Bayern Munich With Another Defeat Ahead Of Crucial Arsenal Fixture

Bayern Munich With Another Defeat Ahead Of Crucial Arsenal Fixture

Harry Kane looks on disappointed after Bayern Munich lost 3-2 to Heidenheim this Saturday (Photo by … [+] Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

On Saturday, while Bayer Leverkusen put away Union Berlin with a 1-0 win, Bayern Munich was defeated 3-2 by Heidenheim. Leverkusen can win the title with a win over Werder Bremen next week. While the title race is pretty much wrapped up, Bayern’s result could also have significant implications for the Champions League fixture against Arsenal this upcoming week.

Indeed, Bayern head coach Thomas Tuchel threw in the white towel in the Bundesliga title race last week after Dortmund’s defeat in the Klassiker. “Congratulations to Leverkusen,” Tuchel said in the post-game press conference.

According to a report by Sport Bild, it was a statement that was seen critically within the Bayern hierarchy. Internally, the report states, the club bosses felt it was against the club’s DNA to congratulate Leverkusen before the title was 100% out of reach.

The report further stated that the club bosses felt that Tuchel was rolling out the red carpet for Leverkusen to win the title. Instead, they pointed at forward Thomas Müller, who, despite the defeat, refused to give up any hope. “We will congratulate them when the time comes,” Müller said about Leverkusen about the Dortmund game.

On the pitch, however, Bayern has shown little that would give any hope for a comeback in recent weeks. And Müller, in fact, might have to congratulate Leverkusen as early as next week. All the Werkself needs now is a win over Werder to seal their first-ever Bundesliga title.

Plenty will be written about Leverkusen once they seal the title. But for now, the story is all about Bayern and the club’s first titleless campaign since 2012.

Of course, the Rekordmeister is still in the Champions League, and perhaps before the international break, they harbored some hope that they could beat Arsenal to advance to the semifinals. But defeats to Dortmund and now Heidenheim have diminished any optimism ahead of the fixture in London.

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel seemed lost for words after his club’s latest defeat in the … [+] Bundesliga (Photo by Tom Weller/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

“I can’t think of anything at the moment,” Bayern director of sport Max Eberl said when asked what gives him hope ahead of the Arsenal fixture. At the same time, Eberl 100% backed Tuchel to sit on the bench for the first leg against Arsenal. But will Tuchel finish the season with Bayern? “I can’t answer that conclusively now,” Eberl said.

Tuchel, in the meantime, was once again lost for words when asked about his club’s latest defeat. “This shouldn’t happen at this level,” Tuchel said. We had everything under control at halftime; it’s difficult to answer now. We are struggling to maintain the level, unfortunately, today was another proof. We gave the game away in the first 15 minutes of the second half after we did many good things in the first half.”

This latest Bayern collapse is indeed incredible. Bayern had everything under control, going 2-0 into halftime against promoted Heidenheim. But then the Swabians fought back and overturned a result that seemed all done and dusted in the second interval.

Overall, the results highlight two things: Tuchel’s inability to still reach his team and the fragility of the club overall. It appears that Bayern’s players just melt away at the first glance of adversity.

What does that mean for the Arsenal fixtures? It certainly is bad news for any Bayern fans. While Bayern is fragile, Arsenal has been playing an incredible season in the Premier League.

Both clubs seem to be the polar opposite since the last time they met in the knockout stages. Back in 2017, Bayern cruised to a 10-2 aggregate victory. Such a result for Bayern is extremely unlikely, as Arsenal is now the firm favorite.

Indeed, for Bayern and Tuchel, the result against Arsenal could determine the near future of their relationship. Tuchel is already set to leave the club at the end of the season. But make no mistake: a bad result against Arsenal midweek will leave the 50-year-old out of arguments to continue his job until the summer.

Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth and on Threads: @manuveth

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