Bundesliga: Bayern Munich showcase fighting spirit in comeback win over Ausburg ahead of Liverpool tie in Champions League
Bayern Munich conceded the fastest own-goal in Bundesliga history on Friday and twice had to equalise before securing a 3-2 win at Augsburg in their final tune-up before their Champions League tie at Liverpool.
Berlin: Bayern Munich conceded the fastest own-goal in Bundesliga history on Friday and twice had to equalise before securing a 3-2 win at Augsburg in their final tune-up before their Champions League tie at Liverpool.
Ahead of Tuesday's last 16, first-leg clash at Anfield, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp will have watched with interest how Augsburg, who sit just above the Bundesliga relegation places, caused Bayern a few problems.
The away league win means defending champions Bayern trimmed the gap to just two points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who are at bottom side Nuremberg on Monday.
With one eye on Anfield, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer returned after three games out with a thumb injury, but conceded two goals in the opening 24 minutes — the first after just 13 seconds.
Leon Goretzka claimed an unwanted record for the Bundesliga's fastest own-goal when he turned the ball into his own net.
"I can't remember a worst start from us," admitted Bayern coach Niko Kovac. "We have to play much better at Liverpool."
The win could have come at a price as Kingsley Coman, who scored Bayern's first-half goals, was injured in the dying stages.
"We need to see how he is, but it doesn't look good," admitted Kovac.
Coman twice equalised in the opening half, cancelling out the own-goal then levelling at the half-time break after South Korea international Ji Dong-won had restored Augsburg's lead.
David Alaba scored Bayern's winning goal early in the second half, but Bayern will need to improve to trouble Liverpool.
"The goals we conceded were crazy," said Bayern captain Neuer. "We had said we wanted to defend well and we didn't manage that.
"Liverpool are a strong, attacking team and we must do better, luckily we have a few days to improve."
Bibiana Steinhaus, the first female referee in Europe's top five leagues, had barely blown for kick-off when Augsburg winger Philipp Max put in a cross which flummoxed the Bayern defence.
Goretzka watched in horror as the ball ricocheted off his boot and into the net as the injury-hit hosts took a shock lead.
It was short of the Bundesliga's record fastest goal, just nine seconds, shared by Kevin Volland, for Hoffenheim against Bayern in 2015/16, and Karim Bellarabi, for Leverkusen against Dortmund in 2014/15.
However, shell-shocked Bayern quickly regrouped.
Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski went close, then Bayern drew level on 17 minutes when a beautifully curling Joshua Kimmich cross found Kingsley Coman, who tapped home at the far post.
Augsburg restored their lead with almost a copy of their first goal when Max again fired in a cross and Ji rifled an unstoppable shot past Neuer from 14 metres out on 24 minutes.
Bayern still managed to go into the half-time break level when Coman claimed his second goal.
Goretzka made up for his earlier mistake with a pass to the French winger, who fired through the legs of Augsburg goalkeeper Gregor Kobel to make it 2-2 just before the break.
The winning goal arrived eight minutes into the second-half when Coman flicked the ball inside to Alaba and the 26-year-old fired a trademark low-shot inside the post which gave Augsburg keeper Kobel no chance.
Augsburg's Reece Oxford headed over with a brilliant effort with 26 minutes left, but Bayern held on for victory.
The 25-year-old Gray joins from Bayer Leverkusen, where he had been on loan from Leicester. The contract, till June 2024, includes the option for a fourth year.
The 28-year-old is the club's sixth signing of the summer, and joins the side ahead of their AFC Cup playoff clash against Eagles FC.
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