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27th of October 2018

Resolute Reds overcome Mainz (1-2)

Resolute Reds overcome Mainz (1-2)

FC Bayern beat FSV Mainz 2-1 on Saturday. Leon Goretzka put Bayern ahead late in the first half. Jean-Paul Boëtius levelled the scores after half-time, but Thiago sealed the final scoreline of a match in which Bayern hit the woodwork twice and had a goal ruled out.

The Bavarians started with Manuel Neuer in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba in a back four. Javi Martínez filled the holding role behind Thomas Müller, Thiago, Goretzka and Serge Gnabry, with Robert Lewandowski as lone striker. Renato Sanches and Franck Ribéry took over from Goretzka and Gnabry before the hour, Rafinha coming on for Müller in the closing stages.

The 34,000 capacity crowd at the Opel Arena saw the German record champions in the driving seat, but with the hosts solid in defence and occasionally relieving the pressure, the contest was all but devoid of clear-cut chances in the first 25 minutes, Alaba miscuing a free-kick from distance.

Bayern gradually upped the pressure around the half-hour mark, with Kimmich particularly industrious on the right wing. The 23-year-old put Bayern in charge and almost put them in the lead, but his fine curler crashed off the crossbar. Thiago soon had the ball in the back of the net, but the goal did not count because of a foul in the build-up. Goretzka opened the scoring shortly before half-time, volleying a fine Kimmich cross into the far corner of the net. The summer arrival fired another effort over the bar before match official Harm Osmers blew for half-time.

The second half began with a shock for Munich, Boëtius beating Bayern's defenders to a cross and slotting past Neuer. The visitors went looking for a reply, Mainz netminder Florian Müller saving a deflected cross. Bayern restored the lead when Thiago tapped in a fine Lewandowski pass.

The contest was frantic at times, with both sides dangerous on the break, Mainz looking for a leveller and Bayern trying to put the game to bed. Martínez saw a fine 25-yarder crash off the post before Süle shone, collecting the ball in his own box, playing a fine give-and-go with Lewandowski and sprinting towards Florian Müller, but the keeper proved equal to his effort. Niko Kovac' troops engaged cruise control now, and with no more chances to come, Osmers blew for full-time.

The result means Bayern have 19 points from nine matches, lying second in the table overnight, two points short of Borussia Dortmund, who drew with Hertha Berlin. The Bavarians will be back in action in just three days, when they travel to face SV Rödinghausen in the DFB Cup before entertaining Freiburg in the Bundesliga next Saturday.

- Match stats:

FSV Mainz 05: Müller – Brosinski, Bell, Niakhaté, Aaron – Gbamin, Kunde (Quaison 68), Latza (Maxim 83) – Öztunali, Mateta (Ujah 69), Boetius

FC Bayern: Neuer – Kimmich, Süle, Boateng, Alaba – Martínez – Müller (Rafinha 84), Thiago, Goretzka (Sanches 55), Gnabry (Ribéry 57) – Lewandowski

Referee: Harm Osmers (Hannover)

Attendance: 33,305 (capacity)

Goals: 0-1 Goretzka (39), 1-1 Boëtius (48), 1-2 Thiago (62)

Yellow cards: Aaron, Öztunali, Ujah / Martínez

- Match report by (Greg Salmen)

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