Dhe Bayern Munich debacle began with a corner kick. And some would probably remark: what a fitting punchline!
Almost 64 minutes had been played in the arena of the German soccer champions when Joshua Kimmich stood in the corner of the stadium where he had stood so often this season, where he had taken small, quick steps so often, where he had already often kicked the ball. And in these weeks and months, in which the team from Munich stumbles through the season, it has become a symbol of lack of ideas (which of course cannot only be blamed on the player who snips the ball in the middle).
Now, in the 64th minute of this 33rd matchday, Joshua Kimmich took those small, quick steps again. And when he then kicked the ball and the ball flew into the penalty area, the debacle began in the arena, which might have been the arena of the German soccer champions for the last time this Saturday.
RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban headed the ball out of the penalty area where teammates Christopher Nkunku and Konrad Laimer got the better of Kingsley Coman and Jamal Musiala. And when Laimer then stormed off with the ball, he had three teammates at his side – and only two opponents in front of him: João Cancelo and Yann Sommer, the goalkeeper. A few seconds later it was 1-1. And by then, at the latest, the 75,000 football fans in the arena had to have the strong feeling that things could really go wrong for FC Bayern.
Then it went wrong too.
In the next few minutes, the players from Leipzig repeatedly stormed the ball into Bayern’s penalty area, where they first provoked a foul (Benjamin Pavard against Nkunku) and then a handball (Noussair Mazraoui). The good referee Deniz Aytekin did what he had to do: he pointed twice at the penalty spot without hesitation, where Nkunku (76th minute) and Dominik Szoboszlai (86th) then shortly afterwards took small, quick steps and kicked the ball – and hit the goal.
So a 1:0 became a 1:3. And if Borussia Dortmund wins in Augsburg on Sunday (5.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on DAZN) and finishes first, it looks very much as if more went wrong for the largest German football club that evening than just one Game.
It was obvious that it was going to be a special game for FC Bayern: Because they didn’t win anything in the 90 minutes against Leipzig because of the game plan, but they could lose everything. Coach Thomas Tuchel sent the players who had won 6-0 against Schalke last week into this game. With one exception: he lined up Leon Goretzka for Leroy Sané.
It was the more defensive variant, but it was enough because Leipzig initially had nothing to offer offensively. And because Bayern offered a special goal in this game: left-back João Cancelo started it with a dribbling against two opponents and a centimeter-precise pass between them. Serge Gnabry completed it with a solid and accurate shot that hit the inside post and then into the goal.
So everything ok?
“30 minutes okay,” said Thomas Tuchel when he spoke at the press conference after the game. “Not anymore, but okay. Okay enough to deserve a 1-0 lead.” And after that? His team had a great chance through Coman, who headed the ball wide of the goal after a Cancelo cross from five yards out (39′). Then came the half-time break. And then came the “blatant mistakes”. That’s what Tuchel said. He meant “technical errors, decision errors”. His team had become “sloppy” and no longer “brave”. And then he said a sentence that not only says a lot about his team at the moment, but also about his club: “I can explain what’s missing, but I can’t explain why.”
The officials of FC Bayern sat in the stands, who have long been in need of explanation because of their performance (and the decisions that led to it). One of them: Oliver Kahn, the CEO. “We got a 1-1 draw that I’ve rarely seen,” he later said of Konrad Laimer’s goal in the 64th minute. The game changer. “We’re leading 1-0, have a corner kick and allow ourselves to be countered. (…) We still had plenty of time to make it 2-1. But I didn’t have the feeling that we still had enough in the tank to be able to beat Leipzig.” Nobody had that feeling. On the contrary.
So the game ended 1:3. And so Stephan Lehmann, the stadium announcer, said into his microphone: “You have to let everything sink in first.” At least until Sunday, 5:30 p.m. Then the game of Borussia Dortmund in Augsburg begins. And from a Munich perspective, you will then see whether their game remains the debacle it was on Saturday.
#debacle #Bayern #Bundesliga
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