BPictures of the angry roaring Manuel Neuer have long since become an integral part of this Bundesliga season. The goalkeeper of Bayern Munich hates goals against. Even during the 3-2 defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach he grumbled and scolded again full of passion, but the emotional state in which the Munich team left their second defeat of the season late on Friday evening seemed surprisingly tidy.
“It is part of football to suffer defeats,” said coach Hansi Flick. “Little things” decided this game, Mönchengladbach was “brutally efficient”. It just happens. Flick did not want to make a drama out of this defeat, which could, however, put the keepers of the famous Munich winner gene in a mood of alarm.
Because the fact that Bayern Munich loses a Bundesliga game after a 2-0 lead is a special rarity, an actually extinct phenomenon. The last time it happened ten years ago at 1. FC Köln, in the end, BVB were German champions with a clear lead. In Mönchengladbach, not even overcoming the much-discussed problem of the past few weeks had given Bayern Munich more stability. For the first time after eight Bundesliga games in which the record champions fell 0-1 behind, they had once again led early. But they did not develop stability from it.
And yet the Munich tried somehow to sell the course of the game as progress, which was surprising. After all, sporting failures of this kind have often led to internal unrest for the record champions. In Mönchengladbach, nobody wanted to be in principle, there were no wake-up calls, no outbursts of anger in front of cameras. Rather, Flick spoke of a “team-based performance” by FC Bayern, which he had seen “apart from three actions”. And as the coincidences of football sometimes want it: Exactly these three actions led to goals conceded.
The communication strategy was clear: They want to protect their inner peace and in the midst of this mentally and physically stressful winter, they don’t want to provide any material for a debate about attitude, mentality and fatigue. But Bayern are currently missing one of their basic traits of the past ten years: this insatiable hunger for success, which does not even subside in the good phases when the team leads 3-0 or 4-0 and has long outstripped all competitors in the table. The joy of working with maximum concentration and energy for 90 minutes in every single game. But this topic from the intimate area of the team remained untreated in the fleetingness of this evening.
The nice thing about a soccer game like this is that it can always be expressed in simple words. “It’s not that difficult to explain: We lose the ball twice where we are not allowed to lose it and we don’t react properly,” said Leon Goretzka. That was a correct analysis. In addition, before the first goal, David Alaba opened the center a little too early, as Flick admitted (36th minute), before the other two goals, Niklas Süle acted a little unhappy: At 2-2, he canceled an offside position of the goal scorer Jonas Hofmann (45 .), before Florian Neuhaus’ 2: 3 he played a bad pass (49th). But they don’t want to go deeper than the causes for the record champions’ chronic instability at the moment.
On the contrary, Thomas Müller even indicated that he was on the way to a solution. After all, they had a major problem under control over the past few weeks. “Today it was different, we allowed other things,” said the attacker. In the course of the season so far, the offensive defense strategy had given Bayern opponents the opportunity to get behind the defensive chain with long balls. “Today we didn’t have many deep duels that we lost, we were actually quite good there,” said Müller. “Today we lost the ball in the forward movement.”
At the same time, however, he admitted that his team only played “half-chances” during the “siege” of the Gladbach penalty area in the second half. And there was no help from the bank either. Flick only made one substitution, but Kingsley Coman, who replaced Douglas Costa mid-way through the second half, was of little help. The fact that he did not change more often was “simply due to the game”, explained Flick. “Everyone who was on the pitch – I had the impression – tried their best to turn the result around”. Apparently the coach doesn’t trust his substitutes very much at the moment. In its overall picture, this appearance by Bayern indicates that there are difficulties that cannot be easily resolved.
Flick, however, highlighted the positives of the performance. The team played football well in the first 30 minutes, said the coach, but recently he was rarely able to say that. A penalty from Robert Lewandowski (20th) and a nice long shot from Goretzka made it 2-0 (26th). But at the moment the Munich team is very rarely able to manage 80 or 90 minutes of good football.