March 24, 2023

Beaten on the lawn of Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) on two penalties awarded by the VAR, Bayern Munich ceded the chair of the German championship to Borussia Dortmund on the evening of the 25th day on Sunday.

Nine days before the end of the season, the ten-time reigning German champion is one point behind Borussia Dortmund, a clear winner on Saturday evening in Cologne (6-1).

After the international break of about ten days, the leading duo have an appointment on Saturday April 1 (6.30 p.m.) at the Allianz Arena in Munich for the Klassiker of the German championship, which promises to be decisive this season for the attribution of the title.

In the pouring rain in the BayArena, the match changed in the second half on two decisions by referee Tobias Stieler, reversed by the VAR.

Launched in depth by Florian Wirtz in the 53rd minute, Amine Adli fell into the penalty area and received a yellow card for a simulation. Adli threw his shoe in rage, lost in the duel with Benjamin Pavard.

After watching the video, the referee logically indicated the penalty spot, because of a clear contact between Adli and Pavard, and removed the yellow from Adli.

Identical situation twenty minutes later. Adli is touched by Dayot Upamecano, the referee whistles simulation sanctioned with a yellow and Adli prefers to smile this time. But Tobias Stieler reconsiders his decision again by whistling again penalty, for a contact in the surface on the tackle of Upamecano.

– “Deserved defeat” –

Argentinian Exequiel Palacios converted the two penalties (55th and 73rd) to give Bayer Leverkusen the advantage, while Bayern had opened the scoring, against the run of play in the first period by Joshua Kimmich (22nd) on a strike countered by Odilon Kossounou.

The Munich players tried to come back to score in the last ten minutes, but the Leverkusen defense and its Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky held up against the Munich assault.

“Overall, the loss is unfortunately deserved,” Bayern captain Thomas Müller admitted to broadcaster DAZN after the game. “With the exception of the last ten minutes, we were the worst team. We did not play a good game, there was no power in our game. We deserved to lose”, also conceded Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Here is Bayern in the position of the hunter, he who has so often been in that of the hunted, nine matches from the end of the 2022/23 financial year and while the shock against Dortmund, undefeated in 2023 in the Bundesliga, arrives in less than two weeks.

“We will have to win at all costs, otherwise it will be difficult to clinch the title of champion”, acknowledged Nagelsmann.

The last time Bayern failed to win the title was in the 2011/12 season, as Borussia Dortmund, coached at the time by Jürgen Klopp.

Behind the leading duo, Union Berlin took advantage of Leipzig’s misstep on Saturday, beaten in Bochum (1-0), to take a three-point lead over the Red Bulls (48 against 45) in the race for places qualifying for the next Champions League.

Urs Fischer’s players showed enormous realism on Sunday to dominate Eintrcht Frankfurt (2-0) at home and climb to the Bundesliga podium, nine days from the end.

In the evening, Freiburg was joined in added time on the lawn of Mainz. This draw (1-1) conceded at the very end of the game, however, offers 4th place to Fribourg, with 46 points.

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