Bayern, Leverkusen take wins ahead of Bundesliga winter break

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Bayern Munich overpowered struggling Wolfsburg 2-1 to cement second spot, while leaders Bayer Leverkusen snatched their second straight win after easing 4-0 past Bochum in the Bundesliga’s final fixtures of 2023. Bayern took control from the start, but the visitors produced the first chance of the game in the fourth minute when Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to save Matthias Svanberg’s attempt.

Wolfsburg’s well-positioned defence was able to keep Bayern at bay as attempts from Harry Kane and Leroy Sane didn’t pose any threat to Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels. As the match progressed, the hosts piled on the pressure and kept Casteels busy, as Sane unleashed a promising shot before Thomas Muller rattled the woodwork at the half-hour mark. Bayern broke the deadlock moments later as Muller’s cross into the box found Jamal Musiala, who headed home between two Wolfsburg defenders.

Thomas Tuchel’s side gained momentum and made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute when Muller raced down the right wing before squaring the ball into the path of the unmarked Kane, whose bullet effort into the top-right corner left Casteels with no chance. Bayern’s two-goal advantage didn’t last long as Wolfsburg’s Maximilian Arnold stunned Neuer with a long-range effort from a tight angle in the dying seconds of the first half.

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After the restart, Wolfsburg took control but couldn’t do any damage, while Bayern lacked in accuracy in front of goal. With their second straight win, Bayern remain second in the table heading into the Bundesliga’s winter break, four points shy of leaders Leverkusen. Wolfsburg dropped to tenth position after their ninth defeat of the season.

“Big compliments to the team. The second half was tough for us. Unfortunately, we lost control after Wolfsburg scored. In the end we had to protect the narrow lead,” said Bayern coach Tuchel. Elsewhere, Leverkusen march atop the standings after securing a 4-0 win over Bochum thanks to Patrik Schick’s hat-trick.

Stuttgart stay in the top three after beating Augsburg 3-0, while Union Berlin collected vital points in their relegation battle with a 2-0 win over Cologne. Eintracht Frankfurt bounced back with injury-time goals to see off ten-man Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1, and Heidenheim shocked Freiburg 3-2.