Arjen Robben turns back the clock but Bayern's injury woes worsen in win over Leverkusen
Bayern Munich, chasing an unprecedented seventh league title on the spin, assumed top spot in the Bundesliga after coming from behind Saturday to beat Bayer Leverkusen 3-1, courtesy of goals from record signing Corentin Tolisso, veteran Arjen Robben and substitute James Rodriguez.
Bayern regained top billing with a comeback victory and serenely maintain their 100 percent winning start to the season.
Having lost Kingsley Coman for several months in their opening league fixture, Bayern will now have to make do without Tolisso for several months and without Rafinha for a few weeks.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Niko Kovac kept up his impressive record in charge, winning every game so far with a goal difference of 15-2. After picking up another two injuries, he bemoaned his injury situation, saying that his side had been left "unprotected" by the officials this season at the postmatch news conference.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Manuel Neuer, 7 -- Easily kept out Kevin Volland's tame early penalty and produced an even better reflex save on the rebound. However, he could do nothing to stop the retake from Wendell after Bayern were penalised for having too many men in the box for the original penalty. Largely unemployed otherwise, easily racking up his 150th Bundesliga victory.
DF Rafinha, 6 -- Slotted in at left-back, allowing David Alaba a breather, but suffered left-ankle ligament damage after a ghastly challenge from Karim Bellarabi. Uli Hoeness remarked that the former Germany international was "insane" and should be banned for several months for the tackle.
DF Jerome Boateng, 7 -- After seeing his hopes of a move to PSG dashed, Boateng coasted through the game at walking pace.
DF Niklas Sule, 7 - Alongside his Germany teammate, Sule enjoyed a leisurely afternoon in the early-autumn Munich sunshine.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 7 -- Slotted in capably at right-back for his club after foraging in defensive midfield for his country in the past week.
MF Thiago, 8 -- The silky Spaniard was a tad unlucky to give away the early penalty as the ball hit his arm from close range in the penalty box. However, he recovered to pull the strings in midfield and was still going strong at the end with an inch-perfect cross to the onrushing James.
MF Corentin Tolisso, 7 -- On his first start of the season, Bayern's record signing fired a brilliant equaliser into the top corner after 10 minutes before suffering knee-ligament damage to his right knee after innocuously tangling with Leverkusen forward Volland in the first half. The World Cup winner will go under the knife Sunday and has played his last football of the year.
MF Serge Gnabry, 6 - Toiled industriously but on the whole the former Arsenal winger enjoyed a very low-key home debut.
MF Arjen Robben, 9 -- With Franck Ribery languishing on the bench, it was left to fellow veteran winger Robben to fire Bayern ahead on 20 minutes with a rasping left-footer into the roof of the net. He went close again soon after, turning back the clock with a virtuoso performance throughout the match.
MF Thomas Muller, 6 -- Denied by Lukas Hradecky on the half-hour mark but didn't give the Bayer defence any serious headaches.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 6 -- Largely anonymous in the first half and could only shoot straight at his marker, Aleksandar Dragovic, when well placed on 63 minutes.
MF James Rodriguez, 7 -- The Colombia star replaced the unfortunate Tolisso late in the first half and settled any nerves in the last minute with a bullet header.
MF Javi Martinez, 7 -- Came on for Gnabry on the hour to give Bayern more solidity in the middle of the park.
DF David Alaba, N/R -- Replaced the injured Rafinha as Bayern saw out the game comfortably.