Marc-Andre ter Stegen has confirmed he will miss Germany's Euro 2020 campaign after opting to undergo a "therapeutic procedure" on his knee.

Sunday's LaLiga results – including Celta Vigo's shock win at Camp Nou – mean Barcelona can no longer win the title, with the club and Ter Stegen subsequently deciding to cut his season short.

A brief statement released by the club revealed Ter Stegen will "undergo a therapeutic procedure on the patellar tendon in his right knee on Thursday May 20 in Malmo by Dr Hakan Alfredson and under the supervision of the club's medial services".

While Barca did not outline a return date, Ter Stegen provided an update on his official Instagram account on Monday, confirming it means he will play no part at the delayed Euro 2020.

"I'm disappointed about yesterday's defeat and that now we can no longer win La Liga," he wrote.

"After a complicated start to the season, we showed good character going 19 matches unbeaten – but we weren't able to keep this form.

"I have decided together with the medical team of the club that I will do a complementary intervention on my knee.

"I'm sad that I will miss Euro 2020 this summer with Germany. For the first time in many years I will be a fan at home supporting my country, I hope we win it!

"After the summer break, when we are back on the pitch I hope to be able to play with fans [in attendance] once again, I miss it!

"Thank you for your support throughout a difficult season and stay healthy!"

Ter Stegen has featured 31 times in the league in 2020-21 for Barcelona, but his overall performance for the season has not been quite up to the high standards he has set previously.

He has conceded 32 goals from shots on target worth 29.07 expected goals on target (xGOT), meaning he has let in nearly three goals more than expected. Celta's first goal on Sunday came from a speculative Santi Mina shot worth just 0.04 xGOT.

Ter Stegen's xGOT differential of -2.93 this term is by far his worst across a single season at the club. In 2015-16, it was -1.44, though he only played seven LaLiga matches, while his next worst was -0.16 in 2019-20, a narrow margin which essentially meant he conceded as many goals as would be expected given the quality of the shots on target he faced.

But for this procedure the ex-Borussia Monchengladbach man certainly would have been a part of the Germany squad next month, though he would have been playing back-up to Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer.

 

While Ter Stegen has let in more goals than he should have this season, Neuer has conceded 40 times in the Bundesliga from an xGOT value of 42.09, therefore preventing two goals in 2020-21.

The Neuer or Ter Stegen debate has been a hot topic for Germany for a while now, though the data suggests that, at least this season, the Bayern star remains the safer option between the posts.

Recent upheaval might have leant a touch of anti-climax to Bayern Munich's latest title win but 2020-21 has shown their total dominance of the Bundesliga does not look likely to end anytime soon.

A thrilling quarter-final tie against Paris Saint-Germain saw Bayern's reign as European champions end as they were eliminated on away goals.

The aftermath of that dramatic Champions League showdown saw speculation mount over Hansi Flick's future and the Bavarian giants were in the unusual position of naming the coach of their nearest rivals, RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, as their next boss before domestic glory had been rubber stamped.

However, familiar celebrations can now begin after rivals Borussia Dortmund beat second-placed RB Leipzig 3-2, with the prints of some familiar faces all over this latest success.

FC Hollywood on cloud nine

Continuing a streak started by Jupp Heynckes' treble winners in 2012-13, Bayern have now won the Bundesliga for nine seasons in a row. Much as this statistic can draw mirth in some quarters over the competitiveness of Germany's top flight, it certainly did not always used to be this way.

Previously, the longest stretch of consecutive titles in a row was three, although on three of the four occasions this occurred, Bayern were the team responsible.

Indeed, Die Roten's 30th crown overall means they have won 52 per cent of the championships on offer since the Bundesliga was founded in 1963. The picture was a little more even before the turn of the century, with Bayern having now won 16 this millennium.

Bayern have equalled the record established by Juventus in Europe's top five leagues and can go clear on their own with 10 in a row next term, given the collapse of Andrea Pirlo's men in Serie A this season.

This era of success is built upon a number of mainstays. Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and outgoing trio David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez have been present for all nine of the title wins.

Muller and Alaba now have 10 overall, setting a new player record in Germany, while Martinez is the only player in Bundesliga history to win the title as many as nine times without ever failing to do so in any season.

