Bayern Munich suffered a shock 2-1 defeat away to Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Friday, giving Borussia Dortmund the chance to close the gap at the top.
Heading into the weekend, Bayern were the team with the highest expected goals (xG) tally in the league this season (34.1), while Augsburg had the lowest (10.4), but the champions’ finishing left a lot to be desired as they aimed just four shots on target.
Bayern had it all to do after falling 2-0 down to goals from Mads Pedersen and Andre Hahn, although Robert Lewandowski at least ensured they did not go into the break chasing a two-goal deficit.
The visitors enjoyed 80.7 per cent of the possession after half-time, but they struggled to convert that into meaningful opportunities that worked Rafal Gikiewicz in the Augsburg goal, with Julian Nagelsmann’s side slipping to their second league defeat of the season.
Despite Bayern’s domination, Augsburg went in front in the 23rd minute as Lucas Hernandez only partially intercepted Iago’s cross and Pedersen reacted quickest to blast into the bottom-right corner.
Another Iago cross caused havoc soon after, with Hahn rising above Hernandez to nod in despite Manuel Neuer getting a hand to it.
Bayern’s response was better this time, however, quickly pulling one back through Lewandowski’s well-taken volley after Thomas Muller – making his 600th club appearance – flicked on Benjamin Pavard’s cross.
But Lewandowski was not so ruthless just after the break, snatching at a close-range chance that he sliced inexplicably over the crossbar.
Lewandowski wasted another glorious opportunity with just over 10 minutes remaining, shooting straight at Gikiewicz from around eight yards in what proved to be Bayern’s final chance.
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Prior to the 80th minute, Bayern had just two shots on target and Lewandowski had only touched the ball once in the Augsburg area during the second half.
They came on strong in the latter stages as desperation set in, but their attempts at subtlety in the final third rarely came off as Augsburg packed the box and their deep defence often managed to get a foot in at the last second.
It was a strangely profligate performance considering they had scored 40 from 34.1 xG prior to Friday, and Dortmund will fancy their chances of closing the gap at the top when they face third-from-bottom Stuttgart on Saturday.
Bayern were pretty relentless by the end, so Augsburg had to withstand immense pressure. But throughout the match, captain Jeffrey Gouweleeuw just seemed to be everywhere at the back, making more interceptions (three) and clearances (nine) than anyone else on the pitch.
Lewandowski unable to carry Bayern
His exceptional volley gave Bayern a lifeline at the end of the first half, but otherwise it was a disappointing showing from Lewandowski, who was oddly wasteful. Of his four shots, only two were on target, with the one save Gikiewicz made from the forward a wasted opportunity as he fired straight at the goalkeeper late on.
Bayern are in Champions League action at Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday before then hosting Arminia Bielefeld four days later. Augsburg continue their survival scrap away to Hertha Berlin the same day.
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