Bayern Munich left it late to beat a brave Augsburg as Robert Lewandowski’s 32nd goal of the season proved the difference.
The reigning champions’ record of scoring in every league game since February 2020 was at risk as Julian Nagelsmann’s side struggled to break down the visiting defence.
However, their resilience was broken with just eight minutes to play as Lewandowski netted from the penalty spot after Reece Oxford handled inside the box.
Bayern were evidently distracted by their upcoming second leg clash with Villarreal in the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday night, failing to even register a shot on target in a forgettable first half.
Augsburg’s intense pressing prevented Bayern from getting into any kind of rhythm and, in fact, the visitors were more threatening in the opening 45 minutes, although they weren’t able to test Manuel Neuer.
However, it took the hosts just a minute after the restart to finally force Rafal Gikiewicz into action with the visiting goalkeeper having to be at full stretch to keep out Lewandowski’s glancing header.
Benjamin Pavard went close, substitute Kingsley Coman went even closer, but it looked like it wasn’t going to be Bayern’s day in front of goal.
But a lapse in concentration from Oxford would ultimately cost Augsburg dear as he handled to deny Lewandowski a clear goalscoring opportunity and the talisman sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the resulting penalty to spare the home side’s blushes.
Bayern threatened to find their form at the end as Joshua Kimmich hit the crossbar and the excellent Niklas Dorsch cleared Lewandowski’s effort off the line but they had to settle for a rare one-goal win.
The victory moves Bayern nine points clear of Dortmund in second.
TALKING POINT – BAYERN JUST ABOUT FIND A WAY
As they normally do, Bayern found a way. But for so long it looked like their record of scoring in every league game since February 2020 – 75 consecutive matches – was going to end. This is a side that had netted 85 goals this season in the Bundesliga alone, but it appeared Augsburg’s intense early pressing caught them by surprise and they struggled to recover.
Eventually the goal would come, but it was obvious Bayern’s focus was elsewhere: a small matter of trying to overturn the 1-0 deficit against Villarreal for a place in the semi-final of the Champions League. The Bavarians will have to lift their game significantly if they’re to do so.
Defeat is oh so cruel on Augsburg whose incredible effort proves to be in vain. One lapse in concentration has ultimately proved to be their downfall.
MAN OF THE MATCH – NIKLAS DORSCH (AUGSBURG)
Ran tirelessly, constantly putting out fires and protecting his defence, the 24-year-old didn’t deserve to end up on the losing side.
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6, Pavard 6, Nianzou 5, Upamecano 6, Richards 6, Kimmich 7, Goretzka 6, Gnabry 6, Muller 6, Sane 5, Lewandowski 6.. subs: Musiala 6, Coman 6, Sabitzer 6, Davies 6, Stanisic N/A.
Augsburg: Gikiewicz 7, Gummy 7, Gouweleeuw 6, Oxford 5, Caligiuri 6, Dorsch 8*, Maier 6, Iago 7, Hahn 6, Vargas 7, Nieferlechner 5.. subs: Zeqiri 6, Movarek 5, Gregoritsch N/A, Framberger 5, Pepi 6.
47′ – FINE SAVE! Finally Bayern test visiting goalkeeper Gikiewicz! And it’s a great save, too, as he launches himself at full stretch to keep out Lewandowski’s glancing header!
79′ – PENALTY TO BAYERN! Oxford handles inside the box, denying Lewandowski a clear goalscoring opportunity and the referee points to the spot.
82′ – GOAL! BAYERN MUNICH 1-0 AUGSBURG (ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI, PEN): Lewandowski makes no mistake from the spot! Bayern’s blushes are going to be spared as their talisman sends the goalkeeper the wrong way!
87′ – OFF THE CROSSBAR! And now Kimmich crashes a shot off the woodwork! It looks like Augsburg’s immense effort will be vain. As it stands Bayern will move nine points clear of Dortmund.
90′ – OFF THE LINE! Dorsch has had a fine game and he’s in the right place at the right time to scramble Lewandowski’s shot off the line!