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Bayern self-critical after slipping behind Dortmund in title race


Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac questioned his team’s attitude after Saturday’s 1-1 draw in Freiburg saw Bayern slip two points behind rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga title race.

“I am not just disappointed, I am also annoyed,” said Kovac. 

“We didn’t go into the game in the way I thought we would. One or two players perhaps thought that it would all just work out fine, but that isn’t the case in Freiburg.”

Kovac had warned his players not to underestimate Freiburg before the game, and called on them to defend top spot ahead of next Saturday’s showdown with Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

Having conceded an early goal, Bayern drew level before half-time, only to waste several opportunities to win in the second half. 

At the same time, Paco Alcacer’s late double saw Dortmund beat Wolfsburg and sneak back into top spot. 

Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also questioned the team’s mentality, saying that they had taken “the wrong attitude” against Freiburg.

“Watching from the sidelines, you didn’t get the feeling that the players wanted to win the game at all costs,” he said.

The players themselves were also self-critical. Stand-in goalkeeper Sven Ulreich said the result was “very frustrating”, while midfielder Leon Goretzka said Bayern had ignored their own pre-match team talk.

“We slept through the first five minutes, and I can’t explain why because that is exactly what we discussed 500 times in the dressing room before the game,” Goretzka told Sky.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski struck a more positive note, claiming that Bayern would hit back in Saturday’s clash with Dortmund. 

“Dortmund scored two late goals, so they had the rub of the green this weekend,” said Lewandowski.

“But I’m sure that the luck will be on our side when we play them next week, especially as we are at home.”

Kovac and Salihamidzic both demanded a response from the players against Dortmund, and both said that the title race showdown was now a must-win game. 

“We expect a reaction against Dortmund. We need to beat them and show that we want to be champions,” said Salihamidzic.

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