Bayern Munich returned to the top of the Bundesliga with a less than convincing 1-0 victory over lowly Arminia Bielefeld at the Allianz Arena.
Creating chances wasn't an issue for Julian Nagelsmann's men, but they were uncharacteristically wasteful when the opportunities arose. The visitors defended admirably until the breakthrough came in the second half through Leroy Sane.
After an open start to the game, Bayern soon began to dominate, pushing Arminia back with their pace in wide areas from Kingsley Coman and Alphonso Davies.
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Thomas Muller went close twice in quick succession; first, his looping header from Coman's cross was cleared off the line, before Stefan Ortega denied him with an excellent save.
Sane had chances, and Robert Lewandowski saw a shot deflect wide. On the night Bayern were looking to break the record for the most Bundesliga goals scored in a calendar year, they failed to score in the first half of a match for just the second time this season.
Arminia pushed forward when they could and carried a threat through Patrick Wimmer and Masaya Okugawa. But they got in each other's way towards the end of the first half as their best chance went begging.
Sane almost opened the scoring seconds after the break. Incisive one-touch play between Dayot Upamecano, Corentin Tolisso and Muller put him through on goal, but somehow his effort trickled the wrong side of the post.
There was nothing wrong with Bayern's purpose and intensity, as Lewandowski knocked down for Muller at point-blank range. Somehow, another chance went begging.
Coman reached the byline and crossed for Lewandowski, but he couldn't quite reach him. More chances came for Sane, Muller and Davies as Bayern's frustration grew.
But then, with just under 20 minutes remaining, Sane struck from the edge of the area and into the top corner, giving Bayern their 102nd and record-breaking Bundesliga goal of 2021.
Coman was denied by the excellent Ortega soon after, and Serge Gnabry, who replaced Sane moments after his goal, struck the bar ferociously.
The hosts controlled the game for much of the latter stages, and were rewarded for their perseverance with the victory. Arminia's rearguard did not get what it deserved and they stay in the automatic relegation zone.

TALKING POINT - BAYERN FIND THEIR RECORD BREAKER

They didn't score many, but the one they did really mattered in the end. With the entirety of December to come, it was a matter of when not if, but they became the highest Bundesliga scorers in a calendar year.
In truth, they could have scored four or five, but a blend of Ortega and their own poor finishing cost them that luxury.

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 27: Leroy Sane of FC Bayern Muenchen battles for possession with Amos Pieper of Arminia Bielefeld during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and DSC Arminia Bielefeld at Allianz Arena on November 27, 2021 in Munich, G

Image credit: Getty Images

MAN OF THE MATCH - Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)

Ortega was in the running for this and arguably deserved it, but Sane's goal swings it in his favour.
It was a beautiful strike, but most impressive for Bayern was the fact that they didn't panic or lose focus as the minutes ticked by. Yes, frustration grew, but they just kept at their task with belief their moment would come.
Nobody epitomised that like Sane, and it was fitting that he made the difference in the end.

Bayern Munich's German midfielder Leroy Sane reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v Arminia Bielefeld in Munich, southern Germany, on November 27, 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

PLAYER RATINGS

Bayern Munich: Neuer 6; Davies 6. Hernandez 5, Upamecano 6, Pavard 5; Tolisso 5, Goretzka 6; Sane 7, Coman 7. Muller 6; Lewandowski 6 Subs: Musiala 6, Gnabry 6, Sule n/a
Arminia Bielefeld: Ortega 7; Schopf 6, Nilsson 6, Pieper 6, Brunner 6; Prieti 5, Vasiliadis 6; Okugawa 7, Wimmer 7, Andrade 5; Klos 6 Subs: Hack 6, Lasme 5, Fernandez 5, De Medina 5, Serra n/a

KEY MOMENTS

6' - OFF THE LINE! Andrade clears after Muller headed Coman's cross goalwards. Brillisnt break imvolving Davies.
71' - GOAL! Sane breaks the deadlock! Superb finidh from the edge of the area.
78' - OFF THE BAR! Gnabry crashes a shot against the woodwork.

KEY STATS

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