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'Worst game of the season'

Bayern’s challenging quest for form

Even a newcomer to football would have recognised the Bayern players’ frustration as they trudged from the Allianz Arena pitch on Saturday evening, largely wordless and with their heads down. The disappointment was clearly written on the stars’ faces after the 2-1 defeat to surprise league leaders FSV Mainz, the champions’ second loss in just six matches so far.

“We played very badly today. I think it was the first game where we have to hold up our hands and say we were poor, and we got what we deserved,” acknowledged Thomas Müller after the match in front of a full house at the Allianz Arena, where the home side played “one of our worst games under this coach,” as Miroslav Klose reflected.

“We weren’t up for it today, too many players didn’t perform to their norm,” boss Louis van Gaal declared, praising the visitors’ display: “Mainz played like a team, we had a lot of trouble with their pressing.” On the other hand, Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel was speechless (“I can’t find the words, I need some time to digest this”), but the decision-makers at Bayern were far from tongue-tied, and chose not to mince their words either.