Bundesliga: Julian Nagelsmann frustrated with Bayern Munich losing ground in title race

Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann cut a frustrated figure after watching his side slip up in the Bundesliga title race on Sunday.

The Bavarian giants lost 2-1 away at Bayer Leverkusen. As a result of this defeat, Bayern allowed Borussia Dortmund to overtake them for the top spot in the standings.

Speaking in the post-match press conference (via the club website), Nagelsmann stated that Bayern only had themselves to blame.

“Up until the 80th minute, we were the worse team,” said Nagelsmann of his squad. “Then we had ten minutes where we had more of the ball. But all told the first half was not great and we did not deserve to be in front.

“We didn’t really get a grip on proceedings. The performance didn’t quite have the organisation that it needed, and I think that the activity levels that we’ve had in the last couple of games haven’t been easy.

“The fact is our work in both directions wasn’t at the peak that it could be. I think it is definitely fair to say that we deserved to lose this game.”

In contrast, Bayer Leverkusen extended their winning streak thanks to the victory.

Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Bayern Munich

Leverkusen have now won five games in a row after beating the reigning Bundesliga champions on Sunday.

Despite a bright start from Leverkusen in front of their home fans, it was the visitors who took the lead. Leon Goretzka kept a cool head in the penalty area to find Joshua Kimmich, who saw his deflected effort end up in the back of the net.

However, Die Werkself fought back and brought themselves level via the penalty spot. Leverkusen received a penalty when Benjamin Pavard stepped on the heel of Amine Adli. Exequiel Palacios thus calmly made the score 1-1.

With just under 20 minutes left, Bayern’s defensive mishaps continued as they gave away another penalty. This time, Dayot Upamecano wiped out Adli, with VAR intervening to award the spot kick.

Palacios then put his second penalty in the exact same corner as his opening effort to complete Leverkusen’s turnaround.

Xabi Alonso’s side are now within touching distance of the European spots thanks to their brilliant win. They sit eighth in the Bundesliga, just three points behind sixth-place Frankfurt.

Bayern, on the other hand, must prepare for a pivotal fixture in the context of the title race in a few weeks’ time.

Der Klassiker – make or break for Bayern in the title race?

Following the March international break, Bayern Munich have their biggest match of the season so far.

They host Meisterschale rivals Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena on 1 April. If BVB can claim a rare victory in Munich, they will go four points clear of Bayern. However, if the Bavarians win on home soil, they instead will move up into first place.

From there, it is hard to imagine Bayern Munich relinquishing an advantage at the top of the table. After all, they have won the last ten Bundesliga titles.

Dortmund have been in brilliant form since the start of 2023, though. They won eight league games in a row prior to drawing 2-2 with local rivals, Schalke, on 11 March. But this appears to be just a blip as BVB returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion on Saturday.

Edin Terzic’s side thrashed FC Koln 6-1 at Signal Iduna Park. Marco Reus and Sebastian Haller both bagged a brace, with Donyell Malen and Raphael Guerreiro getting on the scoresheet, too.

BVB will therefore hope to maintain this performance into next month’s Der Klassiker.

Featured image credit: Getty