Bayern Munich returned to domestic action after their Club World Cup triumph on Monday night with a lively and surprising 3-3 stalemate with Bundesliga strugglers Arminia Bielefeld.
The Bavarians’ hangover from the world triumph was apparent from the get go, as a Manuel Prietl forward pass found an unmarked Michel Vlap to spin and tuck the ball home within ten minutes.
Bayern failed to use their possession and test the Bielefeld goalkeeper and, on 37 minutes, were made to pay for their banal performance. A Vlap corner found its way to Amos Pieper, who calmly converted a free header to score his first ever Bundesliga goal and take the visitors into a shock 2-0 lead at the break.
The hosts woke up a bit after the interval and pulled one back through a brilliant Robert Lewandowski strike on 49 minutes, clinically volleying home after a delightful David Alaba ball over the top. However, Bielefeld restored the two goal cushion just 55 seconds after, when Andreas Voglsammer squared for Christian Gebauer to tap into an empty net.
Bayern composed themselves once more though, and grabbed their second seven minutes later, when a Leroy Sane cross found Corentin Tolisso, who managed to head past Stefan Ortega having made a late run into the box. The hosts continued to threaten and eventually found an equaliser with 20 minutes to go, as Alphonso Davies latched onto a half-hearted clearance and unleashed a vicious half-volley into the bottom corner. Despite working hard to find a fourth, neither team could steal the three points and the spoils were shared.
Now, let’s get to the Bayern Munich player ratings…
Manuel Neuer (GK) – 5/10 – Could do very little about the goals as really shoddy defending made his job near impossible.
Bouna Sarr (RB) – 4/10 – Partly responsible for the opener, not spotting the danger of Vlap on the edge of the box and was beaten far too easily in the build up to Bielefeld’s third – a bad day at the office.
Niklas Sule (CB) – 6/10 – The other man at fault for the opener was Sule, completely losing Vlap in the build up. Other than that, the German did fairly well, especially in the air, winning three aerial battles.
Lucas Hernandez (CB) – 6/10 – Read the game well throughout, making four ball recoveries, but might have done better on the corner for the visitors’ second.
Alphonso Davies (LB) – 8/10 – Used his breathtaking pace to make a couple of brilliant recoveries when the visitors were on the break but should have tracked back to deny the visitors their third. Can be forgiven, however, as he finished brilliantly to get the equaliser.
Corentin Tolisso (CM) – 7/10 – Didn’t make a huge splash creatively, making just two key passes, but got a crucial goal with a lovely late run and header to score Bayern’s second.
David Alaba (CM) – 8/10 – Very solid defensively, always nipping in to get on loose balls, making several interceptions. Also found a good passing range, making four key passes and notably getting a lovely assist for Lewandowski’s strike.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (AM) – 2/10 – Had a good chance after half an hour but couldn’t convert. After that, he was hardly noticeable and looked utterly useless compared to the usual dynamism of Thomas Muller this season.
Leroy Sane (RW) – 6/10 – Dangerous with the ball at his feet when dribbling at his opposition, and managed to find an end product on a couple of occasions, grabbing the assist for Bayern’s second.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) – 6/10 – Fairly anonymous throughout but scored a wonderful goal in the second half to take his tally to 25 in this season’s Bundesliga.
Kingsley Coman (LW) – 7/10 – The Frenchman was Bayern’s most threatening player, really driving the side forward when others were looking lacklustre. Unlucky not to register an assist with some lovely balls into the area.
Joshua Kimmich (RB) – 6/10 – Strangely never got into the middle of the field after coming on and, as a result, just couldn’t affect the game as he usually does, making zero key passes.