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FC Bayern Munich loses the lead in the table



Hasan Salihamidzic sounded the alarm after the defeat against Leverkusen.

FC Bayern is currently showing two faces: Here the triumph in the Champions League, there the Bundesliga season marked by mistakes. Ironically, before the summit meeting with Borussia Dortmund, Munich lost the lead in the table, whereupon a former BVB debate broke out.

“Type of mind and spirit; special way of thinking and feeling” is the definition of the word “mentality” according to Duden. In football, this abstract term is often used to explain results that cannot be explained in any other way. For example, when a team surprisingly loses after a convincing victory and without the greatest resistance against a nominally weaker opponent.

If something like this happens regularly, a so-called mentality debate develops – as in previous years at Borussia Dortmund. Since the two championships in 2011 and 2012, BVB in the Bundesliga has always failed in its title ambitions primarily because of the overpowering Munich team, but according to the general interpretation it has always been because of their own mentality.

The debate, which has been going on for about ten years, is currently having its longest break, because BVB can hardly afford to lose points unnecessarily in the Bundesliga. Apart from the draw in the Revierderby against FC Schalke 04 (which, as is well known, cannot be defeated at the moment anyway), Dortmund has won every Bundesliga game since the winter break, while FC Bayern made happily a mess.

A nine-point deficit became a one-point lead. Ironically, before the direct meeting on April 1, the changing of the guard at the top of the table took place. While the M word in Dortmund currently stands for championship titles, FC Bayern is plagued by a mentality debate. In fact: The actually insatiable, always keen to win Mia-san-mia club has a mentality debate.

Hasan Salihamidzic opens the mentality debate

The final trigger was the well-deserved 2-1 defeat at Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Sunday. This failure was not due to unusual tactics, excessive rotation, unfair referee decisions or too little rest. FC Bayern even had a week off, while Leverkusen were still active in the Europa League on Thursday.

According to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, the matter was therefore clear: in the course of his three-minute incendiary speech on the situation of the Bavarian nation in the catacombs of the BayArena, he said the word “mentality” four times – and to be on the safe side, any related terminology.

“I’ve rarely experienced so little drive, so little mentality, so little duel, so little assertiveness,” said Salihamidzic, for example. Or: “The mentality wasn’t there today.” In his opinion, the team in Leverkusen would have thought “that they could do everything with the quality – but they just can’t do it”. According to coach Julian Nagelsmann, the performance was “very weak” and “sluggish” for long stretches.

Salihamidzic expressed the suspicion that Munich would try a little more in the international games than in the weekly Bundesliga kicks: “We have to bring this mentality, this bite, this greed, this hunger, game after game. Just like us do that in the big games like we saw against Paris.”

FC Bayern: discrepancy between CL and Bundesliga

In fact, there is an extreme discrepancy between performances on the national and international stage at FC Bayern this season. Thanks to outstanding performances, Munich won eight out of eight games in the Champions League – against teams like Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona and Inter Milan.

In the Bundesliga, on the other hand, FC Bayern have only 52 points after 25 matchdays, fewer than in Dortmund’s last championship season in 2011/12. Three meager draws at the start of the second half of the season were followed by two victories, the devastating 2:3 at Borussia Mönchengladbach (“softened pack”), three victories and now the 1:2 in Leverkusen.

Kimmich criticizes “carelessness in concentration”

Joshua Kimmich, who in the meantime even gave FC Bayern a 1-0 lead in Leverkusen, spoke of “careless concentration that we have to blame ourselves for”. Both of Leverkusen’s goals came from penalties. First Benjamin Pavard was late against Amine Adli, then Dayot Upamecano.

Above all, the defensive statistics illustrate the discrepancy between the appearances in the Champions League and the Bundesliga very well. On the international stage, FC Bayern have not conceded a goal in seven out of eight games, but only in eight out of 25 in the Bundesliga. A total of 27 goals have already been conceded.

The offensive, on the other hand, also hits reliably in the Bundesliga. Only in the 0-1 draw against FC Augsburg in the first half of the season did Bayern Munich not score, an average of almost three goals per game so far. Significant: Although Munich are one point behind Dortmund in the table, they have a goal difference that is 21 goals better.

Statistically, FC Bayern is clearly superior to the rival – what is important in the direct duel in two weeks? “We have to get mentality and greed on the pitch,” says Hasan Salihamidzic.

FC Bayern vs. BVB: The rest of the program in the Bundesliga

Gameday BVB FC Bayern
26 Bayern Munich (A) Borussia Dortmund (H)
27 Union Berlin (H) SC Freiburg (A)
28 VfB Stuttgart (A) TSG Hoffenheim (H)
29 Eintracht Frankfurt (H) Mainz 05 (A)
30 VfL Bochum (A) Hertha BSC (H)
31 VfL Wolfsburg (H) Werder Bremen (A)
32 Borussia M’Gladbach (H) Schalke 04 (H)
33 FC Augsburg (A) RB Leipzig (H)
34 Mainz 05 (H) 1. FC Cologne (A)