Bayern Munich 3 Darmstadt 1: Muller magic helps bail champions out


A sublime overhead kick from Thomas Muller helped Bayern Munich come from behind to beat Darmstadt 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

Former Bayern youngster Sandro Wagner stunned the Bundesliga champions by nodding Darmstadt into a half-time lead, but Muller it took just four minutes of the second half to draw Bayern level with a smart finish.

The Germany forward then produced a moment of magic to put Bayern ahead in the 71st minute, before Robert Lewandowski wrapped up a deserved three points by converting the returning Franck Ribery's cross from close range with six minutes remaining.

The win puts Pep Guardiola's side 11 points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table, with Thomas Tuchel's men facing a tough trip to third-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Guardiola opted to rest Philipp Lahm ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Juventus, while Ribery was introduced from the bench early in the second half after his 10-week lay-off.

Bayern could have gone ahead after just three minutes when Arjen Robben volleyed over with his right foot from Arturo Vidal's corner.

Vidal went close when his 20-yard strike deflected off Gyorgy Garics and hit the crossbar, and Lewandowski and Robben were then denied in quick succession by goalkeeper Christian Mathenia as Bayern continued to dominate.

But the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy in the 26th minute when the Munich-born Wagner struck against his boyhood club.

Sandro Sirigu sent in an excellent cross from the right and the powerful striker beat his marker to glance his eighth Bundesliga goal of the season beyond Manuel Neuer at the near post.

Garics then deflected a Douglas Costa shot onto the bar, before some unconvincing goalkeeping from Mathenia nearly allowed Robben to level the scoring in the final seconds of the first half, but the Darmstadt stopper was fortunate to see the ball go over the bar.

Muller did beat Mathenia shortly after the interval, though, when he chested down Rafinha's clever ball into the box before volleying home from close range.

Lewandowski seemed to have made it 2-1 halfway through the second half when he tapped home a cross from the left, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

But that mattered little, as Muller put Bayern ahead in some style. Vidal sent another dangerous ball into the box and Muller controlled the ball with his chest before beating Mathenia with an acrobatic bicycle kick.

And Lewandowski did eventually get himself on the scoresheet as he tapped home Ribery's cross to ensure Bayern travel to Juve in good spirits.