Jeremie Frimpong fired into an empty net in stoppage time to cap Bayer Leverkusen’s exceptional 3-0 win over Bayern Munich as they celebrated a carnival weekend in the Rhineland by moving five points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.
Josip Stanisic, the man on loan from Bayern, opened the scoring in the 18th minute before Alex Grimaldo doubled the advantage five minutes into the second half, but Frimpong added an exclamation point after Manuel Neuer’s corner was punished by Leverkusen. .
Bayern had more of the ball but it always felt like Xabi Alonso’s side were more dangerous all night and that was a huge statement in their bid to win a first Bundesliga title and shake off the Vizekuzen moniker – a five-time mark. they finished second.
The match at the BayArena started with an eight-minute delay after fans threw balls and other objects onto the pitch as part of ongoing protests against the prospect of outside investment in the Bundesliga, and Bayern appeared to be in front once play got underway. foot.
But while Leverkusen were happy to invite the visitors to them, they were simply waiting for the moment to counter.
Their first shot on target came in the 11th minute, but Amine Adli’s effort lacked the power to trouble Neuer. Adli threatened again seven minutes later before Kim Min-jae made a timely effort, but Bayern fell asleep from the ensuing throw-in and were made to pay.
Robert Andrich drilled in a low ball in front of goal and Bayern’s defense stood their ground as Stanisic arrived to fire home, left all alone by Sacho Boey, normally a right-back but deployed on the left here in his second appearance since joining from Galatasaray last month.
Adli had a great chance to get a second on the stroke of half-time when Granit Xhaka’s pinpoint pass was on goal, but Dayot Upamecano recovered to flick the ball back to Neuer.
It took just five minutes of the second half for the other to arrive. Grimaldo played a neat one-two with Nathan Tella to open up the Bayern defense before beating Neuer at his near post with a rising shot.
Bayern were swinging and there was chaos in their penalty area shortly after as Eric Dier’s cross hit Leon Goretzka’s arm before bouncing back to Neuer, with the VAR check on the handball not wasted.
Grimaldo hit the crossbar just after the hour from a corner, the ball diving dramatically but rebounding to safety.
Bayern looked to up the ante as Thomas Tuchel turned to his bench but struggled to create any real chances for a frustrated Harry Kane.
Instead, Leverkusen looked likely to score again. Frimpong had already hit the post at the end of one late counter-attack but had the final say after Neuer failed to clear a corner and raced up the pitch to fire into the unguarded net.
Bayer Leverkusen player ratings
GK: Lukas Hradecky – 6/10 – Had very little to do but was always alert.
CB: Edmond Tapsoba – 7/10 – Marked Musiala out of the game while also playing some excellent balls forward to progress play.
CB: Jonathan Tah – 7/10 – Controlled his box perfectly. Made sure Kane didn’t get the space to cause any danger.
CB: Piero Hincapie – 8/10 – The busiest of Leverkusen’s defenders, Hincapie seemed to enjoy the extra challenge. Dominant defensively and linked up with Grimaldo to perfection.
RM: Josip Stanisic – 8/10 – Up against his parent side, Stanisic took his goal well and proved too much for Musiala to contend with.
CM: Granit Xhaka – 8/10 – Controlled the midfield battle with some smart passing and tough tackling. Shook off a first-half knock to stand tall for his side.
CM: Robert Andrich – 7/10 – A smart cross for Stanisic’s opener. Good movement and passing to help keep Leverkusen on top.
LM: Alejandro Grimaldo – 8/10 – An absolute menace with some dangerous runs and chaotic crossing. Took his goal really well.
AM: Nathan Tella – 7/10 – Always willing to run beyond Bayern’s defensive line. Could have easily had a goal of his own with a bit more luck but did end up with an assist.
AM: Florian Wirtz – 7/10 – Always wanted to be in possession and was happy to try and weave around to make something happen. Bayern couldn’t figure out how to stop him.
ST: Amine Adli – 6/10 – Superb work rate but Adli just couldn’t figure things out in the final third.
SUB: Jeremie Frimpong (65′ for Tella) – 7/10
SUB: Jonas Hofmann (82′ for Adli) – N/A
SUB: Gustavo Puerta (90′ for Grimaldo) – N/A
SUB: Adam Hlozek (90′ for Wirtz) – N/A
Bayern Munich player ratings
GK: Manuel Neuer – 6/10 – By far the busier of the two goalkeepers. Had to stop this from getting humiliating.
CB: Dayot Upamecano – 4/10 – A great recovery challenge on Adli was pretty much the only thing he got right. Some huge mistakes, including for the second goal.
CB: Eric Dier – 4/10 – Looked uncomfortable from the first minute and never really settled down. Seemed to be second to every ball.
CB: Kim Min-jae – 5/10 – Didn’t get a whole lot wrong but didn’t do much right either. Always seemed to be chasing proceedings.
RM: Noussair Mazraoui – 5/10 – Involved in a lot without every actually making something happen. Couldn’t keep up with Grimaldo.
CM: Aleksandar Pavlovic – 4/10 – Was left chasing shadows as Leverkusen’s midfield just danced around him effortlessly.
CM: Leon Goretzka – 5/10 – Did his best to get things going with some smart passing but was nowhere near as impactful as he needed to be.
LM: Sacha Boey – 4/10 – Lost Stanisic, the man he was signed to replace, for the opening goal and never seemed to settle.
AM: Leroy Sane – 4/10 – Started with energy but soon faded away. Got nothing out of Hincapie at all.
AM: Jamal Musiala – 3/10 – Was marked out of the game but didn’t do enough to change proceedings either. Truly anonymous.
ST: Harry Kane – 3/10 – The work rate was there but the impact was well off. Barely touched the ball as Bayern failed to figure out how to involve him.
SUB: Joshua Kimmich (60′ for Upamecano) – 5/10
SUB: Thomas Muller (60′ for Pavlovic) – 6/10
SUB: Mathys Tel (71′ for Goretzka) – 5/10
SUB: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (81′ for Musiala) – N/A
SUB: Raphael Guerreiro (81′ for Boey) – N/A