Robert Lewandowski underlined his FIFA Player of the Year status with both goals, the second just before the final whistle, as European champions Bayern Munich took the lead in the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Bayer Leverkusen, which they usurped. first place.
After beating Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the award on Thursday, Lewandowski took the final winner after 93 minutes at the BayArena.
“What a year we have had, I hope we will continue to play like this in the New Year,” Lewandowski told Sky.
“It’s always nice to score a goal in the dying seconds, especially to get an important victory.
“It shows that we always want to win games like these,” Lewandowski added.
Lewandowski has 20 goals in 18 appearances this season in all competitions, having also managed Bayern just before the break after Patrik Schick gave Leverkusen an early lead.
The Bavarians are two points ahead of the league’s two-week winter break.
Leverkusen, second, are tied on 28 points with RB Leipzig, third after their goalless home draw against Cologne.
Having also ended Wolfsburg’s unbeaten run this season midweek, Bayern are also the first Bundesliga team to beat Leverkusen this season.
For the seventh consecutive league game, Bayern conceded the opening goal when Leverkusen revealed the European champions’ current tendency towards weak defense on set pieces.
The visitors took the lead in the 14th minute when Schick smashed his shot past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, voted goalkeeper of the year on Thursday, from a corner.
Schick had the ball in Bayern’s net again in the 28th minute, but it was offside.
Bayern equalized with their first clear attack just before half-time when Leverkusen defender Edmond Tapsoba lost possession.
The ball was worked on to Thomas Mueller, whose center flew over the Lewandowksi defense to go home without scoring at the far post.
Bayern England Under-21 midfielder Jamal Musiala hit the post midway through the second half before Lewandowski struck.
A ball thrown by Joshua Kimmich, making his first appearance after a knee injury, put Lewandowski behind the defense to clinically return the winner.
– Thuram expelled for spitting –
Earlier, Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram was sent off for spitting in the face of an opponent in the 2-1 home loss to Hoffenheim.
The French striker was given a red card with 11 minutes remaining, which transformed the game after VAR spotted Thuram spitting at visiting defender Stefan Posch.
The incident occurred just after Andrej Kramaric equalized for the away team at Borussia Park.
Nine minutes after Thuram’s sacking, Tottenham player Ryan Sessegnon gave Hoffenheim the lead by tapping an unmarked cross at the far post.
Gladbach, who faced Manchester City in the last 16 Champions League games in February, took the lead when captain Lars Stindl converted a penalty in the first half.
After making his French debut in November, this was the first time Thuram – the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian Thuram – had been sent off for Gladbach during his two seasons in Germany.
Despite the arrival of veteran Dutchman Huub Stevens on Friday as the third manager this season, Schalke now has 29 games without a win following their 1-0 home loss to Arminia Bielefeld.
Elsewhere, 19-year-old Werder Bremen striker Eren Dinkci made his Bundesliga debut, scoring his 90th-minute winner with a superb header to seal a 1-0 victory in Mainz.
© 2020 AFP