Bayern Munich had striker Robert Lewandowski to thank (again) as the Poland international netted an 88th-minute winner to see his side pick up a 3-2 win over Paderborn on Friday night.
With both Jérôme Boateng and Benjamin Pavard both suspended, Bayern chief Hansi Flick opted for a three-man defence. Joshua Kimmich dropped back to join both David Alaba and Lucas Hernández, and the system certainly had mixed results.
Leon Goretzka, Kai Proeger
Bayern were wasteful in attack and found Paderborn incredibly tough to break down, but they did eventually find a way through after 25 minutes as Serge Gnabry fired home from inside the area.
The league leaders would have hoped that would be enough, but they struggled to press on, and they were made to pay before half time. A moment of madness from Manuel Neuer saw the goalkeeper nutmegged and beaten well outside his area, allowing Dennis Srbeny to equalise in the 44th minute.
While Neuer was struggling, Paderborn’s Leopold Zingerle was in fantastic form against his former employers, pulling off a number of top saves to keep his side in the game.
However, Zingerle’s resistance could not last forever as Lewandowski finally found a way through with 20 minutes to go, but again Bayern could not hold their lead.
Just five minutes later, midfielder Sven Michel finished off an electric counter attack to pull Bayern back once more, and it looked like they might have earned themselves a deserved point as Flick’s side looked lost for ideas.
Fortunately for Bayern, they boast one of the most dangerous strikers around. Like he has done so often this season, Lewandowski found himself unmarked in the penalty area to fire home from a cross and seal all three points for Bayern.
Ultimately, that’s all that mattered for the Bavarians, who remain top of the Bundesliga. They now hold a four-point lead over RB Leipzig, but Julian Nagelsmann’s side can cut that back to one with a victory at Schalke on Saturday.
It was by no means a dominant performance from Bayern, who will certainly hope to be far better when they travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League tie on Tuesday