 

Hansi off with incredible record

Flick's involvement with Bayern has been more fleeting than the stalwarts above, but he has nevertheless left an indelible impression upon one of Europe's great clubs.

His record overall is 68 wins from 83 games, with eight draws and seven defeats. That amounts to an 82 per cent win percentage – a record for any Bayern coach.

Similarly, a goals-per-game average of 2.9 is better than any of his predecessors, numbers that were enhanced during the German record-breaking run of 23 straight wins in all competitions between February and September 2020.

Consequently, the trophies stacked up and Flick's six major honours amount to one every 14 games.

He averages 2.45 points-per-game from 55 Bundesliga outings, a figure only bettered by Pep Guardiola (2.52 PPG from 102 matches).

 

Hail King Lewy

Flick is likely to reflect fondly upon the fact his brief Bayern tenure has coincided with Robert Lewandowski taking his phenomenal goalscoring exploits to another level.

Even though the Bundesliga boasts the sought-after talents of Erling Haaland and Andre Silva, each of whom have managed 25 top-flight goals this season, the race for the Torjagerkanone has not even been particularly close.

Despite spending a spell on the sidelines recently, arguably decisively when it came to Bayern's derailed Champions League hopes, Lewandowski has scored an astounding 36 goals in 26 appearances, leaving him in direct competition with Gerd Muller's celebrated all-time mark of 40 goals in a single campaign, rather than his contemporaries.

The Poland superstar's haul comes from 112 shots overall and 55 on target. Lewandowski's goals-per-minute average of 60.9 is the best of any Bundesliga player to have scored multiple goals this season.

Among players with 10 goals or more, only Max Kruse (37.04 per cent) has a better shot conversion rate than Lewandowski's 32.14.

He has 30 non-penalty goals, outstripping an expected goals (xG) figure of 21. By way of comparison, Haaland's non-penalty goals to xG comparison is 23 to 19.8 and Silva's is 19 to 18.1.

Like most great strikers, Lewandowski has a fine foil in Thomas Muller, whose 17 assists are comfortably a Bundesliga best this season, placing him five clear of Eintracht Frankfurt's Filip Kostic on 11.

 

Kimmich the man in control

The foundations for Lewandowski's incredible exploits come from Bayern's smooth control of matches and no one has been more responsible for that in 2020-21 than Joshua Kimmich.

A defensive utility man when he broke into the Bayern team under Guardiola, Kimmich is now one of the premier midfielders in world football and at the heart of his club's considerable achievements.

Among Bundesliga midfielders, Kimmich has completed the second-most passes – behind Stuttgart's Wataru Endo (1,479) – with 1,465 at an accuracy of 87.8.

He has supplied 10 assists from 59 chances created, with Kostic (80), Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho (65) and Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku (63) the only players among those classed as midfielders by Opta to have crafted more openings for team-mates.

Kimmich has made 32 interceptions, 35 tackles and is joint-seventh among Bundesliga midfielders when it comes to his 184 recoveries.

 

Time for a Neu last line of defence?

Neuer is now the first goalkeeper to win nine Bundesliga titles, putting him one clear of Oliver Kahn.

However, it might be fair to ask whether his position as Bayern number one might come under renewed threat from understudy Alexander Nubel once Nagelsmann is in position.

Of goalkeepers to have played 20 or more Bundesliga games this season, five – Peter Gulacsi, Lukas Hradecky, Koen Casteels, Alexander Schwolow and Andreas Luthe – have conceded fewer than Neuer's 40.

Similarly, eight clean sheets have him fourth overall behind Gulacsi, Casteels and Stefan Ortega Moreno.

Neuer's 77 saves from 116 shots on target faced give him a save percentage of 65.52 – leaving him around the middle of the pack when it comes to the Bundesliga's elite stoppers. Florian Muller of Freiburg leads the way, repelling 71.07 per cent of shots to have threatened his goal.

Bayern's skipper has an expected goals on target (xGOT) against figure of 40.6. Having conceded 39 non-penalty goals, Neuer has conceded fractionally fewer goals than he would be expected to, given the quality of chances coughed up by a backline lacking its previous assurance. 

