Raphael Guerreiro’s second-half strike gave Bayern Munich a win over Union Berlin and three vital points in the Bundesliga title race.
|Photo: FC Bayern München
Bayern Munich picked up a much-needed win in the title race on Wednesday night, beating Union Berlin 1-0 in Wednesday’s postponed match to cut Bayer Leverkusen’s lead at the top of the table to four points.
The German champions almost broke the deadlock early on, with Frederik Rønnow saving from Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano after a corner.
Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sané also threatened to put Bayern ahead in the first half, but for much of the opening 45 minutes they lacked the creativity and intensity to open up a resolute Union defense.
That changed after the break, however, as Raphael Guerreiro needed just one minute of the second half to put Bayern ahead. After Harry Kane’s initial effort hit the woodwork, the ball fell to the Portugal international, who unleashed a superb outside-of-the-boot finish.
Bayern thought they had doubled their lead in the 55th minute when Harry Kane found the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out as Leroy Sane was offside in the build-up.
After struggling to create anything resembling a chance for much of the match, Union came close to an equaliser in the 72nd minute when Manuel Neuer denied second-half substitute Jerome Roussillon from a promising position. Union appealed for a penalty after Kevin Behrens went down in the box trying to get on the end of the initial cross, but their protests were waved away.
Soon after, tempers flared between Union coach Nenad Bjelica and Leroy Sané on the touchline. Sane was unhappy with Bjelica’s reluctance to give him the ball for a throw-in, and the Union coach responded by shoving the Bayern winger in his face. As a result, Bjelica was shown a red card, and Sane was booked.
In the closing stages, Bayern came closer to doubling the lead than Union did to equalizing, but no further goals were scored as Thomas Tuchel’s men secured a vital 1-0 victory.
Having played 18 league games, Bayern are now four points behind Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the table. Union sit in 15th place, just above the relegation zone.