“Is completely without notice”: Inexplicable collapse of Bayern changes everything

Bayern Munich falls apart against Leipzig. After a good first half, the record champion loses control of the game and is faced with a gigantic pile of shards. The championship is not lost yet. But the fans have had enough. You leave the stadium early. Who is following them?

If you wanted to witness a historic collapse, all you had to do was have a ticket for the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig on Saturday, May 20, 2023. That was all it needed. At the end of a relaxed first half, the downfall of a whole decade was announced. In the second half it was time. Within 21 minutes, the record champions gambled away the still good starting position in the title fight. After the 1:3 (1:0) they can no longer determine their fate. The first year without a title since 2012 is already threatening next week. A counterattack, completed by possible newcomer Konrad Laimer, and two penalties caused a really bad mood in the south of the republic.

What happened in the Allianz Arena was nothing other than the complete collapse of the figurehead of German football. Bayern broke up into their component parts in the closing stages. An unbalanced team without leading players had nothing to counter the hunger of Leipzig, who qualified directly for the Champions League with the win.

It was a humiliation that will linger on for a long time. The spectators fled the stadium. They didn’t know how to deal with such a defeat. Today, on Sunday, Borussia Dortmund can pull away by two points with a win in Augsburg. Whether BVB will succeed is another matter entirely. Alone: ​​It doesn’t change anything about Bayern’s problems.

Afterwards no one could explain the sinking. Afterwards they were all disappointed and in a lowered voice shouted slogans of perseverance into the evening. “Borussia Dortmund has to win both games first. If not, then we’ll keep it up. I believe in it,” said Thomas Müller, who had visibly lost his faith in the 90 minutes on the pitch. Müller conducted, always stretching his arms low towards the ground. It’s his signal to the team. One that arrived at least in the 25th minute.

Tuchel can’t watch it

Because Müller almost digged his hands into the ground, dug the play into the grass of the Allianz Arena with his back bent, Joao Cancelao, who was extraordinary in the first half, saw him and served him. Müller does Müller things, released Gnabry, who finished without mercy. 1:0 The game was over, probably the championship too. But Kingsley Coman was unable to turn a Cancelao cross into the goal from close range in the 39th minute. The ball went over the line on the wrong side of the right post.

The Leipzig acted without precision, without sharpness, without absolute will. They had never won in Munich and they probably wouldn’t be able to tonight either. Only Thomas Tuchel was not satisfied. He shouted his instructions across the field, saw the disaster looming, turned away from the field several times in anger. Then he scolded his assistants and disappeared onto the bench. The former Mainzer exuded an amazing negativity already in the first half.

Too many mistakes spoiled what was happening on the lawn for Tuchel, and his team let themselves be pulled apart. During the break he pointed out the mistakes to his team, he reported after the game. The team thanked him with a fatal drop in performance. “If you play so far below your own level and the level constantly drops, you find it difficult to win games,” said Tuchel, shifting some of the responsibility onto his players.

Fans can be lulled

The collapse didn’t come overnight, it wasn’t even the first. Something similar happened against Mainz. But it was also the case that Bayern couldn’t win the championship against Leipzig, but in the worst case they lost it. Since Dortmund’s failure in Bochum with all the fuss that followed about referee Sascha Stegemann, Bayern have been unyielding. They took the lead in the table with a 2-0 win against relegated Hertha BSC, took a 2-1 win from Bremen and outclassed Schalke 6-0. It was the old Bavarians. It was the Bavarians who don’t give anything away. It was Bayern who were fed up with FC Hollywood. It was the Bavarians that everyone knows.

The blow against Leipzig hit her all the harder. “This is completely without announcement,” said Tuchel after the game. He hadn’t seen it coming, not the week before practice and not even in the game. His team controlled what was happening in the first 30 minutes. They lulled themselves and the stadium. Then it started. Bayern, who had known nobody until 2023, were back. And with them the whole load of problems that the football nation of Germany carries through the weeks and months. Nothing is more beautiful than the fall. It was, it is, and it will always be.

