Bayern hits back to beat Hoffenheim

Thomas Muller (L) celebrates scoring Bayern Munich's winner with Franck Ribery.
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Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 and equal a league record of 36 consecutive games without defeat.

Niklas Sule became Hoffenheim's youngest-ever goalscorer when he opened the scoring in the first half, but Franck Ribery brought Bayern level six minutes before the break with a free-kick which took a deflection off team-mate Mario Mandzukic on its way in.

Thomas Muller then snatched victory for Bayern with 15 minutes to go as the Bavarians returned to the top of the Bundesliga.

Mario Gotze made his first start for Bayern since August with Javi Martinez making his first start of the season in the Bayern midfield.

Martinez's first intervention was to clear the ball away from Roberto Firmino, but he also caught the Hoffenheim forward as he entered the area in the 12th minute, although the home side's appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears.

Philipp Lahm was back in his favoured right full-back position, but months as a midfielder had clearly changed his outlook and he led Bayern's first attack minutes later. However, he failed to thread the ball inside Koen Casteels' near post.

Casteels then produced a fine save to deny Muller minutes later as Bayern started to gain control of the game.

Gotze had appeals for a penalty turned down before Martinez guided Bastian Schweinsteiger's free-kick wide from close range.

Having weathered the storm, Hoffenheim broke to take the lead in the 34th minute.

Sule timed the first goal of his career to perfection, taking advantage of Manuel Neuer's flap at a corner to tuck the ball in at the far post.


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Kevin Volland almost added a second in Hoffenheim's next attack, turning past Dante before seeing his shot deflected into the side-netting by the recovering Brazilian. He also tested Neuer as Hoffenheim piled the pressure on the visitors, who were suddenly unable to get out of their own half.

When they did, they levelled.

Ribery's free-kick took a telling deflection off Mandzukic to wrong-foot Casteels, although the Frenchman will have every right to claim the goal for himself.

Any thoughts that Bayern would go on to claim a comfortable win after that goal proved premature, with Hoffenheim coming out boldly in the second half and almost re-taking the lead with a Volland shot that came close to sneaking inside Neuer's near post.

Bayern only need a sniff of goal to score, though, and they went in front with
15 minutes left when Hoffenheim failed to clear their lines. Ribery nudged the
ball through to the unmarked Muller, who scored from five yards out to complete
the turnaround.

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