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Like a heavy defeat for FC Bayern Munich in Freiburg

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Like a heavy defeat for FC Bayern Munich in Freiburg

“Take it up, add it up, add it up!” That was the ultimate slogan of Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel, who is expected to be in charge until the end of the season, after the 2-1 win over RB Leipzig in stoppage time last Saturday.

So the first complete success of the champions and second in the table after three painful defeats should be followed on Friday evening by another victory against SC Freiburg, which has not won in the Bundesliga for five games. This was the only way to mobilize Munich’s last reserves of belief that they might still be able to overtake league leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who are eight points away.

At the end of an exciting game, the Munich team no longer had any illusions. They had made up for the 0-1 deficit with Günter’s early goal and had taken the lead after Tel’s 1-1 after Musiala’s goal, before Höler equalized shortly before the final whistle to make it 2-2 for Freiburg.

In a game that offered almost everything a fan expects from an exciting football match. “We didn’t play a good first half hour and we were rightly behind. We showed a good reaction, played a good second half with lots of chances and lost our reward in the end,” said Tuchel after the game.

After two more point losses, Bayern’s championship dreams are now far from reality. Unless league leaders Leverkusen lose the Rhenish derby against 1. FC Köln on Sunday (3:30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on DAZN).

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Full charge of energy

Before the two thousandth Bundesliga game of the Bayern ensemble, which has been spoiled for success for years, Tuchel had to do without the national player Leroy Sané, who was unwell due to groin problems, on the first day of work for the new sports director Max Eberl, as well as the Dutch central defender Matthijs de Ligt, who was suspended after his fifth yellow card. Instead of Sané, the young Frenchman Mathys Tel stormed down the right side, while in the back four the Korean Kim Min-jae moved alongside the Englishman Eric Dier, who after five appearances is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur until June 30, 2025 has been obliged.

The Freiburg coach Christian Streich had sent his team into what at first glance seemed like an unequal duel with this slogan: “Bayern will be strong and then we have to be very strong to stand up to them.” To do this, his team, penultimate in the second half of the season, needs after a normal training week “every single grain”.

Single grain? The Breisgauer started with a full load of energy, which clearly took a toll on the Munich team. Whether Kimmich as a right-back against Grifo, the central defenders Kim and Dier against Sallai and Höler or Guerreiro against Doan: the champions were initially overwhelmed by the South Baden team. The 1-0 was as spectacular as the game, a powerful volley from captain Christian Günter, who had returned after breaking his forearm (12th minute).

This was preceded by two breathtaking scenes when Sallai was denied by Neuer with a powerful header and then hit the crossbar with an overhead kick. The ball landed on Günter’s left foot seconds later after Höfler’s header assist. The Black Forest native shot the ball flatly and effortlessly into the right corner from 18 meters, triggering a frenzy of joy among the sports club’s fans.

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Coach Christian Streich’s team continued to push the envelope. Günter failed in a one-on-one duel against Neuer (16th). And Vincenzo Grifo, Günter’s best buddy on the left, lifted the ball sensitively, but just wide of the goal (22′). A 2-0 or even 3-0 lead for Streich’s unleashed team was within the realm of possibility, especially since the Munich defense repeatedly allowed itself to be overrun and duped.

And then what many people may have suspected happened. With their first precisely circled shot diagonally from the left edge of the penalty area, the Munich team equalized thanks to Tel’s shot (35th). Would everything turn around now? Not at first, even if Bayern now took control of this thrilling duel between two unconditionally courageous teams. It remained 1-1 until the break in this Baden-Bavarian thriller.

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The Munich team then changed their system: from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-3-2-2 formation with Leon Goretzka, who had previously been the midfield foreman, as the central central defender in order to protect Freiburg even more than in the final phase to be able to put pressure on the first pass. In fact, Bayern now dominated the game, but still had to fend off Freiburg counterattacks. In other words: the duel remained exciting and high-class.

Alone: ​​There was a lack of final precision in the finishing – even with the sometimes infallible Harry Kane. But not with international player Jamal Musiala, who trained in England. He used a physical deception to beat two opponents in the Freiburg penalty area and then curled the ball into the right corner of the goal. 2:1 – the champion on call had turned the game around and was allowed to briefly dream of a miraculous turnaround in the fight for the German championship four days before the Champions League second leg against Lazio Rome (0:1 in the first leg).

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But then Freiburg center forward Lucas Höler equalized the vehement game with a powerful shot to make it 2-2 (87th). A draw that seemed like a win for the SCF, but like a heavy defeat for Bayern.

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