 

Nagelsmann could bring fresh solidity to Bayern that would be welcomed by the 35-year-old Neuer, whose aptitude outside of his penalty area enabled Flick to operate with such a daringly high defensive line, sometimes at the expense of the goalkeeper's personal statistics.

Leipzig's number one Gulacsi has only been breached 28 times, but has faced 41 fewer shots on target than Neuer this term, actually giving him a lower save percentage (62.67). His 25 non-penalty goals conceded align with an xGOT of 25.62.

The arrival of Nagelsmann and Leipzig's best defender Dayot Upamecano might well be great news for Neuer, one of the few Bayern players to emerge from this latest success with a few question marks over their form.

Bayern Munich claimed a record-breaking ninth consecutive Bundesliga title thanks to Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win over RB Leipzig.

Last season's treble winners missed out on Champions League glory this term, but they remain far ahead of their closest rivals in German football.

Bayern were set to have the chance to seal glory when hosting Borussia Monchengladbach later on Saturday but goals from Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho, who struck twice after half-time, gave Dortmund victory over second-placed Leipzig at Signal Iduna Park to complete the formalities.

Before this staggering run, no team had won more than three successive Bundesliga titles.

Bayern have now matched deposed Serie A kings Juventus for the longest streak of domestic championships won by teams from Europe's top five leagues.

The latest championship success for Bayern means they have won the Bundesliga 30 times since the league was founded in 1963, with Dortmund and Gladbach next on the list with five titles each.

Bayern have a 16th title since 2000, underlining their growing domestic dominance, and stalwarts Thomas Muller and David Alaba have both been champions with the club 10 times, setting a new record.

Alaba will leave Bayern at the end of the season, and Hansi Flick has also announced he will depart after barely 18 months at the helm, with the widespread assumption he will become the new Germany national team head coach.

Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann will step in to try to continue the dynasty he was, until very recently, looking to bring down.

Hansi Flick admitted his Bayern Munich team were tired and ripe to be punished after a 2-1 defeat at Mainz delayed title celebrations.

Chasing the win that would have clinched a ninth successive Bundesliga title, Bayern gave a lethargic display and a last-gasp goal from Robert Lewandowski was as much as they deserved.

Mainz seized advantage as the one-time strugglers took their points tally to 28 from 16 games under new head coach Bo Svensson, soaring five points clear of the relegation zone.

Bayern boss Flick said: "We all know that just as the team has often shown its quality, something like that can happen. It's a shame we couldn't take the step today.

"But you have to understand that the team is tired. We were too harmless.

"We want to win every game, that was also the case today. We didn't perform well, you have to accept that.

"The team have many minutes in their legs. We just weren't strong enough."

First-half goals from Jonathan Burkardt and Robin Quaison put Bayern in a tangle, and the stoppage-time reply from Lewandowski, returning from injury, came too late to spark anything more.

Lewandowski now has 36 goals for the season, meaning he trails Gerd Muller's Bundesliga record by four with three rounds of games remaining.

His goal in Saturday's game was a gift rather than the result of any great personal endeavour, with a poor defensive header leaving Lewandowski the task of stroking the ball past cruelly exposed goalkeeper Robin Zentner.

Bayern slipped to a first Bundesliga defeat at Mainz since 2011, having won all eight of their away games against the 05ers since that 3-2 loss a decade ago.

Manuel Neuer was unusually at fault for the third-minute opening goal, getting in the way of the powerful shot from Burkardt but only being able to divert it into the corner of his net.

"I wasn't blinded by the sun," said Neuer, according to TZ.

"The ball was close to [David] Alaba, I couldn't see it well. I tried to put my arm up, I was unlucky."

Bayern have been hit by a Champions League quarter-final exit, the announcement from Flick that he wants to be released from his contract at the end of the season, and criticism from fans aimed at Hasan Salihamidzic.

That may have been a contributing factor to Saturday's below-par effort, but Neuer pointed to Mainz's qualities.

"We weren't surprised," said the goalkeeper. "It was clear that they went into the game with a high level of motivation. Our body language was bad."

Bayern could still be crowned champions this weekend, but RB Leipzig would need to lose to Stuttgart on Sunday.

