Promotions

Harry Kane is luckless again but Bayern Munich get Bundesliga title challenge back on track with narrow Union Berlin victory

Harry Kane and Raphael Guerreiro

Bayern Munich got back to winning ways in the Bundesliga as Raphael Guerreiro’s early second-half strike proved the difference against Union Berlin.

Looking to bounce back from Sunday’s shock defeat to Werder Bremen, Bayern dominated the first half, but could not find a way through as Union goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow denied Dayot Upamecano, Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala, while Leroy Sane fired wide when well placed shortly before half-time.

The hosts finally broke the deadlock 30 seconds into the second half, as Gueirrero stabbed a shot into the top corner after Harry Kane’s effort came back off the post. Kane then thought he’d made it 2-0, but had his effort ruled out after Sane was offside in the build-up.

Union did eventually go in pursuit of an equaliser, but one Manuel Neuer save apart, Bayern were barely troubled and were able to see out what was their game in hand on Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen to close the gap at the top to four points.

Raphael GuerreiroHe proved to be the match-winner, and Guerreiro’s strike was a fine reward for an encouraging display from the Portugal international. Having been used in midfield of late, Leon Goretzka’s return from injury allowed Guerreiro to move back into his favoured left-back role, and he proved to be a good attacking outlet for the home side. Expect him to keep his place ahead of Alphonso Davies going forward.

THE BIG LOSER

Bayern are already short of defensive options with Kim Min-jae away at the Asian Cup with South Korea, so Thomas Tuchel could have done without Upamecano being forced off with a hamstring injury at half-time. The France centre-back, who almost opened the scoring inside the first 10 minutes, suffered the injury late in the first half, and though he tried to carry on, he was eventually replaced by January signing Eric Dier. Tuchel will be praying for good news and that the issue will not rule Upamecano out for a prolonged period.

Harry KaneThis is the first time since his summer arrival that Kane has failed to score in back-to-back Bundesliga matches, though the England captain’s record still stands at an impressive 22 goals in 18 league appearances.

WHAT COMES NEXT?

Bayern are back in action on Saturday, when they travel to take on Augsburg in the Bundesliga. Looking further ahead, their meeting with league leaders Bayer Leverkusen on February 10 is already on the minds of many Bavarian supporters.

NAPOLI - BARCELONA