Sami Hyypia claimed anything was possible before Bayer Leverkusen’s trip to Bayern Munich as he insisted his side could win at the Allianz Arena. Hyypia’s comments would have no doubt surprised the Bayern hierarchy. After all, going into Sunday’s encounter, Bayern had won all eight of their Bundesliga games this season. To say that Jupp Heynckes’s side had been merely winning doesn’t give the Bavarians enough credit, because the Bundesliga’s record champions have been dominating in each and every game. It’s not like they didn’t have the majority of the play either on Sunday but for the first time this season, Bayern were humbled at the Allianz Arena.
Now in situations where big teams suffer shock defeats, it’s very easy to focus on the woes of the losers, so let’s credit Bayer Leverkusen here. The coaching duo of Sascha Lewandowski and Sami Hyypia are doing a good job at the BayArena. The weekend’s result was not only momentous for them but for the club as well, because Bayer hadn’t won at Bayern for just over 23 years. Add into the mix that this was a win over former coach Jupp Heynckes and this victory was all the sweeter for Leverkusen – a team with the talent to push on into the top four. They certainly showed its well within their reach with their performance on Sunday.
Most teams struggle to get out of their own half when they travel to Munich, yet Bayer were managing to create chances. Yes, they had to endure prolonged spells of pressure on their goal. Bernd Leno though was equal to anything Bayern had. When they ventured into what’s seen as uncharted territory in the Allianz Arena, that being Bayern’s half, they were causing problems. Stefan Kiessling had a goal harshly ruled out for an infringement in the box. The visitors carried on regardless. Leverkusen were rewarded when that man Kiessling finished off a good passing move just before half time.
Cue the inevitable Bayern bombardment which follows any opposition goal. The visitors kept their discipline for much of the second half but their resistance was broken when Mario Mandzukic headed in from super sub Claudio Pizarro’s cross. From there, Bayern looked the only winners with just over ten minutes to go. Bayer’s chance looked to have gone, especially with André Schürrle spurning a glorious opening just before Bayern’s equaliser. Fortune looked to be with the league leaders in the final stages. Yet the slice of luck they needed came at the wrong end of the pitch.
Sidney Sam’s header was drifting wide three minutes from time. Then the ball hit an object, namely Jerome Boateng’s face, wrong footing Manuel Neuer before bouncing tamely into the corner of the goal – Leverkusen were ahead. When Sami Hyypia said anything was possible prior to the game, this probably wasn’t what he would have had in mind.
Nor would he have envisioned Manuel Neuer dribbling past players outside the Bayer Leverkusen box during stoppage time. That’s exactly where Germany’s number one was, and he nearly grabbed an astonishing assist too but Pizarro’s strike struck the bar. It wasn’t to be as Hyypia’s words were to ring true.
It’s not really surprising that he held such an attitude before the game. This is a man who was part of a team that came from three goals down in a Champions League final. Just getting into that competition again would suit Hyypia and his coaching partner Sascha Lewandowski. More consistency is required for that to happen but as Bayer Leverkusen proved this weekend – anything is possible.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga…
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Matchday 9 Results:
Augsburg 0-2 Hamburg
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1-4 Wolfsburg
Freiburg 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
Fürth 1-1 Werder Bremen
Mainz 3-0 Hoffenheim
Schalke 1-0 Nuremberg
Stuttgart 2-1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern Munich 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover 2-3 Gladbach
|1||FC Bayern Munich||9||8||0||1||27:4||+23||24||CL*|
|2||FC Schalke 04||9||6||2||1||18:8||+10||20||CL*|
|4||Borussia Dortmund||9||4||3||2||20:11||+9||15||CL* Qual.|
|5||Bayer 04 Leverkusen||9||4||3||2||15:12||+3||15||EL* Qual.|
|6||1. FSV Mainz 05||9||4||2||3||12:10||+2||14||EL* Qual.|
|11||SV Werder Bremen||9||3||2||4||15:14||+1||11|
|15||1. FC Nuremberg||9||2||2||5||7:15||-8||8|
Table thanks to Official Bundesliga Website