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Manuel Neuer hails Bayern Munich mentality after Bayer Leverkusen win

Manuel Neuer hails Bayern Munich mentality after Bayer Leverkusen win
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Bavarian giants move a step closer to another Bundesliga title with victory away to Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer believes his side's mindset made all the difference after they came from a goal down to win 4-2 at Bayer Leverkusen and inch closer to an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The Bavarian giants fell behind when Lucas Alario stabbed home in the ninth minute but they overcome their sluggish start to score three times in 17 first-half minutes.

Kingsley Coman raced through to coolly level just before the half hour, Leon Goretzka gave Bayern the lead with a sweet left-foot strike after 42 minutes before Serge Gnabry lifted over Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky on the stroke of half-time.

Lewandowski's 44th goal of the season in all competitions ended the tie as a contest at the BayArena, rendering 17-year-old substitute Florian Wirtz's stunner mere window dressing.

Neuer said in quotes on Bayern's website: "Our mentality made the difference. We conceded a goal after nine minutes, we were up against strong opponents.

"But Wolfsburg won here (4-1, in Leverkusen's last home match on May 26), so we can certainly do the same. We showed that, we were the better team. We needed some time to get a grip but struck ruthlessly then."

The visiting players wore T-shirts saying 'Rot Gegen Rassismus' which translates to 'Red Against Racism' as they warmed up while donning armbands with the message 'Black Lives Matter' during the game.

Neuer said: "We players communicate the message all the time. We're tolerant, open-minded and see no space for it [racism]. We have no place for it here."

Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 win over Hertha Berlin later on Saturday meant Bayern's lead atop the standings remains at seven points, with four games now remaining.

Bayern boss Hansi Flick said after his side's 10th straight victory in all competitions: "Football is about winning your matches. We've demonstrated it impressively in 2020.

"We had problems at the beginning, which rightly led to the opener. But we bounced back, we demonstrated our attitude and mentality. It was actually quite good to go a goal down because the team picked themselves up."

Goretzka marked his 50th Bundesliga appearance with a goal and an assist and he said: "(We are) finding our way back by fighting hard and battling in one-on-ones. It's not easy to turn the tide against strong opponents.

"We did that well. We engaged cruise control in the last 20 or 30 minutes."

Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz believes his side's defeat was characterised by too many errors.

He said: "We lost against a top team. It looked as if we could keep up in the first 30 minutes, but even then I felt we wouldn't turn in a top performance.

"It was mainly down to Bayern of course. They upped the pressure, we had little time in possession.

"If we want to beat Bayern, we need 11 players, all of them bringing their top performance. Unfortunately we made too many mistakes."

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Kai Havertz pictured for Bayer Leverkusen in February 2020
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern MunichBayern342644100326882
2Borussia DortmundDortmund34216784414369
3RB Leipzig341812481374466
4Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach34205966402665
5Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen35197962451764
6Hoffenheim34157125353052
7Wolfsburg341310114846249
8Freiburg34139124847148
9Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt34136155960-145
10Hertha Berlin34118154859-1141
11Union BerlinUnion Berlin34125174158-1741
12Schalke 04Schalke35913133959-2040
13Augsburg35109164663-1739
14Mainz 0535114204466-2237
15FC Koln34106185169-1836
16Werder Bremen3487194269-2731
RFortuna DusseldorfDusseldorf34612163667-3130
RSC PaderbornSC Paderborn3448223774-3720

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