A first half goal from Arturo Vidal was enough for Bayern Munich to sneak past Eintracht Frankfurt despite a host of changes. The champions weren’t at their best but extend their lead at the top of the table.
Eintracht Frankfurt 0 – 1 Bayern Munich
FULL TIME: That’s it. A fairly unconvincing win for Bayern but, once again they get the job done while their rivals falter. Arturo Vidal’s first half header from Joshua Kimmich’s fine cross was enough to get past a Frankfurt side who gave a good account of themselves and kept emergency goalkeeper Tom Starke busy, particularly in the first half.
Vidal was perhaps lucky to avoid a red card after a borderline bookable foul after an early yellow while Marius Wolf saw red for Frankfurt before the decision was overturned by VAR.
Jupp Heynckes presumably won’t be delighted with what he saw but after resting several key players and still extending their lead at the top, he won’t lose any sleep either.
As it happened
90+3 — A spot of handbags after a foul on James is broken up by the referee. It’s been a feisty contest this one.
90′ — The board goes up to show 5 minutes of injury time but the big news comes from Leipzig, where the hosts have let the lead slip again. Bayern will have an 8 point lead if scores stay the same.
88′ — Lewandowski a little rusty there. The striker was played through but took too long to control a high ball, allowing the Frankfurt defense to recover.
87′ — The home fans express their displeasure after Rebic was adjudged to have shoved Kimmich to the floor. They feel they’ve had the worst of the decisions today, with some justification.
83′ — Bayern’s concerns about the way this game has gone in the second half are made apparent by a substitution that sees Lewandowski replace Coman. The only surprise is that the Pole isn’t on for Müller, who has been anonymous.
81′ — Crucial clearance from Süle. The center back slid to deal with a cross from the left that looked destined for Haller’s feet. Kevin Prince Boateng whistles one over from the corner.
77′ — Barkok robs Rafinha, who has looked shaky today, and forces it across goal. Frankfurt have three or four bites of the cherry but each shot is blocked. The hosts throw on Tawatha for Willems, they’re still in this.
74′ — OVERTURNED! Wolf is back on after the VAR deemed the challenge only worthy of a yellow. Which it probably was. A much-needed success for the system.
72′ — RED CARD! Wolf is sent off. He was late on James and swung his trailing leg through on the Colombian but it looked a little soft. They’ll got to the VAR.
69′ — Oh Dortmund, what have you become….
67′ — It’s geting a bit tetchy now. First Bayern get aggravated about a Kevin Prince Boateng challenge on Coman, then Müller clips Willems. The Bayern man then stood over his opponent and shouted in a fairly aggressive fashion. He got a yellow card, probably more for the reaction than the tackle.
63′ — There’s not a whole heap happening in Frankfurt but it’s game on in Dortmund.
60′ — Wolf tricks his way in to the Bayern area but his low cross is cleared. Bayern don’t have the same control they had for periods of the first half and Müller has barely had a kick.
55′ — Heynckes has seen enough from Vidal. He’s replaced by Tolisso and exits to a chorus of boos.
53′ — The home fans are screaming for Vidal to be sent off but the referee resists. The Chilean clipped his man on the edge of the box and the free kick was given, but no second yellow. Willems wastes the free kick.
49′ — Frankfurt have had a decent amount of the ball since the restart but Bayern are looking compact.
46′ — It’s stopped snowing and we’re back underway in Frankfurt-
HALF TIME: Bayern lead but it’s been a largely even game so far- Tom Starke has been called in to action a few times while Rebic has caused Bayern a few problems. Still plenty of life in this one.
Over in Leipzig, the hosts have re-taken the lead courtesy of a Timo Werner penalty.
44′ — Vidal controls a clearance on his chest before looping a volley towards goal. Hradecky does well to tip it over but the linesman ruled that the ball had gone out of play from the initial corner anyway.
43′ — Kimmich gets free down the right but it’s a tight angle and he can only find the keeper with his cross. More good news for Bayern though, Mainz have equalized in Leipzig.
40′ — Close. A clever free kick from Frankfurt who went short before laying the ball of to Willems. His strike is decent enough but Starke gets down to it fairly comfortably, for a 36-year-old.
39′ — Jerome Boateng against Rebic once more and the Bayern man comes out on top again, comfortably ending a promising run. Rafinha doesn’t do quite so well against the same man moments later, conceding a free kick in a decent position.
37′ — Bit of a strange one here. James started to tie his laces after a strong tackle then decided to go to ground. He’s up now. Not quite sure what that was all about.
33′ — The Boateng brothers in the thick of it. Kevin Prince sets Rebic free but Jerome does well to stand him up and make the block. Frankfurt have shown enough to suggest Bayern can’t get too comfortable.
31′ — Meanwhile in Dortmund and Leipzig…
28′ — Coman drives rapidly down the right flank and fires one in to the side netting. He’s looked dangerous today.
25′ — Frankfurt aren’t out of this yet. A twisting run from Rebic ends with a decent curling effort which is pushed behind by Starke. The corner comes to nothing.
24′ — That’s now four Bundesliga games in a row in which Vidal has scored. And Kimmich marks his 100th Bayern appearance with yet another assist.
20′ — GOAL! Vidal nods in at the back post. The Chilean’s initial shot was deflected behind for a corner. That was cleared straight back to Kimmich who swung in a great ball with his left and Vidal did the rest.
17′ — Fernandes goes in the book for tugging back James in midfield.
15′ — The champions starting to control possession now, and Müller can’t quite get on the end of a through ball. Still no shots from Bayern though.
11′ — The visitors string a few passes together in the Frankfurt half for the first time. But there’s no real penetration and Frankfurt eventually break upfield before Jerome Boateng clatters Haller to concede a freekick.
8′ — The snow looks to be getting a little stronger but no signs of it settling. The same could be said for BAyern who haven’t found much fluency yet.
5′ — Vidal is dispossessed right on the edge of the box, hacks down Barkok and is booked. Rebic forces a decent save out of Stark from the freekick.
3′ — Kimmich is caught by a late tackle by Willems. He’s down for a while but gets up in time to take the free kick.
1′ — And we’re off in snowy Frankfurt!
— It seems that Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich has injured himself in the warmup. Tom Starke, a 36-year-old who mainly coaches in the club’s academy and officially retired last season, will replace him. It’ll be his 100th Bundesliga appearance.
— Afternoon all and welcome to the first of four Bundesliga matchdays in the next five days. With midweek matches looming, Jupp Heynckes has rung the changes for Bayern’s trip to Frankfurt today, with Robert Lewandowski’s omission the biggest talking point. The Polish striker has started every one of Bayern’s Bundesliga games up to this point but will be replaced by Thomas Müller, with Sandro Wagner thought to be on the way in the winter break.
Both Boatengs will start, with Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince looking to get one over Bayern’s Jerome. Frankfurt will be hoping to improve one of the league’s worst home records and solidify their position in the top half, while the Bavarians will expect to do what they do best and keeping racking up wins.