Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen: Player ratings as Muller own goal costs win

Max Parsons
A moment to forget for Thomas Muller
A moment to forget for Thomas Muller / Alex Grimm/GettyImages
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Thomas Muller's own goal held Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw as Bayer Leverkusen left the Allianz Arena with a Bundesliga point on Saturday afternoon.

The draw gives Borussia Dortmund, who travel to Mainz on Sunday afternoon, the chance to reduce the gap to Bayern at the summit to six points with nine fixtures remaining.

Julian Nagelsmann's side had their initial lead on Saturday cut down as Muller's own goal cancelled out Niklas Sule's strike in the first half and, in spite of a free-flowing and opportunity-laden second half, Bayern couldn't manage to overcome that setback.

The hosts assumed control from the first whistle and, although they initially struggled to find a clinical edge to their game, mounting pressure eventually told in the 18th minute as Sule broke the deadlock. The defender was on hand to rifle home a half volley in the box, after a Joshua Kimmich corner had caused panic in the Leverkusen penalty area.

Bayern maintained their grip on the game but, against the run of play, were pegged back after 36 minutes as a lack of communication cost them. Kerem Demirbay's free kick from the right wing was hardly dangerous, but its flight straight into the arms of Sven Ulreich was rudely interrupted by Muller, whose outstretched leg poked the ball past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

And the visitors deserved to be ahead going into the interval as they found their rhythm to produce an enthralling final ten minutes. Following their opposition's equaliser, Bayern looked all at sea at the back, conceding two thankfully untaken, gilt-edged opportunities to Amine Adli in quick succession before relying on a brilliant Ulreich save to deny Florian Wirtz.

With the teams level at the break, the intensity and end-to-end nature of the game didn't cease after the restart, as both sides saw multiple promising chances go begging after the restart.

Despite Jamal Musiala, Marcel Sabitzer and Robert Lewandowski coming close to restoring the hosts' lead, however, Bayern failed to find a way through a resolute Leverkusen side, that did well to hold out for a 1-1 draw.

With what could turn into a six-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga, Die Rekordmeister now turn their attentions to Champions League matters as they host Red Bull Salzburg in the second leg of their round of 16 tie.

Bayern Munich player ratings

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Niklas Sule
Niklas Sule celebrates opening the scoring / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Sven Ulreich (GK) - 6/10 - Hard to know who specifically was to blame for the own goal but, in any case, the goalkeeper subsequently pulled off two great saves to keep the score at 1-1.

Benjamin Pavard (RB) - 8/10 - Put everyone's jaws to the floor as he very nearly recreated that 2018 World Cup goal vs Argentina in the first half, while proving a creative presence with two key passes. Also produced some key interventions at the back, keeping tabs on his opposition very well. His best performance for some time.

Niklas Sule (CB) - 8/10 - Played the ball around nicely at times, remained defensively alert for the majority, and finished really well to open the scoring.

Dayot Upamecano (CB) - 3/10 - Produced yet another dreadful individual error that, fortunately for him, went unpunished by Adli. These horrendous mistakes keep on overshadowing the otherwise resolute work he does - he needs to eradicate them.

Omar Richards (LB) - 7/10 - Strong defensively, making five ball recoveries, while also consistently bombing forward to support offensively - a really good Alphonso Davies impression.

2. Midfielders

Thomas Muller
Not the best return for Thomas Muller / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Joshua Kimmich (CM) - 8/10 - A behemoth of minuscule stature at the heart of his side. Brilliant tenacity to recover possession four times, while distributing the ball with typical efficiency and class.

Jamal Musiala (CM) - 7/10 - Carried the ball forward nicely to break through the lines from deep and was a sporadic threat to Leverkusen's goal, while also holding his own in midfield battles.

Thomas Muller (AM) - 4/10 - Occupied spaces at will and really pulled strings at times, but nothing came off for him. Replaced on the hour mark, after having scored a really avoidable own goal.

3. Forwards

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski was pretty much anonymous / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Kingsley Coman (RW) - 6/10 - Really sharp and industrious throughout, but failed to follow up his initial threat in build-up play with a final product to make Leverkusen pay.

Robert Lewandowski (ST) - 4/10 - Linked play nicely when dropping off the Leverkusen back line, but couldn't make an impact with the little service he was given in the final third.

Serge Gnabry (LW) - 6/10 - Floated around and knitted things together very nicely at times but, like Coman, struggled to find that penetrative moment.

4. Substitutes

Marcel Sabitzer (CM) - 2/10 - Really poor finish as he passed up a one-on-one opportunity seconds after being introduced. Should have won the match.

Leroy Sane (LW) - 4/10 - Not effective enough after coming on.

Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting (ST) - 5/10

Bouna Sarr (RW) - N/A

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