"I would have preferred to have got it done ourselves," said Neuer. "The defeat hits us hard after the last few weeks."

Hansi Flick says the Germany job is something he will consider if approached after announcing his decision to leave Bayern Munich, but he has denied already holding talks with German Football Association (DFB) chiefs over succeeding Joachim Low.

The 56-year-old ended recent speculation over his future on Saturday by revealing in a television interview he has asked Bayern to terminate his contract, which has another two years to run, at the end of the campaign.

He has been strongly tipped to take over as Germany's next head coach when Low, who he previously worked alongside as assistant for Die Mannschaft, steps down after this year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

Flick has previously hinted he would welcome the chance to manage the four-time world champions, though he insisted there have been no discussions with DFB national team director Oliver Bierhoff.

"Of course the DFB is an option that every coach has to consider," he told Sky Sport Germany. "But for me the last few weeks have not been easy.

"I was in the process of informing the club and my team, which was very important. There's nothing more to say on that."

Asked if he already has another positioned lined up, Flick said: "No, my future is not clear. I haven't held talks yet [with Bierhoff] because we had an important phase here with the Champions League and the Bundesliga."

Flick replaced Niko Kovac in November 2019 and won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble in his first season at the Allianz Arena, which Bayern have added to with three more major trophies this campaign, with another Bundesliga possibly to follow.

However, there have been suggestions of a strained relationship behind the scenes between Flick and Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic, a rift allegedly triggered by the club's decision not to offer Jerome Boateng a new contract.

"My reasons for wanting to leave is something discussed internally and something that will remain internal," Flick said. "We've done a great job here for almost two years. I'm impressed with this team, their quality and their attitude."

Flick's announcement came on the back of Bayern's 3-2 win over Wolfsburg, which moved the reigning Bundesliga champions seven points clear of RB Leipzig with five games to play.

The former Hoffenheim boss informed his players earlier in the week and captain Manuel Neuer respects the decision.

"The reasons don't matter to us," he told Sky Sport Germany. "It was emotional for all of us because we had such a successful time together. It was particularly important for him to inform us personally."

Thomas Muller, another key member of Bayern's hugely successful 17-month spell under Flick, added: "He didn't give us the exact reasons, and he didn't have to. 

"He left a lot of energy in the intense past year and a half. To be a coach at Bayern, you need thick skin. The expectations are very high and you always have to stand by your team."

Bayern Munich star Thomas Muller forthrightly blamed his side's first-leg result for their "very disappointing" Champions League exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Champions League holders Bayern won 1-0 in the quarter-final second leg in Paris on Tuesday, but were knocked out on away goals after losing 3-2 in Munich.

Muller said the disappointment was big as he bemoaned Bayern's inability to take their chances when they had them against last season's runner-up PSG.

"We didn't do ourselves any favours with the first leg result," Muller told Sky Germany. "The disappointment is big."

Bayern are the third consecutive reigning Champions League winners to fail to reach at least the semi-final stage the following season in the competition, something that has not happened since four successive teams failed between 2004-05 and 2007-8 (Porto, Liverpool, Barcelona and Milan).

Muller added: "We scored one goal too few to advance. The course of the game was different from Munich. We didn't have so much pressure in the early stages.

"We then had the situation we wanted and scored the goal just before half-time. We had a few chances just before half-time that we didn't take for different reasons.

"In the second half, the effort was always there, but the game was very disjointed. In the end, Paris has a great offence, but it's very disappointing that we got eliminated even though we won in Paris."

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer reiterated that sentiment, ruing their first-leg defeat at home to the Ligue 1 champions.

Hansi Flick's Bayern mustered 45 shots over their two clashes with PSG – the joint-most any team managed against an opponent in two games in the Champions League this season (level with Sevilla against Krasnodar).

"It was not just because of today," Neuer said. "The 1-0 was deserved, but the result last week was not good enough.

"It's annoying, especially if you look at the first game, where we missed many chances and conceded one or two goals too many.

"All the players not here today were missed. It's difficult when you play against such a great team then. Still, we had a top team on the pitch that gave it everything."

Manuel Neuer backed Hansi Flick as the right coach for Bayern Munich, amid reports of a row with sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

A difficult week for Bayern ended in frustrating circumstances on Saturday, as Marcus Ingvartsen's late goal snatched a 1-1 draw for Union Berlin at the Allianz Arena.

