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Reaction to Bayern v Mainz

Van Gaal: The first time we’ve played badly

Bayern continue to struggle for form in the Bundesliga. Four days after a morale-boosting win away to Hoffenheim, the champions lost at home for the first time this season to leaders Mainz. Visiting boss Thomas Tuchel said he was “lost for words,” but Louis van Gaal delivered a blunt verdict: “Our problem was our inability to retain possession. Too many of my players were below their normal form.“

Reaction to Bayern v Mainz:

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: “We certainly didn’t play well today. We never got into the game at the start. Mainz ran hard, tackled aggressively, and played with passion. We lacked all these attributes today. We’d hoped to take all three points and make up ground in the table. Instead, we’ve dropped points, and we now need to turn the corner very quickly indeed. A ten-point gap is too much.”

Christian Nerlinger: “In my opinion, there were three main reasons for our defeat: First, our shocking performance. Second, and despite the display, we failed to take our chances. And third, Mainz have come here and played outstandingly well. We can’t be happy in a situation where we only have eight points. Slowly but surely, the alarm bells will start ringing.“

Louis van Gaal: “We had a lot of trouble coping with Mainz’s pressing game. We knew they’d do that, but we couldn’t cope with it and we didn’t turn up for the first 20 minutes. Our problem was our inability to retain possession. And too many of my players were below their normal form. We still managed to create chances. That's the first time we’ve played really badly this season, and all credit to Mainz for that, they were very good when they attacked. I think they can go a long way, and for me, they’re title contenders. But it’s a game we could have won – it’s just that we have to take our chances.“

Thomas Tuchel (Mainz coach): “Winning for the sixth time after winning your last five matches is highly unusual. I’m a little bit lost for words. We’re overjoyed, and all credit to my players. Our plan was to come here and show some courage. Their equaliser was a lucky goal, but you could see it coming. We still defended courageously and high up the field in the second half and tried to maintain our tempo. Szalai’s winning goal was a fantastic strike, but we’re not getting ideas above our station.“

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