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Julian Nagelsmann comments on substitute confusion in Bayern Munich’s 4-1 win at SC Freiburg

Bayern’s dominance on the pitch was slightly overshadowed by a bizarre substitution error in the second half

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Bayern Munich continued right where they left off before the international break with a commanding 4-1 win over SC Freiburg in the Black Forest. Goals from Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Marcel Sabitzer were enough to see that Nils Peterson’s strike just seconds after coming on as a sub was nothing more than a consolation goal. After a tightly contested first half that ended goalless, the match opened up significantly in the second half and changes from both Christian Streich and Julian Nagelsmann sparked life into their respective sides for what was a throughly entertaining second half.

The second half, however, was highlighted by a bizarre substitution error from Bayern. In the 84th and 85th minute, Sabitzer and Niklas Sule came on to replace Coman and Corentin Tolisso, but Coman did not exit the pitch when he was supposed to. It’s since been confirmed that the wrong squad number (29) was distributed to and displayed on the electronics board by the officials on the touchline instead of Coman’s correct number, 11. This is why he did not come off the pitch at the right time and technically touched the ball after said error was made, leaving room for Freiburg to launch an appeal o the DFB for the official result.

Speaking after the match, Nagelsmann admitted that was an honest mistake between Bayern’s team manager Kathleen Kruger and the officiating staff. “It was confused. Coco went in, I think, to the toilet. Then there was a mix-up. Then the wrong number was on the board, not Kingsley’s eleven. Mistakes happen,” he said (tz).

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It was Freiburg’s Nico Schlotterbeck who notified the referee that there was, temporarily, 12 men on the pitch for Bayern. Once this was confirmed, the match was paused for about five minutes as deliberations went on between Bayern’s staff, Freiburg’s staff, some of the players, and the officials. Ultimately, after the extended pause, the referee just awarded a drop ball restart to Freiburg, who had been in possession prior to the infringement being whistled.

It remains to be seen what, technically, will come from this minor error, but Nagelsmann was in a bit of a joking mood on the matter after securing the three points away from home. “From the point of view of both teams, from the point of view of a fair sport, there was nothing to say it wasn’t fair. You make a good play here and afterwards everyone is standing there asking about the rulebook. I never paid attention to rules anyway - little joke, nice salute to Lutz Wagner,” he jokingly explained.

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