Jamal Musiala's moment of quality seemed set to have proved decisive for Bayern, who are now just five points clear of RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

With the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain coming up, Flick made a glut of changes for the Union clash, while both Musiala and Kingsley Coman sustained injuries.

According to reports, Flick's relationship with sporting director Salihamidzic has all but broken down, raising questions over the future of Bayern's coach, who has been linked with the soon-to-be-vacant Germany job.

Asked to discuss Flick's future after Saturday's game, a frustrated Neuer told Sky Sport: "I think Hansi Flick is the right coach for us."

Reflecting on the match, Neuer added: "Of course, it is very annoying. We played a good game with the team for long stretches. We would have deserved to win. That is bitter."

Against a stubborn Union defence, Bayern failed to register a shot on target in the first half for only the second time this season.

They managed to find a way to goal through Musiala, whose goal was his fourth in the Bundesliga, and his first not as a substitute.

Musiala went off shortly after scoring, though Flick has confirmed the youngster was only suffering from cramps, while he also revealed Coman was not expected to last the full 90 minutes.

"It was clear from the start that Kingsley would only play 45 minutes. I think it's not so serious. Jamal Musiala had cramps," Flick told reporters.

Flick also offered updates on the fitness of Lucas Hernandez and Leon Goretzka ahead of Tuesday's Paris showdown.

"I have more hope for Lucas Hernandez," Flick added.

"We won't take any risks with Leon, it's a muscular injury. The doctors decide whether it's worth the risk."

Bayern are now winless in two consecutive home games in all competitions for the first time since November 2018 when failing to win in four home games in a row under Niko Kovac.

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has withdrawn from the Germany squad for their upcoming fixtures because of an adductor injury.

The 31-year-old linked up with his national side on Monday for the World Cup qualifiers with Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia.

However, Germany confirmed on Tuesday that Kroos has returned to Madrid as a precautionary measure and will play no part in any of their games over the next eight days.

"Our medical department has examined and treated Toni intensively," said head coach Joachim Low, who will step down from his position at the end of the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament.

"He would have liked to stay with us, and I am reluctant to be without him. But with a view to the Euros, we decided that the full recovery from this injury must be a priority."

Kroos earned his 100th cap for Germany in October's 3-3 draw with Switzerland and has featured 35 times in all competitions for Madrid this season.

He previously missed two games earlier this season with a gluteal injury, seeing him play no part in the league wins over Real Valladolid and Levante.

Germany are also without Niklas Sule and Robin Gosens for Thursday's clash with Iceland in Duisburg, the pair unavailable with thigh and muscular problems respectively.

The build-up to the match has been dominated by talk of who will succeed Low as the next Germany head coach, but Manuel Neuer insists it will be business as usual on the field.

"We had a short team meeting and are concentrating on our tasks," he said. "We have to be well prepared for the European Championship and will use every game to do that.

"We cannot make any more mistakes. We have a strong group, against some strong opponents, so every game is a final from the start.

"Of course now we want to crown this era with a success. The coach deserves that to end with a success after the successful years.

"He is is very motivated and ambitious. It's not that he thinks he's going to retire. He's enthusiastic. He wants to quit as national coach as successfully as possible."

Under-21s boss Stefan Kuntz is among the frontrunners to replace Low, who has been at the helm since 2006 and guided his country to World Cup success in 2014.

Ralf Rangnick and Hansi Flick, who manages Neuer at club level with Bayern, are also in the running, while Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann have distanced themselves.

Asked about the candidates for one of the top jobs in football, Neuer said: "A national coach must have experience and must have done one or the other in German football. 

"He should know the Bundesliga. It's not about what we think, but about the goals that we have in front of us."

Hansi Flick was unimpressed by the state of Eintracht Frankfurt's pitch but insisted he was not using that as an excuse for Bayern Munich's 2-1 defeat on Saturday.

Defending champions Bayern lost for the second time in the Bundesliga in 2021 and dropped points in successive matches, having drawn 3-3 at home to struggling Arminia Bielefeld on Monday.

