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Ulreich blunder costs sloppy Bayern in Wolfsburg draw


Berlin (AFP) – A blunder by stand-in goalkeeper Sven Ulreich contributed to Bayern Munich squandering the chance to go top of the Bundesliga on Friday as they threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 against Wolfsburg. 

Goals from Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben had given Bayern a commanding lead at half-time, but Ulreich’s error and a late equaliser from Daniel Didavi saw Wolfsburg rescue an unlikely point in Munich.

Since losing to Hoffenheim a fortnight ago, Carlo Ancelotti’s team had won three games in a row coming into Friday’s fixture, but a lacklustre performance underlined their early season problems.

It was the first time in six years that Bayern had failed to win after holding a 2-0 lead.

Munich remains a happy hunting ground for new Wolfsburg coach Martin Schmidt. 

The Swiss made a habit of frustrating Bayern during his time as Mainz coach, managing a win and a draw from his last two visits to the Allianz Arena. 

His side kept Bayern at bay for half an hour before Lewandowski opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 33 minutes.

Brought down in the box by Marcel Tisserand, Lewandowski coolly slotted the ball past Koen Casteels to score his seventh goal in six games this season. 

Ten minutes later, Robben doubled the lead. Given space on the edge of the area, the Dutchman’s low shot ricocheted off Rafinha to wrongfoot Casteels and make it 2-0.

Robben had two chances to seal victory early in the second half, first hitting a half-volley over the crossbar, and then dragging the ball wide in a one-on-one situation with Casteels.

With Bayern looking comfortable, a mistake from Ulreich gifted Wolfsburg a route back into the game in the 56th minute.

A stand-in for the injured Manuel Neuer, Ulreich misjudged a long range free kick from Maximilian Arnold, allowing the ball to slip through his fingers and into the net.

At 2-1, Wolfsburg sensed their opportunity, as Yunnus Malli repeatedly threatened Bayern on the left flank.

After both Robben and Ribery missed chances at the other end, Bayern were eventually punished for their sluggishness in defence, as Didavi grabbed the equaliser on 83 minutes.

Latching onto a deep cross from Paul Verhaegh, Didavi was completely unmarked as he headed the ball past Ulreich from close range.

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