Bayern’s 23-game winning streak ends with Hoffenheim

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Berlin (AFP)

European champions Bayern Munich suffered their first defeat in 10 months when their 23-game winning streak ended in a 4-1 Bundesliga defeat at Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Hoffenheim took a 2-0 lead with the first goals from defender Ermin Bicakcic and striker Munas Dabbur.

Although Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern a lifeline just before the break, Croatian international forward Andrej Kramaric scored a goal in the second half and converted a late penalty.

The shock victory left Hoffenheim at the top of the table while defending champions Bayern are in the unusual position of seventh after two matches.

It was the first time Bayern have lost under head coach Hansi Flick in a competition since falling 2-1 to Borussia Moenchengladbach on December 7, 2019.

“Kudos to Hoffenheim, they cut our space and gave us few opportunities,” said Flick, who bristled at repeated questions over his team’s tired display.

“We just weren’t able to take our chances or play with our usual intensity. ”

Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness is the nephew of Bayern honorary chairman Uli Hoeness and left Munich reserves in July to take over at Hoffenheim.

“We put into practice everything we had been working on, we were dominant from the start, managed to always be dangerous and defend well, so I’m not surprised by the result,” said the coach of Hoffenheim Hoeness.

Bayern looked tired, showing the effects of a UEFA Super Cup extra time on Thursday before beating Sevilla 2-1 in Budapest.

“We must not forget that Bayern played 120 minutes four days ago, but we had a good performance,” added Hoeness.

The defeat ends Bayern’s 23-game winning streak, a record for a club in one of Europe’s top five leagues, surpassing Real Madrid’s 22 consecutive wins between September and December 2014.

– «Focus sur Dortmund» –

With Robert Lewandowski rested ahead of Wednesday’s German Super Cup clash at home against Borussia Dortmund – the chance to win a fifth title in 2020 – his 19-year-old brace Joshua Zirkzee struggled to trigger the attack from Bayern.

“We’ll check off that game and focus on what we can do better on Wednesday,” Flick added.

Hoffenheim took full advantage of Munich’s lethargy with Bicakcic giving them the lead in the 16th minute when he edged Corentin Tolisso in a corner and passed Manuel Neuer.

The hosts doubled their lead when Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard tried to stifle a counterattack, but his pass rolled in the path of Israeli striker Dabbur, who held his cool to blast the ball. on Neuer in the 24th minute.

It was the first time Bayern had a two-goal lead since losing 5-1 to Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019, a loss that cost Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac his job.

Kimmich gave Bayern a lifeline with a shot from the edge of the box in the 36th minute, but Hoffenheim could have been 3-1 at half-time as Kramaric cut the crossbar before the whistle of the half-time.

Flick responded by strengthening his squad by bringing in Lewandowski and central midfielder Leon Goretzka for Zirkzee and Pavard in the 57th minute, but to no avail.

Kramaric secured the win when he completed a counterattack with an astonishing strike in the 77th minute and scored the resulting penalty in extra time when Neuer knocked down replacement striker Ihlas Bebou in The area.

Freiburg are fifth in the table, two places above Bayern, after their 1-1 home draw against Wolfsburg as Nils Petersen’s opening goal for the hosts was canceled by an equalizer from Wolves midfielder Josip Brekalo.

Schalke sacked head coach David Wagner on Sunday morning following their 3-1 home loss to Werder Bremen, which left them winless in their last 18 league games.

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