Created on 28-03-2010 at 00:00 AM
Daniel van Buyten shook his head at the throng of reporters, Christian Nerlinger waved the journalists away, and Uli Hoeneß simply remained tight-lipped. The atmosphere in the mixed zone at the Allianz Arena indicated that Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to VfB Stuttgart was not just one of those mishaps which befall Bayern a couple of times per season. The Munich camp’s worst fears were realised and the mood duly worsened a few hours later, when Schalke beat Leverkusen 2-0 in the evening game and replaced FCB at the top of the league.
“We’ve lost and we’re no longer the leaders, so it’s no wonder tempers are frayed,” revealed Philipp Lahm after Sunday training. “It hurts a lot,” Louis van Gaal acknowledged on Saturday after watching his men slip to a second Bundesliga defeat on the bounce. However, following an energy-sapping 120-minute cup fight with Schalke in midweek, the coach moved to defend his men: “I can’t say my players didn’t give it everything. I’d like to thank my players for the effort they put in today.”