Advantage Leverkusen as Bremen end 16-year wait for Bayern victory

Bayern Munich’s German forward #10 Leroy Sane and Bremen’s German defender #27 Felix Agu vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen in Munich on January 21, 2024. AFP

Mitchell Weiser stunned his former club with the only goal as Werder Bremen beat Bayern Munich 1-0 on Sunday, keeping Bayer Leverkusen seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

Bayern were last held scoreless in the league in February 2020, when former coach Julian Nagelsmann’s RB Leipzig drew 0-0 at Munich’s Allianz Arena.

Bremen’s victory, their first over Bayern in any competition since 2008, broke a 27-game winless run against the German champions, which included 26 losses.

Leverkusen’s 3-2 win at Leipzig on Saturday, with Xabi Alonso’s men coming from behind twice and scoring the winner in injury time, put the pressure back on Bayern, who went into Sunday’s game with two games in hand.

“You have to ask the players,” Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel told DAZN when asked about the performance.

“We played today like it didn’t matter, as if we were 10 points ahead and had a Champions League match to play on Tuesday.

“After the Leverkusen result, we wanted to start aggressively and send a signal, but we didn’t succeed at all.”

Bremen were unlucky to have a goal struck off by VAR in the first-half for a foul on Jamal Musiala, but after 59 minutes, Weiser glided down the right wing and blasted into the net.

– ‘Perfect day’ –

“We showed everything you need to show to win here. Today we had a perfect day — and with that you can beat Bayern,” said Weiser.

Bayern pinned Bremen back after the opener but failed to break through.

Bayern veteran Thomas Mueller told DAZN his side were “sluggish and lifeless”, calling the result “a hard slap in the face.”

In Werder’s last victory over Bayern in 2008, a teenage Mesut Ozil ran riot, scoring one goal and assisting on two more as the four-time Bundesliga champions won 5-2.

On Sunday, Bremen started strongly, Weiser forcing a fingertip save from Manuel Neuer midway through the first-half.

Justin Njinmah had the ball in the net after a lightning counter attack, but VAR revealed a foul on Musiala at the other end.

At half time, Bayern exited the pitch to a sprinkling of boos and whistles, but the break failed to revive the home side, with Bremen continuing to impress.

Weiser, who spent three years at Bayern after arriving as an 18-year-old before leaving on a free transfer in 2015, gave the visitors the lead in impressive style, dancing down the right and unleashing a rocket into the top of the net.

Bremen’s win consigned the defending champions to their second league loss of the season.

Bayern can cut the gap at the top when they play their game in hand at home to Union Berlin on Wednesday.

Bremen’s victory lifts them nine points clear of the relegation placings.

In Sunday’s late game, Augsburg continued their resurgence under Danish coach Jess Thorup, coming from a goal down to win 2-1 at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Gladbach took the lead through Union Berlin loanee Jordan Siebatcheu’s scrappy opener after 26 minutes but Augsburg then grabbed hold of the match, scoring twice in four minutes early in the second-half.

Phillip Tietz headed in the equaliser just two minutes into the second stanza and Arne Engels scored the winner shortly after for the visitors, leapfrogging Gladbach into 10th spot on the table.

Augsburg had won just one of eight this season when the Dane took the reins in central Bavaria in October, but have lost just three of ten under Thorup.

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