Bayern Munich did not look like Bundesliga champions in their 3-1 loss at Mainz. Just a week after winning their tenth straight Bundesliga title, the score line perhaps even flatters Bayern just a bit, as Mainz had plenty of chances to put more than three past Sven Ulreich, who deputized in place of Manuel Neuer in a starting eleven that was only lightly rotated from Julian Nagelsmann. Despite having the lion’s share of possession in the macth, Bayern was out-shot, out-scored, and out-classed by Bo Svensson’s side in what was well and truly three well-earned three points for Mainz.
Speaking after the final whistle, Nagelsmann vented, noting that he felt his side lacked any sort of true passion on the afternoon. The title hangover was evident and the body language was never collectively positive from Bayern, which is something Nagelsmann said he can understand on a human level. “There are too many defeats and also too many in the same way. We always need a certain basic passion in the game, but we didn’t have that today. That’s also human to a certain extent, yet we still wear the logo on our chest. I have to [accept it] (tz).
Bayern’s lack of passion and urgency should, in no way, take away how positive Mainz was. They had 7 shots on target to Bayern’s 1, which was Robert Lewandowski’s 33rd minute consolation goal. Jonathan Burkardt had multiple chances to score more than just once, and his menacing presence was stated early on when he struck both the post and crossbar with an early chance within the opening five minutes of play. Ulreich hardly had a minute to himself and was kept quite busy throughout proceedings. In addition to Burkhardt, Karim Onisiwo and Leandro Barrerio had chances of their own that either struck the woodwork or came within inches of going on.
Putting aside his frustration from how his own side performed, Nagelsmann had high praises for Mainz and the amount of chances they created against Bayern. “Mainz did well, created many chances and deserved to win. Congratulations! We’ll analyze that. We had a very good structure with the ball most of the time. But Mainz had chances for eight, nine goals,” he said.
It’s unclear just how much, if at all, Nagelsmann will continue to make rotations for Bayern’s final two Bundesliga matches of the season against VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg. Regardless, he’ll want to avoid performances like the one put forth in Mainz at all costs and finish the season on a high note.