Leipzig defeat "not a disaster" for Bayern
All runs must come to an end at some point. Bayern experienced that for themselves in Leipzig on Sunday evening. After 18 competitive games without defeat, six straight away wins in the Bundesliga and nearly three years without losing on a Sunday, the German record champions were beaten 2-1 by the Saxons in their 900^th^ Bundesliga away match. For the Reds, it was also their first loss in almost four months.
"Today we came up against a side who were very energetic and aggressive. You have to say Leipzig were deserved winners," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes after the game at the sold-out Red Bull Arena. "There are games like this when you're not at your best. We have to fight for our victories, we faced excellent opponents today. We have to acknowledge that."
"It wasn't our day," summarised sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. Despite taking an early lead in the 12^th^ minute through Sandro Wagner, Bayern struggled to find their usual rhythm. "We didn't start well -- in fact we didn't play well for the first hour. Leipzig were more purposeful today," continued Salihamidzic. Naby Keita (37') and Timo Werner (56') turned the game in the hosts' favour as they recorded their first ever win over the champions.
"We didn't win as many challenges after going 1-0 up," criticised goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, who kept the score level before the break with some good saves. "We failed to maintain our aggressive defending after the opening goal and gave away lots of chances. We have to face the fact that we didn't play as well as we usually do today."
Centre-back Hummels was particularly disappointed by the first half, in which "Leipzig were clearly on top. They definitely could have and should have been in front at half-time." The defeat has not made a difference to the table, though. Bayern still have a comfortable 17-point lead over second-placed Schalke 04 with seven fixtures left. "It's not terrible but it still annoys us," added Hummels following the "deserved" defeat.
That's how Heynckes saw it, too. "It's not a disaster for us to lose against such a good team -- we have to take that into account." The 72 year-old was particularly unhappy with his side's defensive display. "Our movement at the back wasn't good overall, we gave them far too much space." His charges "played significantly better" in the last half-hour with the score at 2-1 but it wasn't enough to salvage a point.
Heynckes doesn't have much time to correct these mistakes before the next match. The majority of his squad departed for the international break from Leipzig and the coach won't have his squad back together until Wednesday of next week, when preparations for the next Bundesliga game against Borussia Dortmund will begin. Heynckes will also return home to the Lower Rhine for a few days to relax before the season enters the home straight from Easter weekend.