Bayern Munich battled back to claim a 3-3 draw against Arminia Bielefeld in a storm-laden Bundesliga thriller.
Greeted by heavy snow on their return from Club World Cup glory, Bayern were caught cold by their relegation-threatened opponents as debutant Michel Vlap and Amos Pieper stunningly gave Arminia a 2-0 half-time lead.
Robert Lewandowski scored his 25th Bundesliga goal of the season in sumptuous fashion three minutes into the second period, although substitute Christian Gebauer swiftly replied for Uwe Neuhaus’ men.
Corentin Tolisso and Alphonso Davies continued the flow of easy-on-the-eye goals, but Bayern could not find a winner.
Manuel Prietl reacted quickest when Cedric Brunner’s ninth-minute long throw was partially cleared and Vlap – a loan signing from Anderlecht – controlled his drilled pass superbly before emphatically smashing beyond Manuel Neuer.
Bayern had the chance to regroup shortly afterwards as snow was swept off the pitch lines and the officials reverted to orange match balls.
Tolisso almost capitalised when Leroy Sane swung a cross through the blizzard to cause confusion in the Arminia box.
But Bayern were left with a snow-covered mountain to climb when Pieper was left unchallenged to head home Vlap’s left-wing corner for his first ever Bundesliga goal.
3- @arminia_int became just the third promoted team to score 3+ goals in an away game against FC Bayern in their Allianz Arena – only VfB Stuttgart (4-1 in May 2018) und Fortuna Düsseldorf in November 2018 (3-3) did so before. Surprise. #FCBDSC pic.twitter.com/XECf9qTXpt
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) February 15, 2021
The groundstaff hurried along a half-time thaw, allowing Bayern to make their class tell early in the second half.
Stefan Ortega Moreno got down sharply to thwart Sane before Lewandowski’s exquisite chest control and volleyed finish from David Alaba’s chip left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Remarkably, Arminia restored their two-goal advantage within a minute – Andreas Voglsammer tearing past Bouna Sarr to deliver a pinpoint low cross that gave Gebauer – another man opening his account for the club – a simple finish.
Sane and Tolisso combined again for the latter to head home before the hour, while Kingsley Coman was providing a similar threat from the other wing as he had a venomous drive tipped over.
In the 70th minute, Sane got to the byline and his right-footed cross was cleared only as far as Davies, who fizzed a magnificent half-volley into the bottom left corner.
Back came the away side and only a marginal offside against Fabian Klos denied Sergio Cordova a fourth, before they successfully held out for the point their endeavours deserved.
What does it mean? Embarrassment averted for Flick’s champions
Bayern are five points ahead of RB Leipzig having given a handy demonstration of exactly why they have decided to sign the second-place team’s star central defender Dayot Upamecano.
Arminia will rue what might have been having appeared in sight of a first win at Bayern since March 1979. They remain third bottom but only on goal difference, plus they have a game in hand on Hertha Berlin in 15th.
Wing wizards bail out Bayern
For all their defensive frailties, the relentless attacking threat Bayern posed after the snow cleared meant they always looked likely to get something. Much of this was down to Sane and Coman, who attempted 20 dribbles between them over the course of the contest, completing 10. Sane made two key passes, including the assist for Tolisso’s goal before playing a vital role in the equaliser.
Sarr too easy
Three clean sheets in four league matches suggested Bayern had tightened up from their early season defensive struggles but they were frequently wide open here, with Sarr failing to impress at right-back. Making his first Bundesliga appearance since November, the former Marseille player lost possession 14 times and was tellingly substituted immediately after failing to prevent Arminia’s third goal.
Key Opta facts
– Bayern have scored 61 goals after 21 Bundesliga games – only Hamburg have previously matched that total, back in 1981-82 – but no team has managed more at the same stage of a season.
– Bayern have gained 19 points from losing position in this campaign, more than any other team.
– Arminia became just the third promoted team to score three or more goals in an away game against Bayern in their Allianz Arena – only Stuttgart (4-1 in May 2018) and Fortuna Dusseldorf in November 2018 (3-3) did so previously.
– After nine defeats in a row in Bundesliga away games against Bayern, Arminia avoided defeat in Munich for the first time since February 1985 – back then the game also ended in a 3-3-draw.
– Robert Lewandowski has now scored 25 goals, more than any other player after 21 games.
Arminia host Wolfsburg on Friday a day before Bayern travel to take on another top-four hopeful in Eintracht Frankfurt.