Football

Ancelotti: Leipzig have 'great' future

Bayern coach praises newcomers after surviving scare in nine-goal thriller

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti says RB Leipzig have proved they have a big future after his star-studded side were given a huge fright by the Bundesliga newcomers in a nine-goal thriller on Saturday.

Bayern, who were already confirmed as Bundesliga champions for the fifth straight year before the match, were 4-3 down on 90 minutes in Leipzig before David Alaba and Arjen Robben netted late goals.

The 33-year-old Robben proved he had the legs to sprint clear of the tiring home defence as he capped a superb solo run with the winning goal in the 95th minute in the top-of-the-table clash.

It was the first time Bayern had taken the lead, having fallen behind after 65 seconds at Leipzig's Red Bull Arena.

Bayern's last-gasp victory left them 13 points clear of second-placed Leipzig in the table with one game left.

"It was a crazy game and, as expected, it was very open," said Ancelotti.

"Both teams have achieved their goals in the Bundesliga.

"Leipzig started strongly, but we were better in the end.

"Leipzig were fantastic opponents this season and played surprisingly well.

"For them, this is only the start of a great period. They have young players, who are very motivated and playing in the Champions League next season will be a great experience."

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm agreed with his coach, saying that Leipzig are deserving runners-up.

"In the first half, it just went back and forwards," said Lahm, who will lift the Bundesliga trophy after the match against SC Freiburg at the Allianz Arena this Saturday for the eighth time in his career before retiring.

"For the spectators, it was certainly a nice game to watch - but not for us. Nevertheless, Leipzig showed they deserved to be up where they are.

"As for us, you could see our heads were already in the summer break."

The first goal came after just 65 seconds when Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer headed home, but Robert Lewandowski drilled home a penalty on 16 minutes.

Leipzig restored their lead when Xabi Alonso fouled playmaker Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner netted from the spot to make it 2-1 at the break.

Denmark striker Yussuf Poulsen netted Leipzig's third on 47 minutes when his shot wrong-footed Bayern's third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke after clipping Alonso's boot.

Bayern stayed in touch with a Thiago Alcantara header on 60 minutes, before Werner grabbed his second five minutes later after turning Germany defender Jerome Boateng.

When Robben hit the crossbar with a free-kick on 84 minutes, Lewandowski headed home the rebound, cutting their deficit to one goal again and setting the scene for the dramatic finale.

Alaba then drilled home a 91st-minute free-kick, before Robben clinched the win with his solo goal.

It was heartbreak for Leipzig, who were minutes away from avenging their 3-0 defeat by Bayern at the Allianz Arena last December.

"Congratulations to Bayern for this mad victory and congrats to those who were in the stadium to witness it," said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

"We didn't win any points today, but won a few hearts and some sympathy."

In the race to be the league's top-scorer, Bayern's Lewandowski's two goals on Saturday left him on 30 goals, one more than his nearest rival, Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with one game left.

- WIRE SERVICES

OTHER RESULTS

  • Bayer Leverkusen 2 Cologne 2, Schalke 1 Hamburg 1, Mainz 4 Frankfurt 2, Wolfsburg 1 Borussia Moenchengladbach 1, Augsburg 1 Borussia Dortmund 1. Werder Bremen 3 Hoffenheim 5, Darmstadt 0 Hertha Berlin 2, Freiburg 1 Ingolstadt 1.
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