As such, RB Leipzig will close to within just two points of the leaders if they beat Hertha Berlin – who are just above the relegation zone – away from home on Sunday.

It is a significant turnaround in Bayern's fortunes given they were 10 points clear earlier this month, and Flick was frustrated by the nature of his team's performance, particularly the first half.

Bayern trailed 2-0 at the break thanks to Daichi Kamada's well-worked opener and Amin Younes' stunning strike, with Robert Lewandowski's effort just after the interval insufficient as the champions sought an equaliser.

"Frankfurt are having a sensational run, but they can still improve the pitch a little bit," Flick told reporters. "That's something we don't like to see. However, [the defeat] certainly wasn't because of the pitch.

"We didn't get into the game well. Eintracht played with a lot of pace in the first half. But if we played the way we did in the second half for the full 90 minutes, the winner would be different.

"We've had a turbulent few weeks. We've many injured and infected players. We're just human. I'm still proud of the team.

"I didn't think that Leon Goretzka would show such a strong performance when he came into the game. He helped us and brought positive energy onto the pitch. We can build on that second half, so I'm not worried."

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer echoed the sentiments of Flick, convinced things would have been different if Bayern's first-half performance had matched their showing in the second period.

"We didn't learn from the Arminia Bielefeld game," Neuer said. "This was not enough against such a team.

"We have to be wide awake from the start. The second half was good - had we played like that from the start, we'd have won here."

The defeat took Bayern's goals conceded this season to 31 in 22 Bundesliga games, their worst record at this point of the season since 1991-92, when they finished 10th.

Bayern Munich completed a year of dominance by collecting the Club World Cup on Thursday, beating Tigres UANL 1-0 in the final.

Victory in Qatar, courtesy of Benjamin Pavard's scrappy second-half goal, clinched a sixth trophy in under 12 months.

Bayern started a 23-match winning run in all competitions this time last year, winning the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup in this time.

They added the DFL-Supercup immediately after seeing that streak ended in September, then completed the set by beating Tigres.

Hansi Flick's side went one better than Bayern's 2013 team, who collected five titles - losing to Borussia Dortmund in the domestic Supercup.

The Bavarian giants were dominant last season and have continued to collect results this term, led by a star-studded cast, as we can see with Opta data.
 

FLICK'S MEN ALMOST FLAWLESS

Going back 12 months to the start of that remarkable winning stretch, Bayern have played 53 matches in all competitions, winning 46 of them.

In fact, they lost games just twice in the last year, to Hoffenheim 4-1 and Borussia Monchengladbach 3-2, both in the Bundesliga, although there was also a penalty shootout defeat to Holstein Kiel that ensured they will not defend their Pokal crown this season.

While dominating, Bayern have mainly been a great watch, scoring 157 goals (2.96 per game) and conceding 51 (0.96 per game). Indeed, those 53 games yielded only 21 Bayern clean sheets.

The standout results were obvious, scoring eight in games against both Barcelona and Schalke, but they also netted six versus Hoffenheim and Salzburg, plus five in clashes with Eintracht Frankfurt (twice), Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz.
 

OLD GUARD THE STANDOUT STARS

Bayern have a wealth of exciting young talents, but they relied heavily on their experienced campaigners over this glorious stretch.

Thomas Muller (51), Manuel Neuer (50) and David Alaba (48) led Bayern in appearances over the past year. Neuer was named in the starting XI on the most occasions - every time he played.

Robert Lewandowski has been unsurprisingly the leading marksman with his 49 goals in 45 games, but Joshua Kimmich came to the fore in terms of assists, his 23 - along with nine goals - coming from 43 matches.

Kimmich had one more assist than Muller, despite the forward creating 141 chances to his team-mate's 108.

With Neuer playing all but three of the 53 matches, he accounted for 20 of Bayern's 21 clean sheets - Alexander Nubel earned the other - and made 139 saves.

Niklas Sule, at 91.9 per cent of 1,656, was the most accurate passer to start a game, although he trailed the team's most prominent passers by some distance; Alaba played 3,743 at 88.2 per cent accuracy.

Alaba (4,210) also led the way in terms of touches ahead of Kimmich (4,089), who was beaten in terms of tackles by the slightly surprising figure of Serge Gnabry (76).

