Bayern Munich would come from 2-0 down to earn a valuable point in the title race against RB Leipzig at the Red Bull Arena. Die Rekordmeister would start the game in horrific fashion. Loïs Openda would open the scoring after twenty minutes before Sven Ulreich misread the flight of the ball from a Leipzig corner, allowing Castello Lukeba to tap the ball into an empty net. 2-0 down inside the first half hour suggested that Bayern had not fully recovered from their Supercup defeat.
However, in the second half, a Harry Kane penalty and a swift Bayern counter attack, finished off by Leroy Sané, saw the German champions level the tie with seventy minutes on the clock. While chances would come and go for both sides, they would fail to be taken. The points would ultimately be shared in Saxony keeping the title race as open as it was prior to kick off.
RB Leipzig are missing key players
Coming into matchday six, Leipzig knew that victory at home to Bayern Munich would propel them above Die Rekordmeister in the Bundesliga table. Having stumbled away at Bayer Leverkusen on matchday one, Die Roten Bullen have been in cruise control, only conceding once in their last four outings.
However, with Bayer Leverkusen looking to challenge for the Meisterschale this season, Marco Rose knew his side had to impress against Bayern if they were to be considered worthy competition. At half-time, Leipzig looked to have rightfully earned the chance to put their name in the ballot for Bundesliga title contenders. Nevertheless, their stunning first half performance would ultimately be in vain as they faded away to the Bayern pressure after the interval.
With injuries affecting key players in the Leipzig side, it was evident that Rose was missing his captain Willi Orbán and playmaker Dani Olmo. Leipzig lacked the qualities and characteristics to keep Bayern at bay, and while the season is far from over, Die Roten Bullen have to prove against a top side that they have what it takes to be in the title picture come May.
A psychological win for Bayern Munich
Defeat in the DFL-Supercup would have frustrated Bayern, but more so, it would have left lingering doubt in the dressing room. While not at their best at the start of the season, their 7-0 trouncing of VfL Bochum would have helped forget the disappointment of dropping two points late on against Bayer Leverkusen.
However, a rerun against RB Leipzig was always going to be the true test for Bayern and whether they could prove that the DFL-Supercup defeat had not affected them. A first half performance that saw Thomas Tuchel’s side capitulate looked to suggest that Bayern had indeed found their match in RB Leipzig.
However, their second half display would prove why they have won eleven straight Bundesliga titles as they fought back to earn a valuable point in Saxony. But most importantly, by digging deep in the second half, Die Rekordmeister were able to show that they have moved on from disappointment in the Supercup and have their eyes firmly set on the Meisterschale.
Xaver Schlager steps up to the plate
Every season may feel like a new challenge for RB Leipzig, who regularly have to contend with losing key players each summer. However, there was a sense that the departures of Christopher Nkunku, Joško Gvardiol and Konrad Laimer would affect Leipzig more than any season prior.
Nevertheless, while Dani Olmo had been the main man for Leipzig until his injury, Xavi Simons and Loïs Openda have become the recent heroes for Marco Rose’s side. However, while Simons struggled to positively impact the game, Xaver Schlager stepped up to the plate to torment the reigning champions.
An exquisite through ball from the Austrian international allowed Openda to open the scoring for Leipzig, but it would also be his contribution in the defensive third that saw Schlager frustrate Die Rekordmeister. With fourteen defensive actions the 26-year-old nullified Bayern for large portions of the game and while Tuchel’s side would find a way to earn a point, without Schlager the outcome could have been far worse for Die Roten Bullen.
GGFN | Will Shopland