Bayern top of Bundesliga after Dortmund suffer shock defeat
By Ryland James ,AFPBERLIN -- European champions Bayern Munich went top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season on Saturday after a pulsating 1-1 draw at Bayer Leverkusen.
October 7, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Bayern extended their unbeaten run to 33 Bundesliga games and are closing in on Hamburg's record of 36, set in January 1983, as the Bavarians returned to the site of their last league defeat in October 2012.
Previous leaders Borussia Dortmund lost top place after suffering a shock 2-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach earlier in the day.
In a high-tempo clash at Leverkusen's BayArena, Germany midfielder Sidney Sam's 31st-minute equalizer for the hosts came straight after Toni Kroos' opening goal for Bayern.
Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno guaranteed a point for his side by denying Franck Ribery twice in as many second-half minutes, then Mario Goetze, while Thomas Mueller had a penalty appeal turned down.
“Congratulations to my team, we played excellent football and we're top of the table,” said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola.
“Leverkusen had 11 players and one of them was Leno, he may have let one in, but it could have been many more than that.
“We had 27 shots on goal, but that's football, the most important is that we're top.”
Bayern took the lead when France wing Ribery found Kroos on the edge of the area and the attacking midfielder blasted home.
Leverkusen drew level when Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer parried Poland defender Sebastian Boenisch's shot, but the rebound fell to Sam to tap home into an empty net.
Bayern, fresh from Wednesday's 3-1 Champions League win at Manchester City, again dominated possession — nearly 80 percent — but were continually frustrated by some determined defending.
Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger had a late header cleared off the line, while Leverkusen's Son Heung-Min blasted wide with the final shot of the game.
The single point was enough to send Bayern top, with Leverkusen third, behind Borussia Dortmund.