Palacios' Late Penalty Saves Leverkusen in 2-2 Draw vs. Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen staged a dramatic comeback against Bayern Munich, securing a 2-2 draw with a stoppage-time penalty from Exequiel Palacios and ending Bayern's winning streak. This result left both teams level at the top of the standings with 10 points.
The match delivered on its promise of excitement, with Palacios thundering in a crucial penalty after Alphonso Davies fouled Jonas Hofmann. Bayern had taken the lead in the 86th minute when Leon Goretzka tapped in a goal after excellent initial play by substitute Mathys Tel.
Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel commented on the game, saying, "I was happy with the start but after that Leverkusen were better. Then at the end of the first half, we had some huge chances to score. The result is fair. But if you take the lead in the 86th, you should get the three points even if a draw would be the fair result."
Tuchel expressed concerns about his team's performance, stating, "We struggled once more to maintain the level throughout, to remain stable. Our attacks became shorter and more hectic. Even at times when we struggle, we have to be more compact."
The early lead belonged to Bayern when Harry Kane, left unmarked, headed the ball into the far post, notching his fourth goal of the campaign. However, Leverkusen quickly responded, applying high pressure and making it difficult for Bayern to maintain possession.
Leverkusen's persistence paid off with a free-kick opportunity at the edge of the box, which Alejandro Grimaldo expertly curled into the top corner in the 24th minute. Striker Victor Boniface posed a constant threat to Bayern's defense, missing multiple chances to take the lead.
Leverkusen's goalkeeper, Lukas Hradecky, played a pivotal role in keeping his team level, making several superb saves towards the end of the first half.
Both teams continued their intense play in the second half, with Hradecky denying Kane in a one-on-one situation, while Bayern's Sven Ulreich blocked a Jeremie Frimpong shot from point-blank range.
Leverkusen maintained control of the game, with Florian Wirtz hitting the post in the 79th minute and Victor Boniface missing an opportunity shortly after.
However, it was Bayern who seemed to have sealed the victory when Mathys Tel weaved past Leverkusen's defense to set up Goretzka's goal.
In the dying moments, Leverkusen capitalized on a defensive mistake by Davies, earning a last-minute penalty after a VAR review. Palacios stepped up and calmly converted the spot-kick, securing a valuable point for his team in a thrilling encounter.