Tuchel’s Bayern loses in Mainz, Bundesliga lead under threat

BERLIN (AP) — Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel endured a torrid return to his former club Mainz where his team squandered the lead and lost 3-1 in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund was two points behind Bayern and could go top later Saturday with a home win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Five rounds remain after this weekend.

Sadio Mané scored and Bayern looked set to stretch its league lead to five points. Mané got his seventh league goal when he headed in João Cancelo’s cross at the far post in the 29th minute.

But Mainz improved after the break and Ludovic Ajorque equalized in the 65th when Bayern’s defense was unable to clear the ball after a free kick. Leandro Barreiro scored the home team’s second in the 73rd, and six minutes later Spanish left back Aarón Martín marked his 26th birthday by scoring Mainz’s third.

“Again I’m sitting here saying I didn’t see it coming, because there wasn’t any sign of it,” Tuchel said, echoing his words after Bayern’s to Manchester City on Wednesday. “I was happy with the first half, we lost our way a bit in the second.”.

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Bayern’s loss increases the pressure on chief executive Oliver Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić. They were for their decision to fire coach Julian Nagelsmann before decisive games last month. Bayern has since crashed out of the Champions League and German Cup, and Nagelsmann’s replacement, Tuchel, has just two wins from seven games across all competitions.

“A defeat is always a brutal disappointment and an extreme discrepancy between expectation and reality for us,” Bayern veteran Thomas Muller said. “In the current situation, it’s even harder to bear.”.

Pál Dárdai’s return for his third stint as Hertha Berlin coach failed to inspire the team when it slumped to a 4-2 loss at home to Werder Bremen – a result that left Hertha on the bottom with little hope ahead of its visit to Bayern next weekend. Marvin Ducksch scored a hat trick for Bremen.

Wolfsburg routed Bochum 5-1 away, and Cologne won at Hoffenheim 3-1.

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