Newly crowned as World Club Champions, Bayern Munich were brought to earth somewhat by lowly Arminia Bielefeld last night on theIr return to the Allianz Arena. it may have been the exertions last week in Qatar that meant the league leaders were sluggish in the first half, or it may just have been the snow showers which were falling out of the Bavarian sky, but Bielefeld looked the most lively and were good value for their 2-0 halftime lead.
Munich looked a bit more invigorated early in the second half and Lewandowski scored a superb goal to bring them within one of the team from Westphalia. There were shades of their 5-2 victory over Mainz last month, when they had effortlessly overcome a similar half time deficit. However less than a minute later Bielefeld scored to restore their two goal advantage. Goals from Tolisso and Davies brought the scores level, but the expected onslaught on the Bielefeld goal failed to materialise and the champions had to settle for a draw.
The main beneficiaries of the outcome may prove to be RB Leipzig who now only trail Munich by four points at the top of the table. At the other end, the point secured by Bielefeld lifts them out of the bottom three and leaves Hertha Berlin in 16th place and looking increasingly at risk of relegation to Bundesliga 2.
It has certainly been a busy week for the defending champions. Aside from the victory in Qatar, which was their sixth title in the last 12 months, they have been busy making preparations for the future as well. With David Alaba almost certain to leave at the end of the season and his fellow central defender Junior Boateng also likely to depart, Bayern have secured the signature of RB Leipzig’s 22 year old French defender Dayot Upemecano, who will switch clubs at the end of this season.
In doing so they beat off competition from several Premier League clubs who were thought to be interested in signing him.
They are also hopeful of securing promising midfielder Jamal Musiala, who also qualifies to play for England, to a long term contract when he passes his 18th birthday later this month. Despite their current run of success, FCB have more than one eye on the future.