Bayern Munich capitulate away at Mainz in Bundesliga

Disappointed Bayern Munich players applauding fans after 3-1 defeat against Mainz. (Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)
Disappointed Bayern Munich players applauding fans after 3-1 defeat against Mainz. (Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Things go from bad to worse for Bayern Munich this week as they lose ground in the Bundesliga title race. The Bavarian club conceded three goals in the second half away at Mainz to suffer their third defeat in the last two weeks. The defeat on Saturday leaves Bayern second in the points table, trailing Borussia Dortmund by a point.

Thomas Tuchel made several changes from the 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Wednesday. Benjamin Pavard sat out of the game due to suspension. Tuchel played a back three of Josip Stanisic, Dayot Upamecano, and Matthijs de Ligt, with Alphonso Davies and Joao Cancelo in the wing-back positions. Sadio Mane led the attack in the absence of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, while Thomas Muller returned to the starting lineup.

Bayern started the game fairly well as they dominated the possession and pinned Mainz in their half. They had a goal ruled out in the 15th minute, but it felt like the first goal was just a matter of time since they had complete control of the game.

The breakthrough for Bayern eventually came in the 29th minute as Sadio Mane headed past Robin Zentner. It was an inch-perfect cross from Joao Cancelo to set up the Senegalese forward. Die Roten created some half chances in the remaining 20 minutes of the first half, but Mainz defended well to make sure that they were only one goal down at half-time.

Mainz responded strongly early in the second half by creating good chances. Bayern looked lethargic on and off the ball, giving the home side the hope of getting the equalizer. Thomas Muller came close to scoring the second goal at the hour mark, but it was all about Mainz in the early exchanges of the second half.

The home side’s perseverance eventually paid off in the 65th minute. Bayern failed to clear the ball in the box after a dangerous delivery from the setpiece by Mainz. Yann Sommer parried the ball straight to Ludovic Ajorque near the goal. The French forward hammered the ball past Sommer to score the equalizer for the home side.

Ajorque’s goal was the start of a disastrous spell of 15 minutes for Bayern. They lost their defensive shape and allowed Mainz to not only come back in the game but seal the victory to get all three points. A long ball from the back found Ajorque in the box. The French forward headed the ball in the path of Leandro Barreiro. The 23-year-old midfielder had so much time in the center of the box to calmly slot the ball past Sommer.

Mainz didn’t stop at scoring the second goal. They got the crucial third goal in the 78th minute to put the game past Bayern. Aaron Martin scored a stunner from the left flank to put the icing on the cake for the hosts. The Spaniard picked out the bottom right corner with a ferocious strike after cutting inside on his left foot.

Next. Takeaways from CL exit against Man City. dark

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Bayern had no answers to Mainz’s incredible comeback in the second half. They couldn’t create chances after conceding three quick goals. Things are now out of Bayern’s hands in the title race, with six games left in the Bundesliga. Die Roten needs to improve sooner rather than later to stop this slump and retain the league title.