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Bayern Munich get help from VAR to see off Leverkusen in Bundesliga opener

Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski (R) celebrates scoring from the penalty spot with his teammates during the German First division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern...

Bayern Munich kicked off the Bundesliga season with a 3-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in which the defending champions were awarded a penalty by the league’s new video assistant referee (VAR) system.

Bayern led 2-0 at half-time through goals from the debutants Niklas Süle and Corentin Tolisso, before torrential rain delayed the start of the second half. When play resumed, Tobias Stieler awarded the hosts a penalty for Charles Aránguiz’s foul on Robert Lewandowski after referring the decision to the VAR.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are chasing their sixth consecutive league title this season and began in imperious fashion, with Süle giving Bayern the lead after nine minutes. His fellow new arrival Sebastian Rudy picked out his former Hoffenheim team-mate from a free-kick, leaving the centre-back a simple header.

Nine minutes later Tolisso, Bayern’s record signing from Lyon, pounced after an error from the Leverkusen goalkeeper, Bernd Leno, to double Bayern’s advantage, turning in an Arturo Vidal shot from close range after Leno failed to clear a corner.

Bayern continued to dominate as rain began, with Leno getting a touch to Tolisso’s shot and turning it on to a post. At the other end Sven Ulreich denied both Karim Bellarabi and Kevin Volland with his feet.

Leverkusen began the second half strongly, with the substitute Julian Brandt making an impact going forward, before Lewandowski appealed for a penalty, claiming Aránguiz had pulled his shirt in the penalty area. Stieler initially waved play on before consulting the league’s VAR centre, based 350 miles away in Cologne and being used in a Bundesliga match for the first time.

The referee then awarded the penalty, with replays showing that the Leverkusen midfielder, who was also booked, had held back the Bayern striker. Lewandowski converted the penalty, drilling the ball to Leno’s left.

With the game to all intents won, the defending champions allowed their opponents more opportunities, with Joshua Kimmich clearing off the line before Admir Mehmedi scored, finishing off a counter-attack with a powerful shot after 65 minutes.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Niall McVeigh, for The Guardian on Friday 18th August 2017 21.55 Europe/London

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