Munich – FC Augsburg took the spoils from the Bavarian derby and boosted their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Europa League with a 1-0 away victory over ten-man FC Bayern München.
Reina sent off
The hosts, sporting their new kit for the forthcoming 2015/16 season, had Pepe Reina sent off early on but still carved out numerous chances to score, before Raul Bobadilla settled matters in the second half with a delightful back-heeled goal.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola opted to rest a number of his key players ahead of Bayern’s crucial UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg at home to FC Barcelona on Tuesday, leaving Xabi Alonso, Rafinha, Medhi Benatia and Manuel Neuer on the bench. However, the latter was unexpectedly called into action as early as the 14th minute, coming on for Philipp Lahm after Pepe Reina had been sent off for bringing down Bobadilla in the box.
Augsburg captain Paul Verhaegh had never missed a Bundesliga penalty before today, but his well-struck effort cannoned off Neuer’s left-hand upright and bounced to safety. Despite being a man down, Bayern continued to dominate possession, although they initially struggled to create the same cailbre of chances they had had at the start of the match, when Mario Götze twice went close to breaking the deadlock, even hitting the post himself.
The guests grew bolder as the half wore on, though, and should have taken the lead when the ball fell kindly to Halil Altintop ten yards out, but he miscued his shot and it bobbled wide. At the other end, Bayern were guilty of profligacy too, with Thomas Müller firing over when well placed and Robert Lewandowski hitting the bar after being put clean through.
Worryingly for Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl, Bayern continued to find gaps in his side’s rearguard in the second half too. Thiago’s defence-splitting pass put Lewandowski through on goal once more, only for Marwin Hitz to dash off his line to save, before Juan Bernat was muscled off the ball after Götze’s pass found him in space in the box.
When the breakthrough did come it was no surprise that Bobadilla was the scorer, capping a fine individual performance after tormenting Dante all afternoon. It was Bayern loanee Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg, of all people, who set him up, powering his way down the left to the by-line, before pulling back for the Paraguayan, whose cheeky back-heeled flick beat Neuer.
Bayern pressed their visitors for a late equaliser, going close through Jerome Boateng’s drive from distance, but they were ultimately unable to muster the goal they needed and fell to a fourth straight competitive defeat.
Jonathan Stockitt reporting from the Allianz Arena
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