Bayern made to sweat for 3-1 win at Stuttgart
Kingsley Coman scored one goal and set up another as Bayern Munich came from a goal behind to beat VfB Stuttgart 3-1 on Saturday and defend their top spot in the Bundesliga.
It was the seventh consecutive game that Bayern conceded a goal, and their defensive weaknesses were repeatedly exposed by the quick-breaking Stuttgart team.
The hosts went in front in the 20th minute after Tanguy Coulibaly beat charging keeper Manuel Neuer to the ball to score.
Philipp Foerster should have doubled Stuttgart’s lead when he shot wide from three metres, and Neuer was then lucky to be awarded a foul after losing possession in the box, allowing Foerster put the ball briefly in the net.
Instead, Bayern’s Coman punished the home side, hitting them on the break to level in the 38th.
Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who had hit the post with a third-minute header, then drilled in his 12th league goal of the season on the stroke of halftime from a Coman assist to turn the game around.
Stuttgart kept carving out chances in the second half and Neuer did his best to keep the visitors in front. It was not until Douglas Costa’s low shot in the 87th made it 3-1 that the Bavarians were able to breathe more easily.
Bayern, who face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League next week, are on 22 points with RB Leipzig second on 20 after beating Arminia Bielefeld 2-1. Borussia Dortmund dropped to third on 18 after suffering a shock 2-1 home loss to Cologne.
Inter strike early to end Sassuolo's unbeaten run
Inter Milan continued their roller-coaster season by scoring twice in the first 15 minutes on their way to a convincing 3-0 win at previously unbeaten Sassuolo in Serie A on Saturday.
Inter, helped by a disastrous performance from Sassuolo defender Vlad Chiriches, were unrecognisable from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday as they dominated the match from start to finish.
The win, capped by an exquisitely-taken Roberto Gagliardini goal in the second half, moved Inter into second place with 18 points, ahead of Sassuolo on goal difference and two behind leaders AC Milan.
On a wet, miserable afternoon, Inter, who rested striker Romelu Lukaku, needed a confidence booster after Wednesday’s sorry display and were given it with some help from Chiriches in the fourth minute.
The Romanian’s poor clearance was intercepted by Lautaro Martinez who set up Alexis Sanchez for an easy tap-in.
Inter were firing on all cylinders and 10 minutes later, Arturo Vidal’s cross ricocheted off the hapless Chiriches and into the net for the Milan side’s second goal.
Chiriches’s unhappy afternoon ended when he limped off with a muscle injury three minutes before the break.
Sassuolo struggled to find their usual fluid style although Filip Djuricic curled a shot against the post before halftime.
The hosts improved after the break but, vulnerable on the counter, they were caught out on the hour.
Inter, who are Serie A’s leading scorers with 23 goals, won possession in midfielder and Matteo Darmian’s pass found Gagliardini who flicked up a bouncing ball with his left foot and volleyed into the far corner with his right.