In the long-distance duel with Leverkusen, FC Bayern’s own mistake puts them in trouble. The players and coach Tuchel can hardly explain Frankfurt’s total failure.
After the memorable slap from Frankfurt, Thomas Tuchel gave himself and his FC Bayern the worst possible grade. “The entire team performance was inadequate and I count myself among them,” said Tuchel after the 5-1 loss at Eintracht, which was marked by blatant misfires.
After the biggest defeat in his time in Munich, the head coach spoke in a calm tone and with maximum objectivity – but Tuchel’s enormous frustration over the unexpected mistake in the middle of the title race in the Bundesliga was clearly noticeable.
It is a defeat that puts Bayern under additional pressure in the long-distance duel with Bayer Leverkusen before the Christmas break. “The game plan dominates our reaction anyway. We can’t continue playing at this level under any circumstances,” warned Tuchel, whose team had by far their weakest and most flawed performance in a long time in their first league defeat of the season on Saturday.
“Normally we play every three days”
The search for reasons was difficult in Frankfurt’s constant rain, as Bayern had had a strong autumn so far. The long break was given as one explanation after the Munich team recently did not play in the Bundesliga (canceled due to weather) and in the DFB Cup (eliminated in round two).
“That’s certainly one, even if that shouldn’t be an excuse. But it’s very unusual for us not to play for ten days. Normally we play every three days,” said national player Leon Goretzka on ZDF. The rhythm of the team around top striker Harry Kane, who was pale this time, seemed broken. In addition, Bayern made an absurd series of individual mistakes around goalscorer Joshua Kimmich.
“It was far too little,” complained sports director Christoph Freund. The result of the lackluster performance was the goals conceded by Omar Marmoush, double goalscorer Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe, Hugo Larsson and Ansgar Knauff.
The Champions League game at Manchester United on Tuesday (9 p.m./Prime Video) is actually meaningless in terms of sport for the Munich group winners. But it now offers a quick chance for rehabilitation. “We want to show that it was just a slip-up,” said Goretzka.
Tuchel doesn’t want to “hit it”
Bayern had only lost three times this millennium in the Bundesliga by four goals. Twice – Jürgen Klinsmann in 2009 and Niko Kovac in 2019 – the coach was fired from his job at Säbener Straße shortly afterwards. That doesn’t threaten Tuchel this time, but with Frankfurt’s total loss, at least the importance of the year-end spurt against VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg has increased. Another mistake and Bayern could already fall behind in the duel with Leverkusen.
“I have confidence in my team, even if this is a bitter setback for us. There’s no point in beating things up and talking things down now. We’re all in the same boat. We need exactly the virtues that we’ve failed to bring to the pitch.” said the 50-year-old Tuchel. Joker Thomas Müller, who was the only Munich player to answer the questions in the Frankfurt catacombs, spoke of the “anger engine” that now needs to be turned on.
Not particularly keen on interviews
For Tuchel it wasn’t important whether his players had wise words in public about the rough 5-1 defeat. “You have to understand that the players don’t have the greatest desire to explain it today. The answers we give on the pitch are more important than whether we shine in the interview today,” said the coach, who is visible struggled for his own composure and tried to make sober statements. In the stands, Honorary President Uli Hoeneß was one of 58,000 spectators who watched the one-sided spectacle with a grim expression.
Tuchel didn’t have to do any emotional development work in the dressing room. “We play professional football, no one needs to be hugged. At first we are more angry than sad. That is the prevailing state of mind,” reported Tuchel. Müller also didn’t want to go into detail. When asked whether Tuchel was loud and angry in the dressing room, the 34-year-old replied: “That remains internal. They brought in so many adjectives, there must have been something there, otherwise you can film straight in the dressing room. ” The question is “of course okay”.
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