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

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Feb 2024

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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.

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