Bayern beats Leverkusen 3-1 as winter break ends

Bayern's goal scorer Franck Rib'ry, left, and Rafinha celebrate scoring the second goal of the game against Leverkusen during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)
Bayern's David Alaba, top, celebrates the first goal of the game acored by Javi Martinez, obscured, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)
Leverkusen's Lars Bender, left, controls the ball with Bayern's Arturo Vidal, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)
Bayern's recent addition Sandro Wagner is assigned to the bench to begin with during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)
Leverkusen's Kai Havertz and Bayern's David Alaba, right, in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)
Bayern's Javi Martinez, centre, in action against Leverkusen's Lars Bender, left, and Wendell, right, during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Friday Jan. 12, 2018. (Bernd Thissen/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — The Bundesliga resumed Friday after the winter break with Bayern Munich going 14 points clear after a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen.

Goals from Javi Martinez and Franck Ribery in either half, and a brilliant free kick from James Rodriguez in injury time kept the defending champions on course for a record-extending sixth consecutive title.

It was Leverkusen's first defeat at home this season, and ended a 12-game unbeaten run.

"We weren't brave enough in the first half. We were better in the second, but then suddenly it was 2-0," Leverkusen midfielder Sven Bender said.

Leverkusen went close early on when Dominik Kohr headed just wide, and Leon Bailey wasted a good chance on a counterattack. But Martinez pounced to open the scoring for Bayern off the rebound after Sven Bender had blocked Arturo Vidal's header from a corner.

Bailey hit the crossbar early in the second half after turning Niklas Suele one way and then another, before Thomas Mueller went close at the other end.

Ribery let fly with a shot inside the near post to make it 2-0 just before the hour mark.

Bayern seemed to be in control but Kevin Volland pulled one back for Leverkusen with a deflected shot and suddenly the home side was pressing for more with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Volland had a good opportunity to equalize but his first touch let him down and Jerome Boateng was able to clear, while Lucas Alario also went close for Leverkusen.

Coach Jupp Heynckes sent on winter signing Sandro Wagner for his second Bayern debut - he made four Bundesliga appearances for the senior side in the 2007-08 season - but James stole the limelight with his perfect free kick into the top left corner.

"My team played very well tactically over long stretches today, especially in defense," Heynckes said after facing one of his former sides. "Leverkusen was set up to attack and all our forwards had to work in defense."

Second-place Schalke is away to Leipzig on Saturday.

People also read these

Les Bleus to Red Devils: Henry named assistant...

Aug 26, 2016

Former France striker Thierry Henry has been appointed as an assistant to new Belgium coach Roberto...

At 3rd big tourney in a row, Belgium should start...

Sep 4, 2017

Belgium is going to a major tournament for the third straight time and it should start to live up...

Tolisso leads Bayern over Anderlecht 2-1 in Group...

Nov 22, 2017

Corentin Tolisso set up one goal and scored another to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over Anderlecht...

WORLD CUP: Belgium has exceptional talent but so...

Apr 30, 2018

Belgium has all the ingredients for success at the World Cup

Kompany exits early as Portugal holds Belgium to...

Jun 2, 2018

European champion Portugal held Belgium to a tame 0-0 draw Saturday amid fears that defender...

About Us

The Score Daily brings to you the up-to-date record of your favorite sports team. Whether it is soccer, football, basketball, tennis, or rugby - you can get all the latest news update right here as we’ve got you covered.

Contact us: sales[at]thescoredaily.com

Subscribe Now!