Freiburg 1-3 Bayern Munich: Zirkzee and Gnabry leave it late to steal nervy win

Omnisport
Bayern Munich looked like ceding more ground in the Bundesliga but two stoppage-time goals earned a 3-1 win to sink luckless Freiburg.
Bayern Munich looked like ceding more ground in the Bundesliga but two stoppage-time goals earned a 3-1 win to sink luckless Freiburg.

Joshua Zirkzee marked his first Bundesliga appearance with a late goal while Serge Gnabry also scored in injury time as Bayern Munich stole a scarcely deserved 3-1 win at Freiburg.

Robert Lewandowski, fresh from a brace in a 6-1 hammering of Werder Bremen, netted a 19th league goal of the campaign to put Bayern ahead at Schwarzwald-Stadion.

Freiburg, having kept it to one during that early storm, levelled through Vincenzo Grifo's excellent equaliser, and the enterprising hosts had plenty of chances to earn the three points

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

But teenage substitute Zirkzee kept a cool head in the 91st minute to steer past Mark Flekken, and Gnabry added undeserved gloss as Bayern moved third and four points off the top of the Bundesliga.

Manuel Gulde made a sublime goal-line clearance from Philippe Coutinho's clever dink and Thomas Muller wastefully fired against the post as Bayern made a rip-roaring start.

The champions hit the front after 16 minutes when Lewandowski met Alphonso Davies' low left-wing centre on the slide from eight yards.

Only Flekken's fingertips denied Lewandowski a second, while Manuel Neuer's fine reactions kept out Lucas Holer's strike from the centre of the box and Grifo volleyed another great chance over as Freiburg bared their teeth.

And after Gnabry and Thomas Muller fired over early in the second half, Grifo equalised just before the hour when he expertly steered Janik Haberer's cross home on the volley.

With the wind in their sails, Freiburg twice nearly went ahead. First, Nils Petersen failed to make clean contact with Grifo's dangerous ball, before Nicholas Hofler fired wide of the right post.

Another stretching save from Flekken denied Ivan Perisic, but Freiburg again almost led when substitute Brandon Borrello curled wide of the right post.

Gnabry had a goal ruled out when it was judged Lewandowski, who was going for the same ball, was offside, but Bayern pinched the win a minute into injury time.

Gnabry floated a pass into the area for Zirkzee – whose senior debut came in the Champions League against Tottenham last week – to prod past Flekken.

Germany winger Gnabry then fired home on the rebound in the 95th minute after Flekken saved his initial effort.
 

What does it mean? Bayern forwards papering over defensive cracks

Every win counts the same no matter how they arrive and three victories on the spin is an ominous warning from Bayern before the mid-season break. Indeed, no team in Europe's 'top five' leagues have more goals since Hansi Flick took over on a temporary basis. But at the other end, the absences of Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Sule are still being felt. Bayern were too easy to get at and were massively fortunate to win here.

Gnabry rewarded for never-say-die attitude

Gnabry was a typically dangerous weapon for Bayern, even as Grifo and company caused havoc at the other end. Not everyone in a Bayern shirt could truly say they deserved to be on the on the winning side, but the former Arsenal forward can – a late assist and goal reward for his endeavours.

Evening of struggle for Davies

Davies did brilliantly to tee up Lewandowski for Bayern's first goal but the majority of the visitors' issues came from Freiburg's right-hand side. The Canada international has by-and-large filled in pretty well at left-back, with David Alaba having to cover the centre, yet he was caught out too often on this occasion.

What's next?

Bayern will call a wrap on 2019 with a home fixture against Wolfsburg on Saturday, the same day Freiburg visit Schalke.

What to read next