Bayern Munich slumps to rare Bundesliga loss vs. Monchengladbach
BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich fell to a rare home loss on Sunday after a poor display from Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer helped Borussia Moenchengladbach to a 2-0 win at the Bundesliga leader.
Raffael scored both goals as the visitors outplayed the home side to reclaim third place.
Neuer let Raffael's harmless-looking shot squirm through his fingers in the 30th minute and allowed another centrally placed shot from the Brazilian midfielder slip under his body in the 77th.
"We simply couldn't crack their defense," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said after his side's first home defeat of the season, only its second overall.
Bayern leads the Bundesliga by 10 points with eight games remaining.
"We still have a big lead but we'll have to fight to the end," Guardiola said.
Bayern threatened early on but struggled to create chances after 10 minutes of pressure.
Arjen Robben went off injured in the 24th after a challenge from Tony Jantschke. The Dutch winger had only returned to action after a pinched nerve in his back forced him to miss last week's 4-0 win at Werder Bremen, and he appeared to be holding his lower back again.
'Gladbach scored with its first foray forward, when Jantschke's long ball found Patrick Herrmann on the right. Herrmann pulled the ball back into the center where Raffael shot straight at Neuer, only to see his effort trickle through the World Cup-winner's fingers.
"I didn't want it to rebound forward," Neuer said.
Clever and disciplined play from the visitors frustrated Bayern's hopes of a come-back. Pep Guardiola reacted by bringing on Sebastian Rode and Philipp Lahm for the ineffective Xabi Alonso and Mario Goetze.
"Today we saw that when a team defends with 11 players, there isn't much room and we have to find solutions. We didn't find many solutions today," Bastian Schweinsteiger said.
Andre Hahn almost made it 2-0 when Neuer deflected his stinging shot onto the post and gratefully gathered the rebound with 20 minutes to play.
Sommer did well to stop Juan Bernat's deflected shot, before Christoph Kramer set up Raffael to seal the result on a counterattack.
"We made pinholes (in Bayern's defense) and got the goals," Herrmann said.
'Gladbach coach Lucien Favre dismissed talk of Champions League qualification despite a five-point advantage over fifth-place Schalke.
"We want to keep getting points, game by game," Favre said.
Earlier, Luiz Gustavo's second-half strike salvaged a 1-1 draw for Wolfsburg at Mainz, helping the side consolidate second place.
Mainz captain Niko Bungert's first goal of the season — a header from Johannes Geis' corner — gave the home side a deserved seventh-minute lead.
Mainz refused to sit back on its lead and Geis rattled the crossbar with a powerful shot from distance in the 29th.
Japan striker Shinji Okazaki had a goal ruled out for offside shortly before half-time, when the misfiring visitors were fortunate to be only a goal down.
Gustavo equalized from close range after a corner in the 61st, minutes after he struck the post with Wolfsburg's first chance.