Bayern Munich played its first Bundesliga game in more than two months on Sunday, taking home a 2-0 win in the German capital over Union Berlin. It was a far from convincing performance from the Bavarian giants, but they got the job done with Robert Lewandowski scoring in the first half and Benjamin Pavard wrapping it up in the 80th minute.
The result is well timed as it gives the club some breathing room atop the table with eight games remaining. Second-place Dortmund was a lopsided winner over Schalke on Saturday, as the Bundesliga became the first major European league to return after the coronavirus pandemic halted play. Bayern’s win on Sunday puts the club four points ahead of Dortmund.
Here are three takeaways from Bayern’s victory over 12th-place Union Berlin:
Dead ball specialists
Bayern dominated possession but the team just wasn’t as sharp when it came to creating golden chances and putting them on frame. Bayern had just four shots on goal — the lowest mark for the club since a 0-0 draw against RB Leipzig back on Feb. 9.
To compensate for that, Bayern players needed to find another way to break through. They did it via dead ball situations. Lewandowski’s opener came 40 minutes in from a penalty kick:
And Pavard’s goal in the 80th minute was a fine header off of a corner from Joshua Kimmich:
In the end, it wasn’t especially pretty, but the club got the job done.
Bayern was expectedly rusty
As you can imagine with most teams having not played in two months, the game was a little sloppy, but hardly something to be concerned about for Bayern Munich. Serge Gnabry had some decent moments, Alphonso Davies was sharp down the left and a win is a win. What would have been more concerning than being sloppy in attack would be at the back, but Bayern did well by conceding only two shots on frame and keeping Union offsides time and time again.
Still the favorites
Once again, it looks like a two-horse race in the table with a huge week ahead — and a four-point lead for Bayern is still quite sizable. Bayern faces Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, while Dortmund goes to Wolfsburg on the same day. If Bayern slips up, it would make their head-to-head matchup even more important. Bayern goes to Dortmund on May 26 in the biggest game of the season.
Bayern Munich 2, Union Berlin 0 (FT)
⚽ Bayern Munich – Lewandowski (PK – 40′)
⚽ Bayern Munich – Pavard (80′)
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Not sharp, but good enough
Bayern will take that, despite rarely causing much trouble in attack. They made the most of the dead-ball situations and take home three points to regain that four-point lead over Dortmund.
Great goal from Bayern
This one is over with Pavard’s header goal off a corner. Clinical, and what a ball in from Kimmich. Have a look:
15 minutes to go
Not long to go here, just a quarter hour left. 75 minutes in, and Union has just one shot on goal. Bayern has two.
63′ Union is holding on
Good defending from the hosts, who are closing down in numbers and playing with 10 behind the ball regularly. They’ve certainly switched to a mentality of don’t break and just hope for a golden chance on goal to equalize. One more goal for Bayern, and this one is probably over.
56′ Nearly a second for Bayern
Corner for Bayern, and Pavard rises high to get his head on the ball, but it goes a yard wide of the far post. Good chance right there.
Four added minutes
Four minutes to go here. Bayern searching for a second. Might not be all that bad of a scoreline for the hosts all things considered.
Penalty for Bayern, and it was Lewandowski! He finishes calmly with a dancing run-up. 26 goals on the season now.