The fans in the south curve were just working on their local rivals TSV 1860 Munich, which no longer existed, when the game slowly got out of control. Suddenly, after more than half an hour, the opponent appeared in front of the goal, but the chances before the break were all poor quality. Even after the change of sides, the Leipzig team struggled with the basic problem of their game. The sharpness was missing. They were by no means outstanding. But Bayern was fraying more and more.

Leipziger stabs in Bavaria’s wound

Leipzig now pushed the full-backs higher (national player Benjamin Henrichs came on for the overwhelmed Mohamed Simakan during the break) and shifted the game against passive Bayern by 20 meters in the direction of Yann Sommer’s goal. You were now in the game. They lurked and they broke the resistance in the 65th minute. Despite what Bayern said after the game, it was a goal out of nowhere. Only Tuchel had seen it coming. In the minutes before he looked ready to throw his team under a bus.

In the 65th minute, Leipzig’s veteran stars Kevin Kampl and Emil Forsberg had just got rid of their shirts on the outside line and were waiting for their substitution when Laimer grabbed the ball after a Bayern corner and broke through. Nobody wanted to defend him. It was only when it was too late as Cancelao blocked Christopher Nkunku’s shot and the remaining defense threw themselves at Laimer’s shot to no avail. 1:1 Kampl stormed onto the field. He came a little later and Tuchel also reacted. Gnabry left. He was the Gnabry of recent months in the second half. Not a good.

Because out of nowhere Gnabry had returned from the rubble of a huge crisis in the past few weeks. His year 2023 resembled a single catastrophe until the last days of April. The national player carried the heavy backpack from the World Cup in Qatar to Paris Fashion Week on a day off in January. In Munich they took it badly, very badly. They counted him out publicly. Gnabry didn’t laugh for a long time, he didn’t hit for a long time.

Only Kobel’s April Fool’s joke brightens up April

There were almost two months between his goal in the 3-0 win over Bochum on February 11 and the goal against Hertha on April 30. An eternity in which Gnabry’s best performances were probably seen in a commercial for the club’s sponsor Audi. There he went on a trip to Italy with goalkeeper Yann Sommer and defender Alphonso Davies. Because it offered itself on a day off. A strange oddity this season.

The Bavarians didn’t just get completely off track because of the excitement about Gnabry. Every day new excitement reached the public. Bayern hadn’t lost control of the season on the pitch. They watched as BVB crawled up to them point by point and then overtook them. Once before the direct meeting on April 1st. Julian Nagelsmann flew after the defeat in Leverkusen, Tuchel came practically overnight. Everything went well for a moment: after an April Fool’s joke by Dortmund keeper Kobel, Bayern won 4-2. But then it went down.

When the whole world wondered after the end of the cup and Champions League and the loss of the championship lead after the collapse in Mainz, whether Bayern Munich might have signed a Thomas Tuchel actor, but not the winner of the Champions League in 2021, they won Simply Bavaria again. Thomas Müller, who no longer plays all the time, has been running hot in recent weeks. Suddenly every game was a Thomas Müller game again. Also for Thomas Tuchel, who had explained the banking place of the veteran in this way. And Gnabry? He always hit too. Also against Leipzig. But then he collapsed and was substituted.

Kahn’s future uncertain

After the 1-1 draw, Leipzig had new chances, two penalties and two goals. But the Bavarians disappeared and later stood in front of the southern stand with a blank stare. They saw equally surprised faces among the fans. In the meantime, they even turned away from their team for a moment and stopped following the game for maybe a minute. They caught themselves.

Unlike the crowds that left the stadium and couldn’t believe it. They had just witnessed the demise of a great team. The collapse in the Allianz Arena changes everything. Possibly also for the CEO Oliver Kahn, who struggled for words in the catacombs. His future in Munich is uncertain. Joshua Kimmich was also speechless. “It’s a reflection of our season. We have everything under control. And in the second half there’s nothing left,” said the man, who is also the subject of rumors of a change, on ZDF.

This FC Bayern Munich has no future in this form, even if it still gets the championship.

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