Mind the chasm: Bayern open 20 point Bundesliga lead

Posted by Susie Schaaf

Mathis Bolly shocked the crowd at the Allianz Arena with his 16th minute strike, putting Fortuna Duesseldorf ahead of Bayern Munich. But the home side would battle back despite being down twice; the much-maligned Jerome Boateng heading in his first Bundesliga goal for an 86th minute winner, and extending Bayern's lead atop the league table to an astonishing 20 points.

- Match report: Bayern 3-2 Dusseldorf

Jupp Heynckes started most of the squad that will face Arsenal mid-week with the glaring exceptions of both Dante and Javi Martinez. This match may turn out to be lesson learned for Heynckes as Bayern lacked composure getting anything going from the back and were caught flat-footed on both of Duesseldorf's goals.

Bayern controlled the early minutes of the match: Bastian Schweinsteiger's blocked shot and the ensuing free kick would see four full minutes of possession for Munich. But the spectators would cheer louder for the scoring update "ding!" in the stadium; Schalke going up over Dortmund in the Revierderby.

The visitors struck first as Jojo van den Bergh beat Thomas Mueller, crossing to captain Andreas Lambertz who headed down for a surrounded Bolly in the box -- Duesseldorf's new winter signing flicking past Manuel Neuer for the opener.

Bayern would try to answer that goal with a vengeance despite pass accuracy and communication being at a premium. Fortuna keeper Fabian Giefer would save Daniel van Buyten twice and Mario Manzukic twice -- the Croatian also missing a Franck Ribery cross in front of an open net. Mueller skyed a rebound and Toni Kroos shot just wide before Schweinsteiger would finally get past Giefer, only to be called narrowly offside.

Mueller finally equalized on the stroke of the half for his 12th goal of the season with a slide-rule assist by captain Philipp Lahm.

At the half, Schweinsteiger changed his unlucky blue boots, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge would finally put on his Bayern Schal -- cheering on the home team -- as the second 45 started brightly. Ribery tortured the left side of the pitch, garnering "almost assists" from Mueller and Mandzukic, while Boateng and Mueller headed wide.

Mario Gomez came on for an ineffective Mandzukic in the 60th minute, the German immediately soliciting a save from Giefer. Giefer would save again (!) from Lahm before the visitors went up again on an Andreas Lambertz fast break after every Bayern player thought he was offside.

Munich, down for the second time on the day, grew more impatient to score as Claudio Pizarro came on for Mueller -- the Peruvian providing an assist for Ribery's equalizer in the 73rd minute. And Duesseldorf could only try to batten down the hatches for the last 15 minutes as Bayern smelled blood in the water.

Gomez would head to the crossbar and Ribery was denied by Giefer before Boateng scored his first Bundesliga goal -- the match winner! -- a header from a fantastic Lahm cross.

I've got to tell you, I very much like these matches! It gets boring, for me, when Bayern piles on everyone. Although there is plenty to grumble about here, Bayern is undefeated in 2013. And with third-placed Leverkusen and second-placed Dortmund both losing, Munich capturing the big, ugly plate is a foregone conclusion. And they can do it with two wins and a draw in the next three Spieltags.

One trophy (nearly) down, two to go!

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