Bayern wear Black Lives Matter armbands in victory over Leverkusen

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BERLIN – Wearing “Black Lives Matter” armbands, Bayern Munich returned from a goal to defeat Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 and take another step towards an eighth consecutive Bundesliga record title on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski scored Bayern’s fourth goal for his 30th goal of the season, set by Thomas Muller, who now has 20 assists. However, both players were booked in the first half and will miss the next match against Borussia Monchengladbach due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

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Leverkusen players also wore black armbands as thousands of people across Germany attended demonstrations against racism following the police murder of handcuffed George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

The speed of Canadian international Alphonso Davies, who started in his usual left-back position, and French international Kingsley Coman on the flank caused problems for Leverkusen.

Davies’ pace resulted in two fouls that led to Leverkusen’s yellow cards in the first period. He also cut a dangerous center in his own penalty area in the 34th minute.

Summary of Saturday’s Bundesliga

Former Vancouver Whitecap, 19, faced Florian Wirtz, 17, as Leverkusen, one of three replacements to open the second half. This marked Wirtz’s fourth appearance in the league.

At the start of the second half, Davies used his wheels to cut a passing lane to a Leverkusen forward in front of the goal and force a shot from a wrong angle that was off target. In the 51st minute, he stifled another attack by dispossessing a Leverkusen player on the edge of Bayern’s penalty bench.

Four minutes later, Davies was in the right place at the right time as Argentina’s Leverkusen forward Lucas Alario bounced on his back and touched him.

Davies made a trademark on the left flank in the 61st minute to see Coman’s contact drop him in front of goal.

Davies won the adolescent battle in the 82nd minute, flying Wirtz’s ball to the side to launch another attack.

Davies, who like his teammates wore a Black Lives Matters armband, came out in the 85th minute. He was replaced by Lucas Hernandez, the club record of 80 million euros (121 million dollars) which he helps keep on the bench.

The Bayern players warmed up with anti-racism t-shirts in Leverkusen, where the home team had to go without young star Kai Havertz due to muscle problems.

He also had to do without fans, as all Bundesliga games are played without supporters as part of strict hygiene measures against the coronavirus.

Alario opened the scoring in the ninth minute, staying cool to beat Manuel Neuer at close post with the outside of his boot. The linesman raised his flag for offside, but the goal was scored after a VAR check.

The home team played well until Leon Goretzka prepared Kingsley Coman for a 27th tie, then scored on a counterattack in the 42nd.

There was still time before the break for Serge Gnabry to grab Bayern’s third, lifting the ball over goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky.

Although his team played well in the first half hour, Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz reacted with three changes at the break.

But another defensive error preceded Lewandowski’s goal in the 66th, a powerful header from Muller’s perfectly placed center.

Wirtz gave Leverkusen some pride with a brilliant finish after Neuer in the 89th. He became the youngest goalscorer in the Bundesliga.

Bayern deviated 10 points from Borussia Dortmund with their ninth consecutive victory. Dortmund later hosted Hertha Berlin. There are four innings remaining after this weekend’s games.

In addition, Paderborn, last, won a 1-1 draw in Leipzig, 10 players. Mainz beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 away in their derby and Fortuna Düsseldorf tied Hoffenheim 2-2.



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