Bayern waste first chance to seal title

Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane reacts while Mainz players celebrates scoring during the match Mainz 05 v. FC Bayern Munich, April 24, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane reacts while Mainz players celebrates scoring during the match Mainz 05 v. FC Bayern Munich, April 24, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
Bayern Munich blew the chance to clinch the Bundesliga title for a ninth successive season on Saturday as the club world champions crashed to a 2-1 defeat away to Mainz.اضافة اعلان

First-half goals by Jonathan Burkardt and Robin Quaison sealed Mainz’s third straight win, pulling them away from the relegation fight and forcing Bayern to wait to be crowned champions.

On his return from a knee injury, Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored just before the end to leave him four short of Gerd Mueller’s all-time record of 40 Bundesliga goals in a season. 

Bayern can still win the title on Sunday without kicking a ball if second-placed RB Leipzig, who are 10 points behind Munich, lose at home to Stuttgart.

“That was too little from us in the first half, you can’t win games like that, in terms of body language and our build up,” said Bayern captain Manuel Neuer, who was at fault for the opening goal.

“We created too few chances and were punished for our own mistakes.

“We weren’t surprised by Mainz, who have been playing well and are fighting to stay up.”

Mainz made sure Bayern had to put the champagne back on ice by capitalizing on the visitors’ mistakes.

With just three minutes gone, a speculative shot by Germany Under-21 striker Burkardt from the edge of the area deceived Neuer and flew into the Bayern net.

The hosts doubled their lead before the break when Swedish striker Quaison got in between David Alaba and Thomas Mueller to power his header past Neuer.

Bayern showed an unusual lack of discipline as Jerome Boateng, Leon Goretzka and Alaba were all shown yellow cards within six minutes late in the first half.

Mainz had also been 2-0 up at half-time against Bayern at the Allianz Arena in January until the hosts roared back to win 5-2 when Lewandowski scored twice.

However, this time Mainz held their nerve and Lewandowski’s goal four minutes into added time was Bayern’s only consolation.

In Wolfsburg, Erling Braut Haaland netted twice as Borussia Dortmund boosted their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season with a 2-0 away win.

Haaland sprinted clear of the defence and fired home from a tight angle with just 12 minutes gone.

Dortmund played with 10 men for the last 31 minutes after 17-year-old England midfielder Jude Bellingham was sent off for a second yellow card.

However, Dortmund doubled their lead when Mahmoud Dahoud won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and his pass found Haaland.

The 20-year-old raced clear and slotted past Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels for his 37th goal in 38 games this season in all competitions.

With three games left, fifth-placed Dortmund are one point from the Champions League places, but have their work cut out with games against RB Leipzig, Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen to come.

Finland striker Joel Pohjanpalo struck a hat-trick as Union Berlin romped to a 3-1 home win against Werder Bremen to move up to seventh and a point from the European places.

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