Bayern Munich deny Dusseldorf at the death
Munich: Bayern Munich were made to work hard to record a 3-2 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Mathis Bolly gave the visitors a shock lead, but the Bavarians fought back, with Thomas Muller equalising just before the break. Nonetheless, Andreas Lambertz put his side back in front, only for Franck Ribery and Jerome Boateng to score decisive late goals.
Unsurprisingly, it was Bayern who made the stronger start to the match, but for all their territorial advantage, they were unable to craft an opportunity of note, spare a Bastian Schweinsteiger shot that was deflected well wide.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Johannes van den Bergh got down the left, delivered a great cross to Andreas Lambertz who nodded it into the path of Bolly, and he steered the ball home with his first ever Bundesliga shot.
It had been a frustrating afternoon for Bayern, who were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, but they began to craft out an incredible number of chances, all of which were inexplicably squandered.
David Alaba`s cross somehow evaded both Schweinsteiger and Muller at the far post and was put behind for a corner, from which Mario Mandzukic headed at Fabian Giefer.
The former Bayer Leverkusen keeper then made a fantastic stop to deny another Mandzukic header, but his parry presented Muller with a seemingly unmissable tap-in, only for the Germany star to lift it over the bar from a matter of inches.
Moments later, Franck Ribery got down the left and pulled the ball back to Toni Kroos, who slid in and drove wide, before the Frenchman fooled a host of defenders with some great trickery and crossed to the far post, where Mandzukic contrived to miss the ball entirely when he should have buried it.
Bayern were looking ever-more dangerous from set pieces, and Daniel Van Buyten saw a header cleared off the line after meeting a Kroos delivery. Philipp Lahm picked up the loose ball and found Muller at the near post, who nodded it across the face of goal and wide.
Van Buyten had another effort brilliantly denied by Giefer, and the ball found its way to Schweinsteiger, who finished well, only to see the linesman`s flag correctly deny him a goal.
Eventually, though, Dusseldorf`s resistance gave out. Lahm picked up the ball on the right, drifted inside and found Muller, who drove it across Giefer and into the bottom corner. It was no less that Bayern deserved, and parity was ensured at the break.
Jupp Heynckes` side picked up where they left off after the restart, with Ribery darting down the left and driving the ball across the face of goal, only for the ball to evade every red shirt, while Mandzukic and Jerome Boateng sent headed opportunities wide.
Dusseldorf were getting men back brilliantly, while Giefer made another great save, this time from Lahm, and their resilience paid off. As Bayern got bodies forward, the ball broke to Lambertz, who kept his cool and swept it home.
The lead was short-lived, though. Ribery and Claudio Pizarro exchanged passes on the edge the box, and the Frenchman found rare space and finished well.
The hosts were within inches of a winner seven minutes from time when Mario Gomez struck the bar after a great free kick from Schweinsteiger, before Ribery was denied by Giefer when through on goal.
They did not have to wait much longer, though. Lahm`s cross found Boateng in the box, and the Germany international rose highest to net his first-ever Bayern goal.