6 Things We Learned from Bayern Versus Leverkusen

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6 Things We Learned from Bayern Versus Leverkusen
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

In what had come to be a troubling week for Bayern Munich, following the sentencing of their club president, Uli Hoeness, to jail after a high-profile tax case, the squad returned to action on the pitch as though nothing had ever happened with a confident 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen

Pep Guardiola took to the occasion with a whole roster of changes which raised as many eyebrows in the Bayern end as it did amongst the travelling Leverkusen fans, yet winning football matches is what Bayern do so well and is exactly what they set about ensuring Saturday. 

The first half was actually quite a timid affair, with Bayern lacking the usual intimate build-up play that is usually so prevalent when Dante and David Alaba start for the side. Leverkusen clearly took note of this and worked down both channels to varied success. 

Yet it was Mario Mandzukic, the Bayern top goalscorer, who broke through the deadlock with a headed goal that came from a rather uncharacteristic, direct cross from Bastian Schweinsteiger. Leverkusen may have made the home side huff and puff throughout the first half, but at half-time it was the Munich side that went in with the lead. 

From then on in, it was no more than Bayern's game to lose, if not for the slow and consistent arrival of one superstar after the next, as Guardiola discreetly introduced Franck Ribery, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara to the already crippling troubles of a Leverkusen side that had simply had enough. 

The visiting team did find their consolation goal, through Stefan Kiessling's efficient header at the back post in the dying moments of the game, but it didn't come before a truly breathtaking free-kick from Schweinsteiger to double his side's lead in the 52nd minute.

Leverkusen had done themselves proud, but the inevitable defeat was always at hand from this unstoppable Bavarian juggernaut. Bayern march on to their latest title as Sami Hyypia's side continue to flounder in the final Champions League spot. 

Here's what we learned from Saturday night's game.

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