James a 9/10 as provider and scorer for victorious Bayern Munich

James a 9/10 as provider and scorer for victorious Bayern Munich
From ESPN - January 12, 2018

Returning to Bundesliga action after winter hibernation, Bayern Munich stretched their advantage at the top to 14 points with a 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen, courtesy of goals from Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez. Kevin Volland's deflected shot on 71 minutes proved no more than a consolation for the home side.


Bayern's sixth-consecutive Bundesliga title looks a mere formality, starting as they mean to go on after the winter break and ending Leverkusen's 12 game unbeaten run with the mercurial Ribery notching his first league goal of the season.


Bayern made heavy weather of it after going 2-0 up and would have been dragged level if not for a brilliant saving tackle by Jerome Boateng.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Delivered a first league win in Leverkusen since the last time he visited as Bayern coach back in 2013. Missing two of his best players in Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, victory will be very sweet against the side Heynckes coached between 2009-11.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Sven Ulreich, 7 -- Hardly tested but when called upon Bayern's player of the month for December fulfilled his tasks with authority.

DF David Alaba, 7 -- Teamed up with Ribery on the left-hand side as he has done for much of the last decade. Caught the eye more in the first half before concentrating on defence late on.

DF Jerome Boateng, 7 -- Boateng's last ditch challenge prevented Volland from scoring the equaliser as Bayern endured a nightmare five- minute spell after conceding.

DF Niklas Sule, 6 -- Replaced his Germany teammate Hummels in the starting XI and headed narrowly wide from a corner as Bayern repeatedly exposed Leverkusen's Achilles' heel from set pieces. Sule had his problems against the pace of Leon Bailey but it's all part of the learning curve.


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