Bayern Munich beaten again as Bochum claim shock win amid more fan protests

By Sports Desk February 18, 2024

Dayot Upamecano was sent off for the second time in five days as Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga title challenge suffered a massive blow with a 3-2 defeat at lowly Bochum.

In a game twice disrupted by fan protests, Jamal Musiala gave the visitors an early lead, but Bochum hit back through Takuma Asano and Keven Schlotterbeck before Bayern defender Upamecano was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Kevin Stoger converted the resulting penalty and although Harry Kane pulled one back with his 25th goal of the season, Bochum held on for a famous win which eased their relegation fears and lifted them to 11th in the table.

Bayern’s third straight defeat in all competitions leaves them eight points adrift of leaders Bayer Leverkusen and increases the pressure on manager Thomas Tuchel, who had urged his players to “turn around the mood” against opponents they thrashed 7-0 in the reverse fixture in September.

The visitors duly dominated the early stages and deservedly opened the scoring in the 14th minute as Musiala rifled an unstoppable shot into the top corner after seeing his initial effort saved by Manuel Riemann.

Musiala then turned provider with a delightful pass with the outside of his right foot to set Kane racing clear, only for the England captain to blaze his shot high over the bar.

Kane felt the ball had bobbled just before he hit it and looked down in disgust at the Ruhrstadion turf, but that cut little ice with a furious Thomas Muller, who had been unmarked in acres of space to Kane’s right.

Play was then halted for around 15 minutes after fans threw tennis balls on to the pitch in the latest protests against a proposed deal to sell a stake in Bundesliga rights to a private equity investor.

Both sets of players were moved to the sidelines but it was Bayern who were caught cold when play eventually resumed, a swift counter-attack seeing Anthony Losilla set up Asano to fire a low shot across Manuel Neuer and into the bottom corner.

The home side suddenly had all the momentum and it was no surprise when they took the lead six minutes later, Schlotterbeck heading home from close range from Stoger’s corner.

Another protest delayed play by around eight minutes in the second half, Losilla going over to speak to some of the home fans before the players briefly headed to the dressing rooms.

Bayern reacted better to the second stoppage than they did the first, substitute Leroy Sane seeing his goalbound volley bravely blocked and Bryan Zaragoza’s effort saved by Riemann, but it was the home side who found the all-important next goal.

Upamecano, who was also sent off in the Champions League defeat at Lazio on Wednesday, picked up his second yellow card of the game for an elbow on Schlotterbeck as they jumped for the ball and Stoger made no mistake with the penalty, despite Neuer getting his left hand to the ball.

Kane pulled one back with a simple tap-in after being set up by Mathys Tel but could only direct a far-post header straight at Riemann in the second minute of stoppage time and Bochum clung on for the win.

Related items

  • Xabi Alonso ‘honoured’ to lead Bayer Leverkusen to first Bundesliga title Xabi Alonso ‘honoured’ to lead Bayer Leverkusen to first Bundesliga title

    Xabi Alonso said it was an honour to manage Bayer Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title after the runaway leaders clinched the trophy in style with a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen.

    Leverkusen were crowned German champions for the first time in their 120-year history with a dominant win which saw Florian Wirtz net a second-half hat-trick at an ecstatic BayArena.

    Victor Boniface had opened the scoring from the penalty spot before Granit Xhaka doubled the lead with a long-range effort.

    Alonso, who committed his future to Leverkusen after being linked with former clubs Liverpool and Bayern Munich earlier this season, lauded the “special” achievement after winning his first major trophy in management.

    “This success is special for everyone, for the entire club. It belongs to so many people,” the 42-year-old Spaniard said after the match, as reported by Kicker.

    “We have to enjoy winning this for the entire club. The first championship in 120 years. It’s an honour to be part of it and working here. Today we deserve to celebrate, with family, friends and fans.”

    Leverkusen remain unbeaten during a fairy-tale campaign which could yet yield even more silverware.

    They hold a 2-0 first-leg lead over West Ham in the Europa League quarter-finals – the second leg takes place in London on Thursday – and also have a DFB Pokal final against Kaiserslautern to look forward to next month.

    “It may not be the last party of the current season,” Alonso added.

    “We still have a big goal in the Europa League. We have a good chance to be in the semi-finals and also in the cup, the feeling is incredible.”

    Boniface opened the scoring against Werder with a 25th-minute penalty before former Arsenal captain Xhaka made it 2-0 on the hour.

    Wirtz then took centre stage, adding a third in the 68th minute to all but end any doubts about the result or title, before the 20-year-old completed his hat-trick with two more goals in the closing stages.

    Wirtz said: “It’s indescribable. I can’t even realise it yet. I need to be in the dressing room for a while to get my head around what we’ve achieved.”

