Sold-out stadium witnesses 1-0 victory
FC Augsburg have done it again! With a sold-out WWK ARENA and 30,660 fans watching on, the Fuggerstädter secured all three points against FC Bayern München. It’s the second time in a year FCA have beaten the German record champions – last season saw a 2-1 win at home.
Head coach Enrico Maaßen chose the same starting XI for this Bavarian derby as started the 1-0 win away at Werder Bremen last Friday. It was an attacking line-up, and from kick-off, the home side put the reigning champions, a side which beat Barcelona 2-0 on Tuesday in the Champions League, under pressure.
With 12 minutes on the clock, Florian Niederlechner won the ball cleverly from Matthijs de Ligt and bore down on goal with no defenders around him, but his attempt from just inside the penalty area was too central, and Manuel Neuer claimed. The Red-Green-Whites looked to isolate the away side into one-on-one duels, which allowed Julian Nagelsmann’s side to create chances quickly. Both Sadio Mané and Leroy Sané had attempts on goal which FCA shot-stopper Rafał Gikiewicz was able to deal with (14’, 17’).
As the half drew on, the game became a real back-and-forth affair. After 24 minutes Niederlechner flashed a powerful drive towards goal from 20 yards, but Neuer was on hand to deny him. At the other end Jamal Musiala narrowly missed with an effort from the inside left channel (33’). In the closing stages of the half, Maximilian Bauer was the man at the centre of the action. The FCA defender first headed a close-range effort over the bar (39’), before five minutes later preventing Leon Goretzka from netting a rebound following a looping Musiala effort.
The second half began with no personnel changes on either side. Bayern remained on the front foot and pressed hard, but FCA held their own. The defensive stand was rewarded just before the hour mark, as a deep free-kick was nudged into the path of Mergim Berisha by Iago, who slotted home coolly from 12 yards – his first goal in an Augsburg shirt, and what a time to get it! With a lead to protect, Maaßen’s side battened down the hatches for a rear-guard action, with Gikiewicz a more-than good enough last line of defence.
The goalkeeper was called back into action quickly after the restart, denying a Thomas Müller effort from a tight angle, before making himself big to defend against Sané (61’, 72’). As the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, there was finally a shot which he didn’t have covered – Joshua Kimmich thankfully fired narrowly off target from 20 yards, though. Four minutes of injury time remained, and Neuer came up for a last-minute Bayern corner. He met it well on his head, but his counterpart in the Augsburg goal denied him fantastically. That was the crowning glory of a nerve-shredding end to the game – the final whistle gratefully came, and with it a sensational three points!
There is now a week off from Bundesliga action as the international break comes around. FCA will be back in action on Sunday 2nd October, when they travel to Gelsenkirchen to face FC Schalke 04.