Choupo-Moting's goal not enough for Bayern in Bundesliga draw

AP , Saturday 21 Jan 2023

The Bundesliga restarted Friday after its unprecedented two-month winter break with Bayern Munich and Leipzig grinding out an error-strewn 1-1 draw.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting
Bayern s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting celebrates after scoring his side s first goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Munich at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig, Germany, Jan. 20, 2023 (AP)

Leipzig defender Marcel Halstenberg equalized after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s first-half strike as third-place Leipzig stayed six points behind league leader Bayern.

“After a two-month break there were things we did well and other things we could have done better,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann said. “We were a bit too hectic in the final third.”

Goalkeeper Yann Sommer made his Bayern debut following his transfer from Borussia Mönchengladbach as the injured Manuel Neuer’s replacement on Thursday, but the Swiss goalkeeper had little opportunity to shine in a lackluster encounter.

“I was so looking forward to it,” Sommer said. “Of course, a new team, and I'm a new goalkeeper, so it wasn't always perfect, but it was fun. We'd have liked to have won.”

The German league’s winter break was extended to accommodate the World Cup, which was itself moved mid-season to avoid the searing summer temperatures in Qatar.

Bayern, which also had its winter training camp in the Persian Gulf country, enjoyed the better start with Serge Gnabry’s deflected shot hitting the post and Leon Goretzka having a goal ruled out for offside.

Gnabry crossed for Choupo-Moting to finally break the deadlock in the 37th.

Halstenberg equalized early in the second half, but Bayern players were unhappy about a perceived foul on Joshua Kimmich from André Silva in the buildup. Goretzka was booked for over-protesting. Kimmich's careless clearance beforehand was more to blame.

The draw leaves Bayern five points clear of second-place Freiburg, which visits Wolfsburg on Saturday. Bayern is chasing a record-extending 11th-straight German championship title.

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