Bundesliga: Bayern overpower Augsburg to close gap to leaders Leverkusen

Bayern Munich cut their deficit to two points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen after moving 3-2 past resilient Augsburg

Berlin, Jan 28 (IANS) Bayern Munich cut their deficit to two points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen after moving 3-2 past resilient Augsburg, while Borussia Monchengladbach held Leverkusen to a goalless stalemate in the 19th round.

Augsburg started courageous against the German record champions and thought they had broken the deadlock in the 12th minute, but Elvis Rexhbecaj’s goal was ruled offside, reports Xinhua.

As the match progressed, Bayern took over as Leon Goretzka hit the side netting in the 14th minute before Raphael Guerreiro’s flicked home the corner from Aleksandar Pavlovic on 23 minutes.

Augsburg tested Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer following a fast break at the half-hour mark.

Clinical Bayern showed no mercy and doubled its advantage before the halftime through Alphonso Davies, who had all time and space to drill the ball from 20 meters past Augsburg custodian Finn Dahmen.

Augsburg halved the deficit after the restart as Kevin Mbabu’s pinpoint cross allowed Ermedin Demirovic to head home from seven meters with seven minutes into the second half.

It was a short-lived joy for the hosts as Bayern restored the two-goal lead six minutes later when Harry Kane ended his two-game goal drought with his 23rd goal of the season.

Thomas Tuchel’s men had the chance to extend the lead in the 81st minute but Mathys Tel rattled the woodwork following a one-on-one.

In the 88th minute, Augsburg’s Sven Michel saw his penalty attempt defused by Neuer who was hapless six minutes later when Demirovic converted the second awarded penalty to make it 3-2.

“We are of course pleased with the result. We knew it would be a difficult game in Augsburg. We were a bit lucky at the beginning as we didn’t gain a foothold into the game. Then we did it better,” said Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel.

With the result, Bayern close the gap to front-runners Leverkusen to two points. Augsburg slip to the 13th spot.

In the other matches, leaders Leverkusen dropped points in the title race after a 0-0 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Stuttgart cemented its third place as a hat-trick from Deniz Undav paved the way for a 5-2 victory over uninspired Leipzig.

Cologne secured a vital point in the relegation battle after sharing the spoils with Wolfsburg following 1-1.

Werder Bremen beat Freiburg 3-1 to reap their second straight victory and Hoffenheim played out 1-1 tie with Heidenheim.

On Friday, Mario Gotze’s sole goal helped Eintracht Frankfurt edge Mainz 1-0.

–IANS

cs/

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