Prior to Bayern Munich’s 2-1 loss to Mainz 05 on Saturday, the fixture looked like the perfect opportunity for the Bavarians to wrap up what has been a long, arduous, and draining Bundesliga season with a ninth consecutive championship.
Mainz 05 had other plans, though, as it came out throwing haymakers from the opening whistle and really never stopped peppering Bayern Munich with a steady flow of jabs in an effort to keep the league leaders off-balance and uneasy.
Whatever Bo Svensson drew up for Mainz 05 worked and Bayern Munich was left — collectively — gasping for air and with their hands on their hips just waiting for the final whistle.
A championship-worthy showing, it was not.
This defeat, however, probably had less to do with the tactics of Mainz 05 then just how weary the Bayern Munich roster is. Fatigue is a bastard and it’s real — even for some of the world’s best athletes.
It was very obvious to everyone — including Thomas Müller — that Bayern Munich was “off” from the get-go. Unfortunately, in the world of sports, there is not much room for “not feeling great” when facing any opponent.
While Mainz 05 was great, collective fatigue was the real victor over Bayern Munich. With a built-in week off to get rested and get right, there is no doubt that the Bavarians will emerge from this cocoon of lethargy even stronger.