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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Bayern’s defeat sours the temper and deepens the doubts over Nagelsmann | Bundesliga

Manuel Neuer has been the hero on so many events however right here, he very almost discovered a brand new option to be so. His ninety fifth minute header from Joshua Kimmich arrowed in direction of the nook however his reverse quantity, the excellent Rafał Gikiewicz, twisted on his line and dived to push it away together with his left hand. Seconds later, Neuer lurched on the ball after Alphonso Davies lifted it again in, and Gikiewicz palmed away once more, to the fevered acclaim of his teammates. The plaudits belonged to the Polish goalkeeper, reasonably than the German one, this time.

However since when had been Bayern lowered to this? Neuer’s very presence within the Augsburg penalty space, as Bayern Munich sought desperately to slide out of a primary defeat of the Bundesliga season, was an admission of desperation. They weren’t capable of however that their extremely embellished final line of defence was nearly capable of make the distinction on the different finish was jarring. One of many headlines in Bild on Sunday didn’t miss the chance to spotlight that Neuer had extra efforts heading in the right direction than Sadio Mané in a deflating loss to native near-neighbours, an hour to the north-west of Munich, who might have established themselves within the high flight however don’t have the stature to be described even notionally as rivals.

The second half of Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Barcelona had soothed simmering disquiet round Bayern after three straight Bundesliga attracts. This extension of the home winless run to 4 turned the quantity of these dissenting voices all the way in which as much as 11, louder than ever. Robert Lewandowski’s spurning of a sequence of probabilities within the first half of his first return to Allianz Area had accomplished Julian Nagelsmann – with whom he didn’t all the time see eye-to-eye – a favour, permitting the coach parity by which to tighten up at half-time, to rearrange and to go on and win the sport. That Lewandowski had recovered from his midweek frustrations to bag one other couple of La Liga targets in a stroll of a Barcelona win over Elche didn’t escape Bavarian gazes.

After such a outcome, the opening left by Lewandowski’s departure, actual or perceived, yawns bigger than life, fuelling craving to an easier time when all the things was clearer. Lewandowski performs, Lewandowski scores. Mergim Berisha’s sensible end for Augsburg’s winner on the different finish simply earlier than the hour, giving Enrico Maaßen’s males a not undeserved win, was solely one among a sequence of pointers in direction of the view that Massive Quantity Nines Rule OK.

Augsburg’s Mergim Berisha celebrates the goal that extended Bayern’s spell in the doldrums.
Augsburg’s Mergim Berisha celebrates the aim that prolonged Bayern’s spell within the doldrums. {Photograph}: Hannibal Hanschke/EPA

This, paired with the drama of Bayern trying human, all glosses over some precise details; that Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic, who each made clear their displeasure with the efficiency and outcome after the sport, are proud of the composition of the squad, that Nagelsmann’s soccer is extra set to flourish with out a extra conventional quantity 9, and that Bayern had 19 pictures on aim with out making them rely, simply as Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer had made a Bundesliga-record 19 saves in opposition to Bayern at the beginning of this irritating winless run.

But simply as Nagelsmann retains the boldness of the membership – they usually actually need this to work having spent a world report €25m to interrupt him out of his RB Leipzig deal final yr – he’s sensible sufficient to know that each one the great course of on the earth means little if the outcomes received’t fall. It’s not dangerous sufficient but for Thomas Tuchel to essentially loom within the background, however having a current German Champions League winner within the background is just not preferrred for Nagelsmann. “It doesn’t actually matter what I reply now,” he stated in response to the query of if his crew nonetheless wanted Lewandowski. “If I say no, then it says he doesn’t see the issue. If I say sure, then everybody’s going to jot down he misses Lewandowski.”

Statistically, you may see the purpose of the naysayers. Augsburg, who’ve been an occasional fly within the Bayern ointment within the final decade – simply ask Pep Guardiola – introduced an finish to Bayern’s Bundesliga report run of consecutive scoring video games (86), and if it isn’t but panic stations, there’s cause to mirror over the worldwide break.

The coach retains the boldness of his superiors. Salihamidzic insisted Nagelsmann’s future was “not a subject” whereas Kahn defended the membership’s recruitment. “We’ve got all the things we’d like,” he stated, and enthused about “our attacking gamers with huge pace”.

Discovering readability and cause whereas Bayern are on this run, although, is just not straightforward. The environment round Sunday’s conventional go to to Oktoberfest was strained, and it’ll take weeks of convincing performances to blow that feeling away. “I’m fascinated about all the things,” stated Nagelsmann. “In regards to the state of affairs. About me. About all the things.”

All nicely and good, however nuance will all the time be misplaced when Bayern fall in need of their impeccable requirements. And he is aware of it.

Fast Information

Bundesliga outcomes


Union Berlin 2-0 Wolfsburg, Bochum 1-1 Köln, Hoffenheim 0-0 Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen 1-1 Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Schalke, Augsburg 1-0 Bayern Munich, Stuttgart 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-0 RB Leipzig, Mainz 1-1 Hertha Berlin

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Speaking factors

One other massive title presently in a gap of their very own chance-frittering making are Bayer Leverkusen, held to a 1-1 draw by (nonetheless unbeaten away) Werder Bremen due to Milos Veljkovic’s equaliser within the sport’s last 10 minutes, which adopted a foul error by Lukas Hradecky, who did not clear Niclas Füllkrug’s header. With only one win from seven video games to date, Gerardo Seoane is underneath stress regardless of the spectacular midweek win over Atlético Madrid within the Champions League.

Union Berlin are within the reverse state of affairs; they recovered from a second straight Europa League defeat by beating struggling Wolfsburg 2-0 – the inevitable Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker getting on the mark – and retaining the Bundesliga management. Urs Fischer’s aspect additionally rejoiced within the return of Timo Baumgartl after recovering from testicular most cancers. “I imagined this throughout chemotherapy,” he stated, “the toughest moments of my life, coming again for this second.”

There was extra historical past for Youssoufa Moukoko, who’s now the youngest Revierderby scorer after approaching as substitute for Borussia Dortmund to go the winner in opposition to Schalke. His efficiency, stuffed with urgency, got here from “an anger in my abdomen, as I needed to start out,” the 17-year-old admitted after the sport. There’s a rising perception that he ought to be beginning as an alternative of Anthony Modeste after one other pedestrian show.

The win had been soured by the sorry sight of skipper Marco Reus being stretchered off within the first half with a critical trying ankle damage, with speedy considerations over his availability for the World Cup (and poor Reus has been right here earlier than). The preliminary prognosis on Sunday morning was extra promising, with sporting director Sebastian Kehl suggesting he’ll miss “three weeks” reasonably than months.

It’s been a troublesome first week in control of Leipzig for Marco Rose – after assembly one former membership in Dortmund after which travelling to Actual Madrid in midweek, he took his crew to a different former membership in Mönchengladbach, the place he (and ex-Gladbach, future Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl) had been met with chants and banners of such hostility that referee Patrick Ittrich had the latter eliminated, to some consternation, earlier than permitting the match to proceed. This partially overshadowed a second heavy away defeat in 4 days, with Jonas Hofmann’s two targets for the hosts making it a depressing day all spherical for Rose.

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