Hansi Flick can still see room for improvement from his Bayern Munich side despite brushing aside Schalke 4-0 to move seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga.

The reigning champions capitalised on RB Leipzig's shock defeat at Mainz by seeing off Schalke, the division's bottom side, at the Veltins-Arena on Sunday.

Thomas Muller scored either side of Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking goal - netting in an eighth successive away league match - before David Alaba got in on the act in the final minute.

Bayern did not have things all their own way in the first half, though, with Manuel Neuer reacting well to keep out Mark Uth's header from the best of Schalke's opportunities.

Flick is pleased his side have rediscovered their form with three wins in a row since suffering back-to-back losses earlier this month, but he acknowledged there is still more to come.

"I'm not entirely happy with what we showed," he told Sky Sport. "We scored four goals, but we should have done better, especially with the way we positioned ourselves.

"However, I am very satisfied with the nine points with have obtained from the last three games. After defeats to Holstein Kiel [in the DFB-Pokal] and Monchengladbach, it was important to find stability.

"We now have a certain cushion, but it is still important that we approach every game the way we have approached the last few games, that we perform 100 per cent. 

"We're going to take two days off now. This is important to clear your head from time to time. From Wednesday, we will then prepare intensively for Hoffenheim."

Bayern have now kept clean sheets in successive league games for the first time this term, with Neuer making three saves in total - all in the first half.

Neuer's 197th shutout is a new Bundesliga record, surpassing Bayern great Oliver Kahn, but it was bittersweet coming against his beleaguered boyhood club.

Schalke are bottom of the division with one win from 18 games but Neuer is hopeful they can avoid the drop.

"Obviously, it's difficult for them against teams like us," he said. "I think that they have to beat two or three clubs that are in the lower half of the table, one after the other.

"I wish the Schalke players luck that they can stay in the league and that they can still turn the tide. Of course, I'll keep my fingers crossed for that."

Of his own team's display, which saw Bayern register a season-high 31 shots, Neuer said: "We improved and still had one or two more scoring chances. 

"We certainly would have signed for a 4-0 win beforehand."

Meanwhile, Muller's double took him to nine goals in 18 Bundesliga games this season, already beating his tally from the entirety of 2019-20.

The forward, who scored a clinical header in each half, echoed the thoughts of Flick in saying his side were slightly flattered by the margin of the scoreline.

"We neglected some aspects of our game," Muller said. "We besieged the opposing goal in the first half, played a few chances well, but the last action was missing.

"Overall, you noticed that when we increased the pace and played our game, we were always able to get ourselves into good final positions. 

"We have won all three games this week and made a giant leap forward in the table. That is what counts."

Bayern Munich fell victim to a "brutally effective" Borussia Monchengladbach in their humbling 3-2 defeat on Friday, according to Hansi Flick.

Robert Lewandowski's penalty – his 20th Bundesliga goal of the season – and a fine strike from Leon Goretzka put Bayern in control of the Bundesliga clash at Borussia-Park inside 26 minutes.

However, a wayward pass from Benjamin Pavard led to a quick break that finished with Jonas Hofmann scoring, and the Gladbach midfielder was played onside by Niklas Sule as he doubled his tally before half-time after Joshua Kimmich was caught in possession by Lars Stindl.

Sule then gave the ball to Hofmann inside his own half four minutes after the restart and Florian Neuhaus subsequently atoned for conceding the first-half spot-kick with a bizarre handball by netting the winner.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to beat Bayern in a Bundesliga game after falling 2-0 down.

"We had hoped for a different ending to this game and expected it, but in the end we were punished. We lost the ball unnecessarily three times and the opposition was brutally effective in finishing those chances," Flick told a post-match news conference.

"When you ask me how to prevent that, on the one hand you have to keep the mistakes to a minimum, or avoid them, and on the other hand you have to cover your deep positions twice.

"We suffered similar situations on their first two goals. Hofmann went deep from midfield and we moved forward too quickly and opened the centre without covering the deep position, and with the second we should have kept going and covering the positions.

"That shouldn't happen and it's not a nice situation to be in, but a defeat, even if it's Bayern Munich, is part of the game. In the second half the team tried everything to achieve a positive result but unfortunately it didn't work."

