Hamburger SV 1-2 Bayern Munich; Wasteful Bavarians resume Bundesliga with a win
Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to 11 points with a hard fought 2-1 win over mid table Hamburg SV. A brace from their leading marksman Robert Lewandowski gave Pep Guardiola's side their 16th win of the season. Hamburg went into the game having lost 3 of their previous 4 home games and looked to rely on their defensive plaudits to keep Bayern out.
Hamburg were the better side in the first half, defending well, and, creating half chances on the break. Bayern dominated the possession, but lacked in creativity. Kingsley Coman, who was brilliant throughout and by far the best player on the pitch, looked to be the most likely route to goal for the reigning champions.
Just when the match looked to be heading to a 0-0 at half-time, an incisive ball over the top of the Hamburg defence from skipper Phillipp Lahm found Thomas Muller through on goal. The German was brought down inside the box by an onrushing Rene Adler and the referee had no qualms in pointing to the spot. In-form Lewandowski slotted the ball in the goal, to the keeper’s left, to give Bayern the lead and make it his 8th goal in 12 games vs Hamburg.
Bayern hold on despite missed chances
In the second half, Hamburg came out all guns blazing, making early inroads and committing players forward in search of the equaliser. Eight minutes into it, they were rewarded for their enterprising play. A precise free kick from Aaron hunt avoided everyone and crept into Manuel Neuer’s goal, on his near post.
But, the defending champions were not to let this slip away from their grasp and almost hit back straight away. A dreadful corner from Hamburg sparked a counter in the 59th minute, but the home team somehow managed to prevent Lewandowski getting a clean shot on goal.
In the 61st minute, a long goal kick from Neuer had the Bavarians on the attack, off which Thomas Muller tried his luck on goal. His shot seemed to head straight into Adler’s grateful palms, but the profilic Pole deflected the ball beyond the Hamburg goalkeeper to restore their lead.
Keeping the pressure up, Bayern almost got a third minutes later when versatile David Alaba’s free kick came off the post. Hamburg, at this point, began committing more players forward, which left them exposed on the break. Costa missed a good chance to kill the game off in the 75th minute when Coman ran past the Hamburg defence on the right and found the Brazilian, who failed to settle the match.
Arjen Robben got a ten minute run out after coming on for Douglas Costa, who by his high standards had a poor game. A foul by Xabi Alonso right outside the box on Kevin Rudnevs presented an opportunity for the home team to level the score and punish the Bavarians for all the missed chances. However, the resulting free kick summed up their season, all build-up, no final product as the referee blew the whistle to end the match soon after.
This loss was Hamburg’s 8th of the season, which left just them 7 points clear of the relegation zone, while Bayern continued their good form after the break as they extended their lead at the top to 11 points, with second placed Borussia Dortmund yet to play.