and lost possession 20 times – more than any other Bayern player.
Bayern return to the Champions League on Wednesday when they host Salzburg, while Bremen’s next Bundesliga outing is in Wolfsburg on Friday.
For in-depth, objective and above all balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine