Friday, May 25, 2018 | ePaper
Bayern crash to shock defeat at Hoffenheim
Striker Mark Uth netted twice as defending champions Bayern Munich slumped to a shock 2-0 defeat at Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga on Saturday.
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti paid the price for rotating his squad, having started with both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the bench, ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match at home to Anderlecht.
Thomas Mueller started on the right wing but played poorly despite creating two goals in Germany's 6-0 mauling of Norway in World Cup qualifying on Monday.
Bayern stumbled to defeat despite 72 percent possession and 23 shots on goal, while Hoffenheim scored twice from just six efforts.
"We didn't behave well after going 1-0 down," fumed Bayern captain Manuel Neuer.
"We had Hoffenheim completely under control, but we didn't take the lead, that is the problem."
After three games, Bayern are in the unusual position of fifth in the table-for the first time since August 2014.
Hoffenheim are second behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Freiburg.
Hoffenheim took the lead in Sinsheim after catching out the Bayern defence.
Bayern centre-back Mats Hummels cleared the ball, which had bounced out of play, but Andrej Kramaric took a quick throw-in and the defence was slow to react as Uth fired home past Neuer on 27 minutes.
Bayern were furious as two balls were on the pitch for Uth's goal, but the referee dismissed their protests as the ball Hummels had cleared was in the other half of the pitch-nowhere near play.
Hoffenheim doubled the lead when Swiss defender Steven Zuber fired in a cross and Uth was unmarked to drill home on 51 minutes.
Ancelotti threw on Ribery and James Rodriguez, the Colombian making his Bayern debut following his move from Real Madrid, for the final quarter of an hour but to no avail.
Having failed to beat Bayern in their first 17 attempts, Hoffenheim now have back-to-back wins after April's 1-0 home victory.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund could be without injury victims Marcel Schmelzer and Marc Bartra for Wednesday's opening Champions League group match at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur.
The pair picked up ankle and groin injuries respectively in Dortmund's frustrating stalemate at 10-man Freiburg.
Freiburg's Yoric Ravet was sent off on 30 minutes for his tackle on Schmelzer after the video assistant referee spotted the midfielder had gone in studs up.
Schmelzer was stretchered off and taken to hospital.
"It looks worse for Marcel, we will have to wait to see how it looks on Sunday," said Dortmund coach Peter Bosz.
It was the first time Dortmund dropped league points under Bosz.
"I'm disappointed, we had the numerical advantage for an hour, so a draw isn't enough," said Bosz.
It was the first time the VAR, which is being trialled in the Bundesliga this season, prompted a red card in Germany's top flight.
Dortmund's new signing Andriy Yarmolenko made his debut for the final 11 minutes after joining from Dynamo Kiev.
Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng scored his first goal in Germany's top flight for three years as Eintracht Frankfurt won 1-0 at Borussia Moenchengladbach before going off concussed.
Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason hit a hat-trick in Augsburg's 3-0 win at home to struggling Cologne, who are are bottom after three defeats.
New signing Abdou Diallo and midfielder Suat Serdar scored second-half goals as Mainz earned a 3-1 comeback win at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
Wolfsburg drew 1-1 with Hanover 96 after Daniel Didavi's first-half free-kick gave the hosts the lead before Martin Harnik levelled for Hanover.
History will be made on Sunday when Bibiana Steinhaus becomes the first female to referee in Germany's top flight when Hertha Berlin host Werder Bremen.
The 38-year-old will become the first female referee in one of Europe's top leagues and Hertha are offering half-price tickets to women to see the historic moment at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.