    Fellow Germany international Jonas Hofmann, who joined Leverkusen last summer from Borussia Monchengladbach, added: “Everything really flows through the body. You don’t know: should you laugh? Should you cry? It’s really indescribable, I wouldn’t have dreamed of this a year ago, in the first year to do it straight away. That’s just awesome.

    “We constantly pushed ourselves to the limit every game, no matter who was playing. We were always there, always present.

    “This season you can see that everyone is needed so that the level doesn’t (drop) off. Then you’ll be able to play like that in three competitions. The coach is setting a brutal example of that.”

    Leverkusen’s success ends Bayern’s 11-year reign as German champions, with Borussia Dortmund back in 2012 the last team to deny them top spot.

    Bayern, who are currently a massive 16 points behind Leverkusen after a largely disappointing season for Thomas Tuchel’s side, were quick to applaud the new title winners.

    “Congratulations to Bayer Leverkusen on a historic first Bundesliga title in the club’s history,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer said.

    “The title goes absolutely deservedly to Leverkusen – it’s the reward for an outstanding season and great football.

    Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen added: “They’ve had a flawless season so far, the team have demonstrated courage, class and above all consistency, and that’s why they deserve to be 2024 German champions.”

  • Roma match abandoned after Evan Ndicka collapses against Udinese Roma match abandoned after Evan Ndicka collapses against Udinese

    Sunday’s Serie A clash between Udinese and Roma was abandoned after Ivory Coast international Evan Ndicka collapsed on the pitch.

    The 24-year-old Roma defender went down off the ball with 72 minutes played at the Bluenergy Stadium and was carried off on a stretcher after treatment.

    His club later confirmed that the former Auxerre and Eintracht Frankfurt player was conscious and had been taken to hospital for checks.

    A statement on Roma’s official X – formerly Twitter – account read: “Following the on-field medical emergency involving Evan Ndicka, the match between Udinese and Roma has been suspended.

    “The player is conscious and has been taken to hospital for further checks. Forza Evan, we are all with you!”

    Udinese tweeted simply: “We are with you, Ndicka.”

    Roberto Pereyra had given the home side the lead before the break, but Romelu Lukaku made it 1-1 with 64 minutes gone.

  • Mikel Arteta tells Arsenal to ‘stand up and be counted’ after Aston Villa blow Mikel Arteta tells Arsenal to ‘stand up and be counted’ after Aston Villa blow

    Mikel Arteta has told his Arsenal players to “stand up and be counted” after their Premier League title bid took a hit with defeat to Aston Villa.

    Two late goals gave Unai Emery and his players a deserved 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium to boost their own top-four hopes.

    In yet another twist in the title run-in, the Gunners were well beaten as Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins struck within three minutes of one another to stun the home fans.

    Liverpool had lost at home to Crystal Palace earlier on Sunday and a fifth league defeat of the campaign for Arsenal leaves Mikel Arteta’s side in second – two points behind reigning champions Manchester City.

    Asked if he was concerned Arsenal’s season could fizzle out – much as it did last season – from this point, Arteta’s reply was bullish.

    “If one result is going to do that then we are not strong enough,” said the Spaniard, whose side had been unbeaten in the league in 2024 .

    “That’s very simple. We had one of the best performances that we’ve had all season in the first half against a really good team. It should have been three or four (goals) or more. It didn’t happen. In the second half the momentum shifted.

    “We could not control and generate what we did in the first half. We conceded two very poor goals and we lost the game.

    “Congratulate the opponent and stand up. Now the moment is to stand up and be counted. When you win and win and win for four months it’s very simple to do it. The moment to do it is now.”

    Villa were brilliant in a second half they dominated and their superiority eventually paid off as substitute Bailey tapped home at the back post before Watkins took advantage of Arsenal’s high line to burst through on goal and finish with aplomb.

    The visitors had also hit the woodwork through both Watkins and Youri Tielemans and Arsenal must now recover ahead of the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final away to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, with the tie evenly-poised at 2-2.

    “If you want to win championships, if you want to be there in the Champions League, when you have these moments you have to stand up,” added Arteta.

    “If not that means that you don’t have a quality that is very necessary. Now it’s a big test for us.

    “In any other league in the world if you won the number of games in a row that we did, you would be six or eight points clear. That is not the case here. That is the challenge.”

    This was former Arsenal boss Emery’s first trip to the Emirates Stadium with his Villa side – who moved three points clear of Tottenham to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the quest for Champions League football.

    “Of course, beating Arsenal here is very difficult and we needed to play and be focused 100 per cent and be very demanding in everything,” he said.

    “We needed the biggest commitment to do better than we did against Manchester City (a 4-1 loss) that was the sample we used for this match.

    “This is the level I want to get to with our players and progressively, we are getting better.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.