Bayern rue missed chances against Leverkusen

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Thomas Müller normally has a quick-witted answer for every situation in life, but even FC Bayern’s longest-serving current player was lost for words after the 2-1 defeat to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Saturday. The visibly downbeat 30-year-old said afterwards that he’d “never experienced” a game like it and described his feelings as “paralysed” and “a bit speechless”.

Bad luck and wastefulness cost Bayern

The forward just couldn’t explain why Bayern had come away empty-handed against the Werkself despite having the best chances. It was “almost unprecedented ineffiency”, bemoaned Müller. The stats show 24 attempts on goal for the German record champions compared to 11 for the visitors, three efforts against the woodwork from Serge Gnabry (9th minute), Leon Goretzka (77) and Robert Lewandowski (90+1), nearly 75% possession as well as 60% challenges won. It was only the final score that didn’t reflect Bayern’s dominance.

Serge Gnabry shows his frustration after one of the many missed opportunities during the 2-1 defeat against Leverkusen.

“I can’t fault the team in terms of application, creativity and flair. They showed all of that,” analysed Hansi Flick. The 54-year-old coach did note, however, that his charges were “just too careless” in their finishing, unlike Leverkusen. “We didn’t deal well with the chances, and that’s how you lose games,” summarised sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić. “We were very lucky today,” admitted Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz.

Müller’s incredible run ends

Müller was the only one to show any conviction in front of goal against the Rhineland side, scoring the equaliser in the 34rd minute which proved worthless in the end due to Leon Bailey’s brace. Not only did Bayern drop points for the first time under Flick following four wins, but another, almost more impressive run also came to an end: in the 88th Bundesliga game in which Müller has scored, it was the first time the men from Munich have lost.

The end of an incredible run: despite Thomas Müller’s 111th Bundesliga goal, Bayern lost a league match in which he’s netted for the first time.

Now Bayern must begin a new run. “We’ll analyse the game closely,” declared Flick, who’s pleased that his players now have a few days’ rest to clear their heads. After taking part in the annual fan club visits on the first Sunday of Advent, the squad then have Monday off before beginning preparations for another tricky Bundesliga match at Borussia Mönchengladbach. “We’ll train well this week and make sure we’re ready to go on Saturday,” said Flick.