De Ligt sends Bayern back on top ahead of PSG tie
SMA NEWS – BERLIN
Defender Matthijs de Ligt produced a crucial goal-line clearance before scoring himself as Bayern Munich reclaimed the Bundesliga lead from Borussia Dortmund with a 2-1 win at Stuttgart on Saturday.
De Ligt’s goal came late in the first half just after he prevented Stuttgart from going ahead, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting grabbing a second for Bayern midway through the second half.
Stuttgart pulled one back late on through Juan Jose Perea, but Bayern held on to go back above Dortmund on goal difference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg against Paris Saint-Germain in Munich.
Bayern picked up where they left off in last week’s 3-0 win over Union Berlin, with Leon Goretzka forcing goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow into two stunning reflex saves in quick succession.
Not content to allow Bayern to turn the screws, Stuttgart kept looking dangerous on the counter through the speed of striker Silas.
Silas’ near-post shot forced a save from Yann Sommer after 36 minutes and the home side almost took the lead from the ensuing corner, with De Ligt desperately clearing a deflected ball off the line.
The Dutch center-back put Bayern in front just a minute later, blasting a low shot under Bredlow from outside the box.
Fresh from inking a one-year extension in Munich on Friday, former PSG striker Choupo-Moting doubled Bayern’s lead by hammering a shot past Bredlow when put through on goal by Thomas Mueller.
With just two minutes remaining, the home side gave their fans hope, Tiago Tomas curling in a superb cross to find Perea, who headed past Sommer.
French winger Tanguy Coulibaly had a chance to equalize in the second minute of injury time when he jumped high to head a cross from Hiroki Ito, but his effort went just wide.
Stuttgart, who have lost five of their past six games, are one of four teams holding up the bottom of the table equal on 19 points.