Title 'not so realistic' says Tuchel after Bayern Munich's 'horror' week

AFP , Monday 19 Feb 2024

Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel said winning this season's Bundesliga title was "not so realistic right now" after a loss on Sunday which left Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen eight points clear at the top.

Tuchel
Bayern s head coach Thomas Tuchel stands in the heavy rain during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfL Bochum and FC Bayern Munich in Bochum, Germany, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024. AP

The 3-2 defeat at lowly Bochum was Bayern's third reverse in a row, after a 3-0 thumping by Alonso's league leaders last weekend and a 1-0 midweek loss at Lazio in the Champions League.

The German champions have not lost three matches in a row since 2015, a run which included semi-final defeats to Barcelona in the Champions League and Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup.

Asked if his job was in danger, Tuchel said "there is no point worrying about it".

Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen told reporters Tuchel would "of course" be in the dugout against Leipzig on Saturday.

"I don't believe in making these huge statements of support for the coach. I know what people want to hear, but these oaths of allegiance can be over after a week.

"That's why I'm saying it my way. (Tuchel's firing) is not an issue we're considering at the moment. We have to concentrate on the next few games."

Bayern were 1-0 up on Sunday after Jamal Musiala's opener, but ended up 3-1 down with 10 minutes remaining, Dayot Upamecano giving away a penalty and getting sent off, having also seen red at Lazio when giving away a spot kick.

A late Harry Kane goal gave Bayern hope but Tuchel said "everything that could go wrong did go wrong" for his side.

Tuchel said his side would continue to fight to close the eight-point gap with Leverkusen with 12 games remaining.

"Last season we believed right until the end and it worked out, so we will do that again," he said.

In the previous campaign, Dortmund were two points clear heading into the final round but drew 2-2 at lowly Mainz, allowing Bayern to claim their 11th straight crown.

Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka, who has never not won the league title since moving to Munich in 2018, told DAZN "it is difficult to say yes" when asked if his side could still win the Bundesliga.

"Everything speaks against us at the moment. But it's the wrong question to ask ourselves.

"We need to find our game back -- and win our matches."

Bochum-born Goretzka described his side's week as "like a horror movie which won't end".

Leverkusen play at home to relegation-threatened Mainz on Friday, meaning Bayern could be 11 points behind when they host RB Leipzig on Saturday.

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