A look at what’s gone wrong at Bayern Munich during worst losing run since 2015

By Sports Desk February 19, 2024

Bayern Munich’s shock defeat to Bochum on Sunday means they have lost three games in a row for the first time since 2015.

England captain Harry Kane’s late goal was not enough to avoid a 3-2 defeat, with Kevin Stoger’s penalty proving decisive.

That followed their 3-0 setback at title rivals Bayer Leverkusen, who now lead the Bundesliga by eight points, and 1-0 Champions League first-leg loss to Lazio.

Coach Thomas Tuchel insisted the Bochum result was “not deserved” after an improved performance but the losing run is the worst, excluding friendlies, since May 2015.

Pep Guardiola’s side on that occasion suffered through a very similar run starting with a 2-0 league defeat to Leverkusen.

Again a Champions League defeat followed – 3-0 to Barcelona in the semi-final first leg, with two late goals from Lionel Messi and one from Neymar – and they then suffered a Bundesliga shock against Augsburg.

Possibly the more appropriate post-match quote came from midfielder Leon Goretzka, who told the club’s website: “It feels like a horror film that doesn’t stop. Everything is going against us.”

The central protagonist in that storyline is defender Dayot Upamecano – remarkably, he has been sent off for conceding the penalties that led to the winning goals for both Lazio and Bochum.

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    Alexander Nubel has signed a new long-term contract with Bayern Munich and has agreed to stay on loan at Stuttgart for the next two years.

    The 27-year-old goalkeeper joined Bayern from Schalke in 2020 and has spent this season on loan with Stuttgart, who are third in the Bundesliga and level on points with Nubel’s parent club.

    Bayern said on their official website: “Alexander Nubel has extended his contract at FC Bayern by a further four years to 30 June 2029, with his original deal set to run until summer 2025.

    “An agreement has also been reached with VfB Stuttgart that he will remain there on loan for another two seasons.”

    Nubel made four senior appearances for Bayern before spending two seasons on loan in France with Monaco and this season established himself as first choice at Stuttgart.

    “I’m very happy about this decision and the trust that FC Bayern has shown in me,” Nubel said. “At the same time, I feel very good in Stuttgart. I want to enjoy success with VfB and take my next steps personally.”

  • Unai Emery: Plenty of work for Aston Villa to do in second leg Unai Emery: Plenty of work for Aston Villa to do in second leg

    Aston Villa boss Unai Emery knows his side have plenty of work to do in next week’s Europa Conference League quarter-final second leg in Lille.

    Villa will travel to France with a 2-1 advantage thanks to first-leg goals from Ollie Watkins and John McGinn gave the on-looking Prince of Wales something to cheer about.

    But Lille showed they are no pushovers and Bafode Diakite’s late header kept the tie alive after they had been repelled by an impressive performance from Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

    Villa must now go to northern France next week and finish the job if they are to make their first European semi-final since they won the European Cup in 1982.

    That will not be an easy task as the French football federation have postponed Lille’s Ligue 1 game this weekend to give them extra time to prepare and they have only been beaten once at home all season.

    Emery, who celebrated his 1,000th game as a manager, said: “Difficult match, we are ready to play another 90 minutes, we played the first 90 minutes, we didn’t control the game like we wanted and defensively we were doing more work than we prepared for because we wanted to control the game with our positioning.

    “With the respect we have got for them, they showed it.

    “The result is tight, but more or less it was a fine for both teams. Now another 90 minutes, enjoy playing in Europe, enjoy playing a quarter-final.

    “Be ready to play 90 minutes, even extra time, even a penalty shootout because now it is in this moment everything is difficult.”

    Lille boss Paulo Fonseca, who almost took over at Newcastle and Tottenham in the last few years, felt Watkins’ goal should have been disallowed for a foul by Morgan Rogers on Ismally.

    “I don’t understand what is going on, it was a foul on the first goal,” he said.

    “I understand it is difficult for the referee with VAR it is just incredible they miss these things. It’s not good what is going on in football, the referees must look at what is going on in the moment.

    “A lot of matches, it is not football, it is blocking like in basketball. The first goal was a clear foul, a clear block. Being physical is one thing, fouling is another.”

    However, after the way they created chances at Villa Park, Fonseca knows the tie is very much alive.

    “We created the opportunity to get a better result,” he added. “I’m satisfied with the courage of my players but at the end of the day, we’ve lost.

    “I know that it’s difficult match, they’ve got great players, a great coach and a lot of experience so they have certain advantages but I must continue to believe it’s possible.”

  • Jurgen Klopp says losing to Atalanta at Anfield a ‘low point’ for Liverpool Jurgen Klopp says losing to Atalanta at Anfield a ‘low point’ for Liverpool

    Jurgen Klopp called Thursday’s 3-0 home defeat to Atalanta a “low point” in Liverpool’s season as their Europa League hopes were left hanging by a thread.

    Liverpool looked flat throughout the quarter-final first leg and ended the night perhaps fortunate Atalanta had not taken one of the many late chances they had to add to a lead given to them by Gianluca Scamacca’s brace and a late Mario Pasalic goal.

    Harvey Elliott hit the post in the first half and Mo Salah had a goal ruled out for offside in the second, but Liverpool lacked the spark needed to beat a well-organised Atalanta side, who will be confident of finishing the job next Thursday in Bergamo.

    Before Klopp can think about that match, he must lift his players for Sunday’s visit of Crystal Palace in the tight battle at the top of the Premier League table.

    “It was a really bad game, oh my God,” Klopp said after Liverpool’s first home defeat in nearly 14 months.

    “We started well, really well and then didn’t continue. They broke, they scored and we just lost the plot a little bit. We were here and there in midfield, I didn’t recognise it.

    “It was really strange but in football terms it was tactical discipline. There was a big chance for Darwin (Nunez) and then it was unlucky with Harvey, but they scored and we kept playing into their hands.

    “We played a bad game and we we deserved to lose. We must feel that now but we have exactly this night to feel bad about it and then we have to build up for Palace.”

    Klopp made six changes to his side following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United, but his bid to freshen up the side failed, and their chances of ending the German’s reign with a showpiece final in Dublin have taken a huge hit.

    “I believe it’s not the moment to talk about that,” Klopp said when asked if the tie was still alive. “I’m not in the mood to think about the game in a week’s time when we have another in between.

    “Definitely we have to try, we want to win the game but now is not the moment to have a big mouth. We have to play a really good game.

    “Where we are, this is probably a low point for us performance-wise so it should be possible to play a little bit better and we can play a lot better. But first and foremost it’s about Sunday now.”

    The final whistle brought huge celebrations for Atalanta and their travelling fans. Gian Piero Gasperini said he wanted to enjoy the moment, but warned the job is only half done.

    “Tonight was amazing,” he said through a translator. “I didn’t make any changes until 10 minutes to go and the only one change because it is hard to touch something about a team that held until the 90th minute in the best way.

    “Such a victory, it’s OK to celebrate but we all know we ill have to conquer everything in seven days’ time in Bergamo because Liverpool is a really strong team and they can score goals quickly.

    “We will have to play another very precise game in every aspect and repeat tonight’s game because everything remains to be played. But our advantage makes us hope for the best.”

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