Bayern held at RB Leipzig in Bundesliga's 1st match in 10 weeks

Martin Rose / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Leipzig, Germany, Jan 20, 2023 (AFP) - Marcel Halstenberg's second-half equalizer helped RB Leipzig hold Bayern Munich to a 1-1 home draw on Friday in the first Bundesliga match since the winter break.

Bayern looked on course for their seventh straight Bundesliga win after striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting scored in the 37th minute, but Halstenberg leveled in the 52nd minute.

Veteran Bayern forward Thomas Muller had a chance to win the match in injury time with a shot from point blank range but dragged his effort just wide.

A combination of rustiness after a 10-week break and sub-zero temperatures meant both sides struggled to find their rhythm early on.

Central defender Josko Gvardiol, one of the breakout stars at the World Cup, almost scored an own goal after seven minutes when his attempt at smothering a Serge Gnabry cross hit the post.

Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka headed the ball in the back of the net after 31 minutes, but the goal was struck off due to a narrow offside against Munich center-back Matthijs de Ligt in the buildup.

The reigning champions got on the board soon after through Cameroon striker Choupo-Moting, who tapped a Gnabry cross past the outstretched arm of Leipzig 'keeper Janis Blaswich to score his 11th goal in 10 games in all competitions.

Leipzig shook off the cobwebs to reclaim parity shortly after halftime when Halstenberg side-footed in a Dominik Szoboszlai header to score his first goal of the season.

The goal sparked Leipzig's most dominant period of the game, with the home side frequently threatening Bayern on the counter as the visitors pushed to regain the lead.

Bayern were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute when France defender Dayot Upamecano brought down a rampaging Szoboszlai, who was through on goal with only goalkeeper Yann Sommer to beat.

Upamecano - one of four former Leipzig players in Bayern's squad, along with manager Julian Nagelsmann - received a yellow card.

Leipzig will likely be the happier of the two sides with the result, but Bayern will still finish the round as outright table leaders regardless of other results.

The Red Bull-owned side has now only managed to beat the Bavarians once in 16 competitive appearances since its promotion to the Bundesliga for the 2016-17 season.

With less than half of the season's fixtures played, Leipzig sit six points behind Bayern in third.

Second-placed Freiburg have a chance to cut the gap at the top to two points when they travel to Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Bayern held at RB Leipzig in Bundesliga's 1st match in 10 weeks
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