Bayern Munich succumb to defeat away at Mainz

Bayern Munich struggled against Mainz on matchday 32 in the Bundesliga. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich struggled against Mainz on matchday 32 in the Bundesliga. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) /

The week after clinching the Bundesliga title turned out to be bitter for Bayern Munich. The Bavarian club suffered their fifth defeat of the league campaign on Saturday. Mainz delivered a near-perfect performance to clinch a 3-1 win against Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

The German coach had previously hinted at multiple changes in the team and opportunities for young players. However, the team selection at Mainz was slightly strange. Sven Ulreich came in for Manuel Neuer, but there was no place in the lineup for the likes of Jamal Musiala, Josip Stanisic, and Tanguy Nianzou.

Mainz got off to a great start as they almost opened the scoring from the kick-off. The home side created big chances in the opening ten minutes. They were first to every second ball, which eventually helped them in putting pressure on Die Roten.

The hosts were rewarded for their strong start through a poor mistake from Sven Ulreich. The German goalkeeper played a wrong pass when the team was building play from the back. Mainz pounced on this poor pass and quickly finished the move to get the lead.

After scoring the first goal, Mainz didn’t drop deep. They decided to keep pressing high up the pitch and create chances to increase the lead. The perseverance from Mainz paid off midway through the first. A brilliant setpiece was headed in by Moussa Niakhate to double his team’s lead. Die Roten didn’t tighten the defense and kept on conceding chances to Mainz.

The Bavarian club also struggled at the other end of the pitch. At one point in the first half, Rekordmeister had zero shots, while Mainz already had eight. The German Champions found a way back in the game in the 33rd minute when Robert Lewandowski showed great composure in the box to reduce Mainz’s lead to one goal. Nagelsmann’s team barely looked in first gear, while Mainz deserved to be ahead at halftime.

The German coach made two changes at halftime, as Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala came on for Leon Goretzka and Marcel Sabitzer, respectively. Bayern started the second half strongly as they pinned Mainz in their half and created some good chances.

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However, Mainz found a way to double the lead against the run of play. The hosts executed a swift counter-attack to score the third goal. There was an element of fortune in this goal as Leandro Barreiro’s shot took a wicked deflection to eventually get over the line. As they say, fortune favours the brave. Mainz was the much braver side on Saturday, while Die Roten looked sluggish.

Nagelsmann eventually gave some playing time to Gabriel Vidovic and Josip Stanisic in the second half. The home side had few more chances to score the fourth goal, which included an attempt hitting the crossbar in the 71st minute. Die Roten also had their share of half-chances in the final 30 minutes of the game, but Mainz managed the game well to clinch a memorable victory.