Fri | Apr 19, 2024

Bayern’s title hopes suffer another blow

Published:Saturday | March 2, 2024 | 12:11 AM
Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane (centre) prepares to take a shot during the Bundesliga match between SC Freiburg and Bayern Munich at the Europa-Park Stadium in Freiburg, Germany yesterday.
Bayern Munich’s Harry Kane (centre) prepares to take a shot during the Bundesliga match between SC Freiburg and Bayern Munich at the Europa-Park Stadium in Freiburg, Germany yesterday.

BERLIN (AP):

Bayern Munich’s title hopes have suffered another blow.

Lucas Holer scored late for Freiburg to frustrate Bayern with a 2-2 draw in the Bavarian powerhouse’s 2,000th Bundesliga game yesterday.

Bayern, the 11-time defending champions were on the verge of cutting the gap to league leaders Bayer Leverkusen to five points until the 87th minute, when Holer struck a fine volley with his left boot inside the far post after the visitors failed to clear the ball.

Leverkusen can move 10 points clear at the top with a win at Cologne in their derby on Sunday. Ten rounds remain after this weekend.

“It’s really annoying how things are going right now. For me personally, for everyone,” said Jamal Musiala, who put Bayern in front. “We all want to win and be champions. We want to get titles and we just have to stay as positive as possible and push through, and play as well as possible to maybe (win) something still.”

Bayern next host Lazio on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie, needing to overcome a 1-0 loss from the first leg in Rome.

All four goals yesterday were spectacular.

Freiburg made a better start and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a fine save to stop Roland Sallai’s header, then Sallai hit the crossbar with an overhead kick, and Christian Gunter struck the ball perfectly to send it inside the far post in the 12th.

Tel equalised in the 35th with a strike as sweet as Gunter’s inside the right post. The 18-year-old French forward, making a rare start because of Leroy Sané’s injury, flicked the ball inside with his first touch and dispatched it past Freiburg keeper Noah Atubolu with his next.

Bayern were better after the break, when Atubolu saved from Musiala and Holer needed to clear Harry Kane’s header off the line.

Musiala scored in the 75th when he weaved through three Freiburg defenders and curled his shot inside the far post.

“It’s just instinct,” Musiala said. “You look to see what possibilities arise, with dribbling, with head, a change of movement, and see what you can create. Everything is seeing in the moment, what can I do.”

But Holer had the final say to cost Bayern potentially decisive points in the league title race.

“Mindlessly played first half hour and punished for it. Came back with an individual action. Nothing else was possible at the time and the second half was OK then. But sure, in the end, one half is not enough,” Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel said after his second game since his end-of-season departure was announced.