Monday, February 6, 2023

Bayern Munich held by Stuttgart on Bundesliga trophy day

Bayern Munich came from behind but were then pegged back in a 2-2 draw with VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.

• May 9, 2022
Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich
Stuttgart vs Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich came from behind but were then pegged back in a 2-2 draw with VfB Stuttgart on Sunday before receiving the Bundesliga championship trophy.
The visitors could enjoy a crucial point in the battle for top-flight survival though.

VfB Stuttgart defender Konstantinos Mavropanos could not keep out Serge Gnabry’s shot on the line.

Thomas Müller then overturned Tiago Tomas’ early opener to put Bayern Munich in front at the break.

But Sasa Kalajdzic towered to head in an equaliser, moments after Müller hit the post for the second time in the game.

He even missed a glorious chance to seal a crucial three points when his weak shot was saved by Manuel Neuer.

Bayern Munich had secured their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title with a home win against Borussia Dortmund last month but have been sloppy since having lost at Mainz last week.

And the news that the players went straight to Ibiza on their days off at the start of the week also raised eyebrows in some quarters.

Robert Lewandowski had a shot deflected onto the bar late on.

But Bayern Munich could not find a winner and even had Kingsley Coman red-carded deep into added time for a petulant reaction to a challenge from Mavropanos.

They were still in party mood, albeit slightly subdued, when captain Neuer was presented with the trophy, the first won by coach Julian Nagelsmann in his career.

It was presented by league chief Donata Hopfen after the full-time whistle of their last home game.

They finish at Wolfsburg next week.

“Shortly after a game, when you’ve not won, it is not so nice,” admitted Nagelsmann.

It is the first time since 2019 Bayern Munich were able to celebrate the title with their fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Even when there are many here who know the ceremonies, it is simply always beautiful,” said Müller. “We wanted to win, were eager, but we have also made mistakes.”

Record winner Müller has received the trophy on 11 of Bayern Munich’s 32 German championships, all but one of which have come in the Bundesliga era.

Stuttgart were far from joining Bayern Munich in the same spirit as they remain in the Bundesliga play-off place going into their final match at home to Cologne next week.

“They can celebate and we have, perhaps, the opportunity to put Hertha Berlin under pressure with three points next week,” said Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat.

They could yet secure safety by winning to make up the three-point gap to Hertha Berlin, who finish at Borussia Dortmund, due to their goal difference advantage.

And automatic relegation now seems unlikely with second last Arminia Bielefeld three points behind and with a goal difference seven worse off when they conclude by welcoming RB Leipzig.

RB Leipzig thrashed Augsburg 4-0 on a cracker from Andre Silva, a double from Christopher Nkunku and an Emil Forsberg penalty kick.

They move into the fourth and final UEFA Champions League spot, pending next Saturday’s league finale.

A draw will secure fourth given their goal difference and send them into the Cup final against Freiburg a week later on a high.

Augsburg, 14th, were confirmed in the Bundesliga again next season in spite of their loss, all thanks to Stuttgart not winning.

Goncalo Paciencia’s stunner gave 12th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt a 1-1 home draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach with the hosts resting several top names after their Europa League semi-final win on Thursday.

Gladbach, coached by former Eintracht Frankfurt manager Adi Hütter and also in a disappointing 10th, went ahead early via Alassane Plea sweeping the ball home.

But Eintracht Frankfurt, who meet Rangers in the May 18 Europa League final in Seville, levelled through Paciencia’s long-range thunderbolt on 66 minutes.

(dpa/NAN)

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