MManuel Neuer has been the hero on so many events however right here, he very practically discovered a brand new approach to be so. His ninety fifth minute header from Joshua Kimmich arrowed in the direction of the nook however his reverse quantity, the excellent Rafał Gikiewicz, twisted on his line and dived to push it away together with his left hand. Seconds later, Neuer lurched at the ball after Alphonso Davies lifted it again in, and Gikiewicz palmed away once more, to the fevered acclaim of his teammates. The plaudits belonged to the Polish goalkeeper, slightly than the German one, this time.
But since when had been Bayern lowered to this? Neuer’s very presence in the Augsburg penalty space, as Bayern Munich sought desperately to slide out of a primary defeat of the Bundesliga season, was an admission of desperation. They weren’t capable of however that their extremely adorned final line of protection was nearly capable of make the distinction at the different finish was jarring. One of the headlines in Bild on Sunday didn’t miss the alternative to focus on that Neuer had extra efforts heading in the right direction than Sadio Mané in a deflating loss to native near-neighbors, an hour to the north-west of Munich, who could have established themselves in the prime flight however do not need the stature to be described even notionally as rivals.
The second half of Tuesday’s Champions League victory over Barcelona had soothed the simmering disquiet round Bayern after three straight Bundesliga attracts. This extension of the home winless run to 4 turned the quantity of these dissenting voices all the method as much as 11, louder than ever. Robert Lewandowski’s spurning of a collection of probabilities in the first half of his first return to Allianz Arena had performed Julian Nagelsmann – with whom he did not at all times see eye-to-eye – a favor, permitting the coach parity by which to tighten up at half-time, to rearrange and to go on and win the recreation. That Lewandowski had recovered from his midweek frustrations to bag one other couple of La Liga objectives in a stroll of a Barcelona win over Elche didn’t escape Bavarian gazes.
After such a outcome, the gap left by Lewandowski’s departure, actual or perceived, yawns bigger than life, fueling craving for an easier time when all the pieces was clearer. Lewandowski performs, Lewandowski scores. Mergim Berisha’s sensible end for Augsburg’s winner at the different finish simply earlier than the hour, giving Enrico Maaßen’s males a not undeserved win, was solely one in every of a collection of pointers in the direction of the view that the Big Number Nines Rule is OK.
This, paired with the drama of Bayern trying human, all glosses over some precise information; that Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic, who each made clear their displeasure with the efficiency and outcome after the recreation, are proud of the composition of the squad, that Nagelsmann’s soccer is extra set to flourish with no extra conventional quantity 9, and that Bayern had 19 pictures on objective with out making them depend, simply as Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Yann Sommer had made a Bundesliga-record 19 saves in opposition to Bayern at the begin of this irritating winless run.
Yet simply as Nagelsmann retains the confidence of the membership – and they really want this to work having spent a world document €25m to interrupt him out of his RB Leipzig deal final yr – he’s sensible sufficient to know that each one the good course of in the world means little if the outcomes will not fall. It’s not dangerous sufficient but for Thomas Tuchel to essentially loom in the background, however having a current German Champions League winner in the background shouldn’t be preferrred for Nagelsmann. “It would not actually matter what I reply now,” he stated in response to the query of whether or not his group nonetheless wanted Lewandowski. “If I say no, then he says he would not see the downside. If I say sure, then everybody’s going to jot down he misses Lewandowski.”
Statistically, you may see the level of the naysayers. Augsburg, who’ve been an occasional fly in the Bayern ointment in the final decade – simply ask Pep Guardiola – introduced an finish to Bayern’s Bundesliga document run of consecutive scoring video games (86), and if it is not but panic stations, there may be cause to replicate on the worldwide break.
The coach retains the confidence of his superiors. Salihamidzic insisted Nagelsmann’s future was “not a subject” whereas Kahn defended the membership’s recruitment. “We have all the pieces we want,” he stated, and enthused about “our attacking gamers with huge pace.”
Finding readability and cause whereas Bayern are on this run, although, shouldn’t be straightforward. The ambiance round Sunday’s conventional go to to Oktoberfest was strained, and it should take weeks of convincing performances to blow that feeling away. “I’m fascinated about all the pieces,” stated Nagelsmann. “About the scenario. About me. About all the pieces.”
All properly and good, however nuance will at all times be misplaced when Bayern fall wanting their impeccable requirements. And he is aware of it.
Another large title presently in a gap of their very own chance-frittering making are Bayer Leverkusen, held to a 1-1 draw by (nonetheless unbeaten away) Werder Bremen due to Milos Veljkovic’s equalizer in the recreation’s remaining 10 minutes, which adopted a foul error by Lukas Hradecky, who didn’t clear Niclas Füllkrug’s header. With only one win from seven video games thus far, Gerardo Seoane is below stress regardless of the spectacular midweek win over Atlético Madrid in the Champions League.
Union Berlin are in the reverse scenario; they recovered from a second straight Europa League defeat by beating struggling Wolfsburg 2-0 – the inevitable Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker getting on the mark – and retaining the Bundesliga management. Urs Fischer’s facet additionally rejoiced in the return of Timo Baumgartl after recovering from testicular most cancers. “I imagined this throughout chemotherapy,” he stated, “the hardest moments of my life, coming again for this second.”
There was extra historical past for Youssoufa Moukoko, who’s now the youngest Revierderby scorer after approaching as an alternative choice to Borussia Dortmund to steer the winner in opposition to Schalke. His efficiency, filled with urgency, got here from “an anger in my abdomen, as I needed to start out,” the 17-year-old admitted after the recreation. There is a rising perception that he needs to be beginning as an alternative of Anthony Modeste after one other pedestrian show.
The win had been soured by the sorry sight of skipper Marco Reus being stretchered off in the first half with a severe trying ankle harm, with rapid issues over his availability for the World Cup (and poor Reus has been right here earlier than). The preliminary prognosis on Sunday morning was extra promising, with sporting director Sebastian Kehl suggesting he’ll miss “three weeks” slightly than months.
It’s been a troublesome first week answerable for Leipzig for Marco Rose – after assembly one former membership in Dortmund and then touring to Real Madrid in midweek, he took his group to a different former membership in Mönchengladbach, the place he (and ex-Gladbach, future Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl) had been met with chants and banners of such hostility that referee Patrick Ittrich had the latter eliminated, to some consternation, earlier than permitting the match to proceed. This partially overshadowed a second heavy away defeat in 4 days, with Jonas Hofmann’s two objectives for the hosts making it a depressing day all spherical for Rose.