Manuel Neuer has now conceded in 10 straight Bundesliga games for the first time in his career, with Bayern letting in 16 goals since their last clean sheet against Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

Bayern have conceded 24 goals through 15 matches in the top flight this season, the most they have shipped at this point of a Bundesliga campaign since 1981-82.

Flick added: "I've said it a few times, we are making too many mistakes. You can't deny that the team tried to win.

"We had to fight today, we knew it would be a difficult game. Don't forget [Gladbach] is a team that played in the Champions League against top opposition and prevailed, so we needed this compact team performance and we showed – with the exception of these three situations.

"But of course, we're not satisfied with the result. We all know we need to show even more concentration in our defensive work in the crucial moments. We have to cover the deep positions and that's the challenge we have, and we have to improve in the coming weeks."

Bayern are back in action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday.

Jonas Hofmann played a pivotal role as Borussia Monchengladbach incredibly came from two goals down to defeat Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 3-2 on Friday.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 20th top-flight goal of the season from the penalty spot after an inexplicable handball from Florian Neuhaus, and Leon Goretzka had Bayern cruising at Borussia-Park in the 26th minute.

However, Hofmann struck twice in the space of 10 minutes to send the teams into half-time level and Neuhaus atoned for his earlier error with what proved to be the winner in the 49th minute.

Gladbach consequently became the first team since Cologne in February 2011 to defeat Bayern in the Bundesliga after falling 2-0 down.

Lewandowski put Bayern in front from the penalty spot following a bizarre handball by Neuhaus, though referee Harm Osmers only pointed to the spot after a VAR check.

Bayern doubled their advantage six minutes later, Goretzka intercepting Matthias Ginter's pass and drilling a venomous effort past Yann Sommer after a one-two with Leroy Sane.

Gladbach reduced the deficit when Rami Bensebaini regained the ball high up the pitch and a quick passing move ended with Hofmann sliding Lars Stindl's throughball past Manuel Neuer.

The hosts drew level in first-half stoppage time when Stindl dispossessed Joshua Kimmich and fed Hofmann for another cool finish - the VAR confirming he was onside when the pass was played.

Gladbach completed the turnaround four minutes after the restart, Hofmann intercepting Niklas Sule's pass and teeing up Neuhaus to curl a wonderful effort into the top-right corner.

Marco Rose's men sat deep and Ginter cleared a header from Sule off the line in the 91st minute, opening the door for RB Leipzig to replace Bayern at the Bundesliga summit if they can beat Borussia Dortmund in a mouthwatering clash on Saturday.

What does it mean? Worries at the back for Flick

Bayern's defensive struggles continued against Gladbach, with Neuer now on a 10-game run without a clean sheet in the Bundesliga for the first time in his career.

He was not helped by Benjamin Pavard giving away possession prior to Hofmann's first, while Sule played a role in allowing the other two Gladbach goals.

Securing the future of David Alaba, who will be out of contract at the end of the season, never seemed quite so important.

Having it Lars

Most teams would think the game is beyond them when falling 2-0 down to Bayern, but Gladbach captain Stindl led by example to turn the game around. He set up both of Hofmann's goals with a pair of quality passes and contested 11 duels before being substituted in the 82nd minute.

Sluggish Sule

Sule replaced Jerome Boateng in the centre of defence but endured a disappointing outing. He played Hofmann onside for the equaliser just before half-time and within minutes of the restart his stray pass resulted in Neuhaus putting Gladbach in front.

What's next?

Bayern are in DFB-Pokal action against 2. Bundesliga side Holstein Kiel on Wednesday, while Gladbach have a week to prepare for a Bundesliga clash with Stuttgart.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is enduring the worst run of his Bundesliga career.

With Jonas Hofmann's goal in the 35th minute of Bayern's meeting with Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday, Neuer failed to keep a clean sheet for the 10th straight top-flight game.

It is the first time the 34-year-old keeper has conceded in 10 successive Bundesliga matches during his 15 seasons in the competition.

Neuer's previous worst streak was a run of nine games between September and December in 2018.

The last time Bayern kept a clean sheet in the Bundesliga was in their 5-0 triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt on October 24.

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