It might not have been as bad as the 5-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal, but Bayern Munich’s 4-2 loss at VfL Bochum was certainly up there for one of the worst collectively performances of the season thus far.
After Robert Lewandowski fired Bayern into the lead in the ninth minute of play, Bochum responded with four first half goals from Christopher Antwi-Adeji, Jurgen Locadia, Cristian Gamboa, and Gerrit Holtmann, sending shockwaves throughout the Bundesliga. It was a slightly better effort from Bayern in the second half and Lewandowski pulled one back in the 75th minute, but it was just too little too late from Julian Nagelsmann’s side.
Nagelsmann again chose to start with an attack-heavy lineup, starting Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman, but it didn’t have exactly have the same effect as it did in the wins over Hertha Berlin and RB Leipzig. Joshua Kimmich was the lone central midfielder in the lineup before Corentin Tolisso came into the fray for Dayot Upamecano to start the second half.
Speaking after the match, Kimmich was noticeably irritated with the overall performance in Bochum. “We showed our worst performance of the season today, we missed all the virtues to win a game. Once that happens, it’s manageable. But that has happened before against ‘Gladbach. We have to be careful! We have to ask ourselves if that’s the mentality that FC Bayern embodies,” he stressed (Tz).
For Kimmich, it wasn’t just the performance itself that was cause for concern, but also the body language and mentality of his teammates, both of which he felt were poor. “With such an attitude, such a body language, this has nothing to do with tactics or a game plan. We have to question ourselves and ask ourselves whether that’s the mentality of FC Bayern. It’s happening too often now — I didn’t see anything like this at FC Bayern before,” he said (via @iMiaSanMia on Twitter).
The loss was certainly a wake up call for Bayern ahead of the Champions League knockout stages. Bayern travels to take on RB Salzburg in the round of 16 next week. They still have a cushion at the top of the Bundesliga table, but Kimmich stressed that Bayern cannot be affording these types of slip-ups in either the league or Champions League. “Luckily it was a Bundesliga game and we’re nine points ahead. But now we’re going to play in the Champions League next week. This must not happen to us again. Nevertheless, we have to admit that it was a deserved defeat today,” he said.
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