Sven Ulreich’s penalty save in the fifth minute of added time helped earn Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at stubborn Stuttgart.
The Bayern goalkeeper held Chadrac Akolo’s poor spot-kick, the final shot of the match, to extend his side’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to 11 points.
Second-half substitute Thomas Muller had earlier made the breakthrough for the visitors, finding the net in the 79th minute, just as it looked as though Stuttgart would be rewarded for their disciplined display.
The Germany international fired a snapshot inside the near post to set Bayern on their way to a fourth straight league win, with second-placed Schalke’s failure to win at Eintracht Frankfurt making the result all the sweeter.
This game had looked a tall order for the hosts, having gone into the match on the back of three straight defeats without scoring, but, while they offered little going forward, they frustrated Bayern for long periods.
The visitors started on the front foot and Robert Lewandowski almost opened the scoring after just a minute.
Joshua Kimmich battled for the ball with Stuttgart’s former Bayern man Holger Badstuber and Lewandowski seized possession before firing inches wide.
At the other end Ulreich had his reflexes tested by Akolo, turning away the Congolese midfielder’s shot towards the bottom-right corner.
Lewandowski then worked Ron-Robert Zieler in the Stuttgart goal after being set up by James Rodriguez, but Stuttgart went into the break on level terms.
The hosts were sticking to their task, denying Bayern time and space on the ball.
Corentin Tolisso set up Kingsley Coman, whose shot was turned away by Zieler, while Lewandowski was off target as he tried to turn Jerome Boateng’s high ball into the area goalwards.
Boateng himself then tried his luck from range, but Zieler was again equal to the effort.
Bayern finally made the breakthrough through Muller, who had been introduced in the 65th minute.
Coman’s ball from the left picked out Muller in the area and he took a touch to control before lashing a low shot past Zieler.
The Stuttgart keeper pulled off a double save to deny Rodriguez and Lewandowski as Bayern missed a gilt-edged chance to make it two and they were almost made to pay in stoppage time when Niklas Sule was ruled by the video assistant referee to have fouled Santiago Ascacibar.
But Ulreich guessed right to keep out Akolo’s weak penalty with the final act of the game.
Source: By PA Sport Staff