Bayern Munich got their Rückrunde off to a losing start with the 2-1 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach at the Allianz Arena. It’s now the second time Julian Nagelsmann’s side had lost to Borussia Monchengladbach this season, but all of the circumstances were working in Die Fohlen’s favor with the amount of players Bayern didn’t have available through injury or coronavirus. Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davies, Corentin Tolisso, Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman, Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez, Tanguy Nianzou, Bouna Sarr and Omar Richards were all unavailable for selection.
Sven Ulreich had to deputize for Neuer in goal, and while it certainly wasn’t his worst performance for Bayern, it was also nothing to write home about. Arguably, he wasn’t at fault for either Florian Neuhaus’ or Stefan Lainer’s goal, but there were a handful of heart in mouth moments for Bayern that he was involved in. Nagelsmann is not one for making excuses, though, but there were concerns in the buildup to the match that the DFL might choose to postpone it. That was not the case, and speaking after that match, it was something that Ulreich didn’t exactly agree with.
“It is then already a bit irresponsible of the DFL to play such a game, because it is also about the health of the players,” Ulreich said after the match (Sport1). Postponement was being seriously considered, but Bayern’s front office didn’t 100% know if and when that call would be made. Hasan Salihamidzic had reportedly spoken with ‘Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl prior to Friday, but the latter had said that the decision was beyond his control and entirely up to the DFL to make the final call. Eberl had also made note of Bayern’s keenness to try to have the match postponed in his press conference previewing the clash.
“The circumstances were of course very difficult for the squad, also because you never knew if you play now. I don’t know if it was absolutely necessary to play the game,” Ulreich continued. Of course, the DFL was closely monitoring Bayern’s situation as more positive coronavirus cases could’ve popped up in the 24 hours prior to the match, but Ulriech added that it was already increasingly difficult playing with players that rarely ever play in the same unit together. “We had ten field players who are normally with us in training, the rest were from the youth or the 2nd team. That’s why it’s already questionable for me whether you have to play a game like that,” he explained.