Leverkusen pounce late for Bayern win
Bayern Munich's title challenge suffered a setback today as they were defeated 2-0 at Bayer Leverkusen.
Stefan Kiessling gave the home side the lead in the 79th minute of an entertaining encounter at the BayArena with Karim Bellarabi sealing the win in the last minute.
Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt celebrated his first win over Bayern, who could fall seven points adrift of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga this weekend.
It was a lively first half with plenty of chances at both ends and the only surprise being that it ended goalless. Luiz Gustavo missed the first chance on the volley from Thomas Muller's cross in the second minute with Bernd Leno making an instinctive save to deny him.
Arjen Robben was the biggest handful for Leverkusen and he had a shot tipped wide by Leno after one of his menacing runs tore the home team's defence apart in the 13th minute. Leverkusen were forced to defend, but when they broke, they did so with intent, almost going ahead in the 27th minute when Kiessling was put through on goal, but Manuel Neuer made the save with the linesman's flag raised anyway.
Kiessling then turned provider for Andre Schurrle, who was unable to get enough power on his shot, which was placed straight at Neuer. Mario Gomez missed the biggest chance of the half in the 40th minute when he was put through by Robben. He touched the ball past Leno, but Manuel Friedrich got in behind his own goalkeeper to slide in and block Gomez's shot bound for goal.
Schurrle then showed a lack of composure as he took Renato Augusto's threaded through-ball first time, shooting straight against the onrushing Manuel Neuer when just a delicate touch past the Germany number one would have given him an open goal to aim at.
Dutt sent Eren Derdiyok on for Friedrich at the start of the second half and this showed the home side's intent. Neuer became the protagonist as he thwarted the home side on numerous occasions after Philipp Lahm got in a saving challenge on Stefan Reinartz as he looked to convert Kiessling's knock down from close range.
Neuer made a succession of saves from Kiessling and Schurrle as Leverkusen threw caution to the wind and put Bayern under pressure. They were rewarded in the 79th minute with Kiessling's header saved from going wide by Derdiyok, whose overhead kick across goal was met a foot out from goal by Kiessling for a simple tap-in with the Bayern defenders nowhere to be seen.
As Bayern looked for an equaliser, they committed too many men forward and they were caught out with Gonzalo Castro squaring the ball to Ballarabi, who slid in the second in the 90th minute to earn Dutt his first ever win over Bayern at the sixth attempt.