Thomas Müller was the FC Bayern player who asked himself questions after the embarrassing end in the DFB Cup. And so he stood with a thick jacket but short pants in Kiel in the sleet in front of the microphones of the TV stations. The wind tousled the hair, the flakes came from all directions. And when the served Müller tried to explain what was difficult to explain, he also had to say: “It’s pretty cold here.” It was obvious: The defeat at second division club Holstein Kiel on penalties did not warm the Munich football world at.
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But on the contrary. After a summer of sporting pleasure with five titles won, a completely different wind suddenly blows at the start of 2021. The word crisis is meanwhile used inflationarily in professional football, but is no longer completely exaggerated by the Munich yardstick these days. The team is still in first place in the Bundesliga table and in the round of 16 of the Champions League. But the last convincing win was a while ago. The end in Kiel created irreparable facts for the first time: The title in the DFB Cup this season will certainly not go to Bayern.
“The elimination is brutal, you have to let it sink in first. It is certainly not the best phase for Bayern. It’s disappointing and extremely bitter. We are of course served. You can imagine that the mood is not good, ”said Müller in summary. He rightly pointed out that his team was better than the “underdog” in the first half. But then there was that scene again that has annoyed FC Bayern so often: A long ball simply leverages the far advanced defense. Fin Bartels easily ran away from the Munich defenders and equalized after the goal by Bayern’s Serge Gnabry (14th minute) with a low shot (37th).
The Kielers were thievingly happy about the successful move. Because that’s exactly how they imagined it against the big favorite. Before the game, coach Ole Werner pointed out the defensive weakness of Munich. Not least in the Bundesliga defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday, but also in many previous games, there were astonishing gaps in Bayern’s defense. It is the big topic of this time: German football with its flagship teams FC Bayern and the national team is only partially ready to defend itself.
“At 1-1 we certainly have to put on our shoes that we again did not defend that well,” said offensive force Müller, who had to watch from a distance how the colleagues were once again easily duped. Coach Hansi Flick was also annoyed by the recurring worries: “The last time we conceded it was always the same pattern,” he said. After Leroy Sané’s world-class free-kick goal (47th), Kiel’s advancing defender Hauke Wahl equalized to 2-2 because he was completely free in the Munich six-yard area after a last desperate cross (90th + 5).
Müller complained that luck was “not really on our side today”. But that was only half the story. Gnabry’s opening goal came after a clear offside position. Since there is no support from video assistants in the early phase of the DFB Cup and the helper on the line did not recognize Gnabry’s irregular position after Müller’s header was dropped, the goal counted. If that wasn’t luck. The fact that the ball landed right in front of Gnabry’s feet after the unfortunate defense of Müller’s template by goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios and who only had to insert it was unfortunate for Kiel.
Marc Roca was then unlucky on penalties. The newcomer, who joined Espanyol Barcelona in the second Spanish league, but surprisingly rose to the Champions League winner’s player in the summer, missed Munich’s sixth attempt, while all of Kiel, most recently Bartels, were successful. For the first time in 17 years, Bayern suffered a defeat in the cup against a lower-class team. In 2004 they failed in the quarter-finals at the then second division club Aachen. It was also the first out in the second round in over 20 years. At that time, Oberliga club Magdeburg cheered.
“Of course it’s a shock, we are hugely disappointed,” said an angry coach Flick. “At the moment it’s one of the runs we’re having. We have to look ahead now, we have to work a lot. There’s no excuse either. ”Flick was annoyed by the chronic defensive weakness:“ We made it very clear, we have to secure the center, the middle. ”In total, the Munich team conceded 28 goals in 18 games this season at national level. The last game in this country without a hit from the opponent dated October 24, a 5-0 against Eintracht Frankfurt. Only in the Champions League against a harmless Lokomotiv Moscow has there been a 2-0 since then.
There is not much time left to correct the deficiencies in training. The program in the tightly packed Corona game plan usually provides for more than one game per week. In the Bundesliga, 19 games are pending until May, the Champions League continues with the round of 16 against Lazio Rome in February. In addition, there is the trip to Qatar for the Club World Cup, where another title is to be won. Four dates that the Munich team had recently regularly, including the DFB Cup final in Berlin, are now canceled. Nobody in the Bayern camp wanted to be happy about that.