2016/2017 German Bundesliga
  • Douglas Costa (71')

Douglas Costa sends Bayern Munich top of Bundesliga

Bayern Munich regained top spot in the Bundesliga from Leipzig but were made to work hard for a 1-0 win at bottom-placed Darmstadt.

Douglas Costa's eye-catching goal in the 71st minute was enough for Carlo Ancelotti's men to go back above Leipzig on goal difference ahead of the top two's meeting at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday.

Ramon Berndroth's first game in charge of Darmstadt a week ago had ended the way the club's previous five had, with defeat, and seeing the record champions arriving at the gates of the Bollenfalltorstadion could therefore be arguably the last thing he wanted to see.

It could also be said that his side had nothing to lose, and with that in mind the Lilies burst out of the blocks and within 10 minutes they had already sent three shots in on Manuel Neuer's goal.

They were disciplined defensively, too, holding firm as Bayern hit back as the game progressed.

Reaching half-time without conceding may have been considered a success, especially with their goalkeeper Michael Esser largely untested, but it was only half of the job done.

Darmstadt grew in confidence in the second half and had a few more chances before Bayern took the lead with an unstoppable 30-yard strike from Douglas Costa with just under 20 minutes remaining.

The hosts could and perhaps should have levelled in the 77th minute when Neuer only parried Jerome Gondorf's free-kick, but Peter Niemeyer headed the loose ball straight back at the Bayern goalkeeper rather than picking a spot to his side.

Bayern proceeded to play down the clock, fuelled more by the fear of losing their advantage than airing an authority that enabled them to save their legs for Wednesday's top-of-the-table clash, but they succeeded all the same to get the win they needed to move back to the top of the pile on Sunday night.

German Bundesliga Standings

1 Bayern Munich 28 +44 65
2 RB Leipzig 28 +29 60
3 VfL Wolfsburg 28 +23 54
4 Eintracht Frankfurt 28 +19 53
5 Borussia Dortmund 28 +17 46
6 Bayer Leverkusen 27 +13 43
7 FC Union Berlin 28 +8 40
8 Borussia Monchengladbach 28 +5 40
9 VfB Stuttgart 28 +6 39
10 SC Freiburg 28 -2 37
11 FC Augsburg 28 -13 32
12 TSG Hoffenheim 27 -6 30
13 Werder Bremen 28 -11 30
14 Mainz 28 -18 28
15 Hertha Berlin 28 -14 26
16 Arminia Bielefeld 28 -24 26
17 FC Cologne 28 -23 23
18 Schalke 04 28 -53 13