Mergim Berisha scored the only goal of the game as Augsburg upset Bayern Munich 1-0 to win the Bavarian derby, though Manuel Neuer almost salvaged a point at the death
Coming into the match with three successive Bundesliga draws, Bayern were under pressure and this was intensified by the intensity applied by the home side who refused to allow the six-time European champions to get into their stride.
Florian Niederlechner threatened early on as the visitors’ defence looked shaky and Rafal Gikiewicz was in fine form at the other end, brilliantly denying Leroy Sane with his feet in either half.
The decisive moment came midway through the second half when a long free-kick was deflected by the thigh of Iago into the path of Berisha and he calmly slid home the game’s only goal.
In customary fashion Neuer went up for two corners in the second half, the first he headed over the bar but the second time he directed a bullet on target which the Augsburg stopper did very well to paw away with his left hand.
This is Augsburg’s second straight victory over Bayern after a 2-1 victory last year and lifts them to 11th in the Bundesliga, while Bayern drop to fourth.
More than a blip – This isn’t a football crisis. But it is a Bayern crisis. They are still favourites to win the Bundesliga and will be well in touch to launch their juggernaut challenge for the title after the World Cup. However, when you have won ten titles in succession domestic expectations are domination. Drawing three games on the trot and then losing to a bottom-half side from their region will ramp pressure on Julian Nagelsmann. The loss of Kingsley Coman to a hamstring injury seems particularly felt as without his ingenuity their attacks have a predictable look and, of course, there is no Robert Lewandowski to rifle in shots from the edge of the area. It is notable that a centre forward arriving in the Premier League has made one team ultra-dominant, while one leaving the Bundesliga has made it competitive once more.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Rafal Gikiewicz (Augsburg) – It was a fantastic performance from the Polish goalkeeper who has a throwback zaniness to his character and goalkeeping but without his stellar display his team would not have won today. Twice his feet denied Sane when through on goal and on other occasions an outstretched paw or a diving header got the ball out of danger. If there was any debate about the award it was ended with his reflex stop from his opposite number denying the German number one a moment he would have never forgotten.
Augsburg: Gikiewicz 8*; Gumny 7, Bauer 7, Gouweleeuw 7, Iago 7; Gruezo 6, Rexhbecaj 7; Hahn 6, Niederlechner 7, Demirovic 7; Berisha 7.
Subs: Pedersen 6, Petkov 6, Jensen 6, Vargas 6.
Bayern Munich: Neuer 7; Mazraoui 6, Upamecano 6, de Ligt 6, Davies 6; Kimmich 7, Goretzka 6; Sane 7, Muller 6, Musiala 6; Mane 6.
Subs: Sabitzer 6, Gnabry 6, Choupo-Moting 6, Stanisic 6.
17′ GOOD STOP FROM GIKIEWICZ – This time Muller sets up Sane and his effort is true and on target but the keeper saves it with his legs.
34′ GREAT CHANCE FOR BAUER – He really should have scored. Lovely play from Demirovic plays in Iago in the left hand side of the penalty area and his clipped cross is met by the centre back who heads over the bar from six yards out.
59′ GOAL FOR AUGSBURG! – A long free kick into the box deflects off Iago’s thigh into the path of Berisha in a central position and he calmly passes the ball into the corner of the net.
72′ GREAT STOP FROM GIEKIEWICZ – Sane was through on goal but not for the first time the keeper made himself big and saved with an outstretched leg. An attempted clearance then struck Gnabry and the ball went wide of the target.
90+5′ NEUER WITH A HEADER ON TARGET THIS TIME! – Again he meets a corner and this time forces a brilliant save from Gikiewicz.