Bayern Munich overcame a tireless VfB Stuttgart side with a 2-1 win to draw level on points with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table. Matthijs de Ligt opened the scoring by drilling a low-range effort past Fabian Bredlow, catching the Stuttgart shot-stopper off guard. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting looked to seal a comfortable three points for Bayern with his strike just past the hour mark. However, a late Juan Jose Perea goal left for nervy finish, but Bayern hung on to a vital three points.
Bayern still need to replace Manuel Neuer
When the news broke that Manuel Neuer had sustained a potentially career ending injury, all eyes were on who would replace Bayern’s number 1. Bayern instantly targeted Yann Sommer and secured their man for €8m. Since Sommer stepped into this Bayern side he has looked good, but good is not enough for Die Rekordmeister. Within this game just past the half-hour mark Konstantinos Mavropanos outjumped Sommer from a corner. Thankfully the recovering Matthijs de Ligt was able to spare the Swiss international’s blushes. A small incident, however, one that Neuer would have made look like light work. A commanding and crazy goalkeeper such as Oliver Kahn and Manuel Neuer, who provide stability and quality in between the sticks. Whether Sommer is a Bayern goalkeeper is up for debate.
Bruno Labbadia may not be the man for the job
The appointment of Bruno Labbadia in December to take over the reigns as Stuttgart manager seemed like a short term appointment. Nevertheless, it may turn out to be even more short-term than originally planned. While failing to rescue points against Bayern is not a disaster, failing to look threatening may be one. The game plan was fine until Bayern found the lead. A slight glimpse of promise was offered when Juan Jose Perea headed home late on, but Stuttgart did not allow themselves enough time to retrieve a point. With an average point return of 0.28 since Labbadia’s appointment, this is not just a one off either. This game failed to suggest that their form may turn around, while emphasising that this side are in freefall. Schalke were the punchline to German football humour, but Thomas Reis has turned their fortunes around. Bruno Labbadia looks to only be leading Stuttgart into the 2. Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich will not crack under pressure
It is not often that Bayern find themselves embroiled in a title race. Nevertheless, despite showing signs this season that they may not be running at their usual capacity, these three points showed the character within the squad. With Borussia Dortmund proving their title credentials with a statement victory over RB Leipzig on Friday night, the pressure was on Bayern. With Stuttgart embroiled in a battle themselves – albeit one further down the table – this appeared as a potential banana skin match for Bayern. A late Stuttgart goal could have easily knocked the Rekordmeister off course. However, Bayern hung on to earn the three points that saw them return to the top of the Bundesliga table. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting continues to silence his critics with his goalscoring antics, while Bayern look towards the Der Klassiker to prove they are not fooling around in the title race.
GGFN | Will Shopland