Bayern Munich is likely to end up with zero major trophies this season after they suffered a major setback in their Bundesliga title defense on Saturday. RB Leipzig came from behind to clinch a 3-1 win against Bayern at Allianz Arena to hand advantage to Borussia Dortmund in the title.
Dortmund clinched a comfortable 3-0 win against Augsburg on Sunday to go two points clear at the top of the table. They need to win the final game of the season against Mainz to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in a decade. Bayern is not completely out of the title race, but they will need a favour from Mainz next weekend and win their game away at FC Koln.
The defeat against RB Leipzig followed a worrying trend for Bayern. The record Bundesliga champions enjoyed a productive first half as Serge Gnabry scored a brilliant goal to give them the lead. However, there was a significant drop in intensity with and without the ball for Die Roten in the second half. RB Leipzig capitalized on this weakness and pounced on three big mistakes from Die Roten in the last 30 minutes of the game.
Bayern has struggled to maintain intensity throughout 90 minutes in crunch games this season. While talking to Sport1 after the defeat against RB Leipzig (via iMiaSanMia), Joshua Kimmich admitted that the team has struggled to play at the same level across both halves for several games this season.
"“It’s happened so often this season that we control the first half, create chances, dominate, score and then suddenly fall apart and give the lead away. We’re making too many mistakes like today. We conceded from our own corner and two penalties.”“It happened to us many times, especially in the second half of the season. We couldn’t bring the same intensity of the first half over the whole game.”"
Bayern capitulated in the second half away at Mainz in April, which didn’t allow them to cement their place at the top of the table. It does feel like the team is fatigued and struggles to carry out the instructions from the coaching staff that they successfully do in the first half of the game.
The first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City in April also followed the same trend. The Bavarian club went toe to toe with Pep Guardiola’s team but failed to convert their chances in the second half. They completely lost the plot in the second half, which saw Man City take control of the tie by clinching a 3-0 victory.
Thomas Tuchel will have to address this problem during the pre-season if Bayern wants to compete on all fronts next season. Losing the Bundesliga title to Dortmund is a big warning and wake-up call for Bayern to raise their performance levels to meet sporting objectives.
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The Bavarian faithful will be hoping for a miracle next weekend. Bayern will need to deliver a good performance at Koln and hope for a favour from Mainz. Even a draw for Dortmund on the final day can help Die Roten clinch the title, provided they win their game against Koln.