It was not a good day at the office for Bayern Munich after Hoffenheim struck twice against the run of play and stunned the visitors, 2-0. The home side had gone 17 matches without a win against the defending champions and now has defeated Bayern on two straight occasions.
Bayern trotted out a 4-2-3-1 but it was Hoffenheim that used a new formation, a rather unconventional 5-3-2, as their star striker Sandro Wagner was out injured. Instead it was Mark Uth who provided the offensive firepower with two goals to propel Hoffenheim to the victory.
There were several milestones in the match, one being the 400th Bayern Munich appearance for Thomas Müller.
James Rodriguez also made is Bundesliga debut in the match, playing the final 12 minutes.
It seemed as if the first half was almost more of a kick-around for the Bavarians with no real sense of urgency going forward and Bayern dominating possession while Hoffenheim looked a bit unsettled.
Robert Lewandowski managed to graze the crossbar following a short square ball from Müller in the seventh minute. Aside from a few dangerous crosses from Kingsley Coman that was really it from either side until the game changed in the 27th minute.
It started with Mats Hummels misreading a ball slightly over his head and heading it out of bounds rather than controlling it and providing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer with a simple back pass. Hummels then blasted the ball upfield, even though it had clearly gone out, in attempts to slow down the play. The plan backfired as Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramarić raced over and picked up another ball and provided an on target throw to a streaking Mark Uth who buried a left-footed rocket near post past Neuer.
Hummels was left standing, arguing with the officials that the throw should not have been permitted as there was a second ball on the field. Javi Martinez lolly gagged his way back defensively and was completely out of the play. Rafinha tried to cover the ground from his left back position but was simply too far away. Even Neuer raised his hand after the goal asking it not to count.
It was Hoffenheim’s quick thinking that put them in front and Bayern has nobody to blame but themselves for their lackadaisical performance on the goalscoring play.
From that point on Hoffenheim gained more confidence and finished up the first half strong. They even had the next best goal scoring opportunity with Steven Zuber’s powerful shot parried away by Neuer in the 42nd minute.
There was still not enough urgency from the away side as the second half got underway aside from a Coman chance when he ran on to a nice through ball from Rafinha in the 50th minute and had a great look at goal with his right foot but blasted it over the top.
It was only one minute later that Hoffenheim struck again. Joshua Kimmich, who had hardly played a bad touch in the match to this point, misjudged a long ball and his resulting header saw Müller lose a duel with Nadiem Amiri and a couple of quick passes later Uth had his second goal of the night.
Bayern immediately brought on Arjen Robben for the more defensive-minded Sebastian Rudy, pushing Müller from the right wing to his more preferred central location. However, nothing seemed to be working and Bayern didn’t really get any real scoring opportunities.
The two final substitutions in the 78th minute of Franck Ribéry and James Rodriguez brought on even more offensive weapons but the only time that Bayern threatened was a Martinez header that went straight to the goalkeeper off a James free kick.
Even though Hoffenheim barely touched the ball for the final fifteen minutes of regulation plus five minutes of extra time it just never felt like Bayern would get back into the match. And they didn’t.
Manuel Neuer summed it up afterwards in this tweet:
Hoffenheim: Uth (27’), Uth (51’)
Hoffenheim: Hübner (30’), Zuber (63’), Kadeřábek (65’)
Bayern: Hummels (95’)
Hoffenheim XI: Baumann - Kadeřábek, Bičakčić, Nordveit, Hübner, Zuber (Schulz, 69’), Demirbay, Geiger (Polanski, 63’), Amiri, Uth (Ochs, 75’), Kramarić
Bayern XI: Neuer - Kimmich, Martinez, Hummels, Rafinha (Ribéry, 78’), Tolisso, Rudy (Robben, 57’), Thiago, Müller (Rodriguez, ‘78), Coman, Lewandowski