Bayern Munich has come out of its holiday break firing on all cylinders, and Bayer Leverkusen is paying the price.
With the German giants already up 2-1, James Rodriguez stopped any hope of a comeback with an incredibly difficult free-kick to restore the visitors’ two-goal lead at BayArena.
The free-kick was inches from the penalty area, and efforts from that close to net are always difficult to get on target, needing significant bend to get around the wall from close range but also pace to beat the goalkeeper. James had both, and it resulted in a stunning effort.
Jupp Heynckes – Bayern’s favorite fireman – is doing the job in his fourth stint with the club. After appointing the 72-year-old in early October, the club had won 10 of its 11 league games heading into the holiday break, and continued that streak on the other side of the hiatus holding on for an eventual 3-1 final.
The goal is the third of the season for the Colombian and his first since October 28th. He has received significantly more playing time under Heynckes than he did with Carlo Ancelotti in charge – Rodriguez had just three appearances (one start) and 107 minutes in the seven Bundesliga matches Ancelotti was manager for this season, but he has started eight of Bayern’s nine league matches since October 21st.
The win today over Leverkusen put Bayern fourteen points clear of Schalke at the top of the German top flight table heading into the weekend slate of games.