Bayern Munich crashed out of the German Cup following a shock 2-1 defeat deep into stoppage time against third-tier FC Saarbrücken on Wednesday. Marcel Gaus scored the winning goal for Saarbrücken in the 96th minute, converting a low cross to spark delirium among the home fans. For Bayern, which has won a record 20 German Cups, it compounded a miserable evening in southwest Germany, particularly after defender Matthijs De Ligt had to leave the field with a worrying knee injury in the first half.
Manager Thomas Tuchel had selected a strong team for the game with Thomas Müller, Leroy Sané and Joshua Kimmich all named in the starting XI. It was Müller who gave Bayern an early – and perhaps predictable – lead with a fine strike from outside the box, but the team’s night took a downward turn from there. After De Ligt was substituted with what Tuchel called a “painful” cartilage injury, Saarbrücken leveled the game right at the end of the first half.
Bayern gave up possession after sloppy play at the back, and several Saarbrücken passes later, Patrick Sontheimer had a simple finish to make it 1-1 at Ludwigsparkstadion. Sané had chances to put Bayern back ahead at the start of the second half before Tuchel brought on Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala in an attempt to get the winning goal. Coman came the closest when his powerful drive was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Tim Schbreiber, but Bayern – which had 18 shots and 75% possession throughout the match – couldn’t find a way through. It proved costly.
As the game moved into stoppage time, substitute Tim Civeja found space behind the Bayern defense and crossed to Gaus, who netted an unlikely winning goal for Saarbrücken. Bayern had one last chance through Gnabry, but his shot was blocked and Saarbrücken could celebrate a famous win and a place in the third round of the German Cup. “It’s just madness,” said Saarbrücken head coach Rüdiger Ziehl. “It had to happen in regular time because we wouldn’t have made it through 120 minutes.
We had to run and suffer a lot today … It was a performance driven by willpower, and I’m incredibly proud of the team.”
Tuchel decided against bringing on star striker Harry Kane as his team pressed for a winning goal, and the defeat means that the England captain’s wait for the first trophy of his career continues and looks more and more precarious. “We fought our way into the game in the second half,” said Tuchel. “We were handed a very bitter pill to swallow with the last move of the match. There are 100 explanations, or possibly none.
It feels strange. “We created enough chances and half-chances. It’s really bitter. We can’t make up for it any more, we are utterly disappointed.”
Bayern next faces rival Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker on Saturday with both teams unbeaten in the league so far this season. © 2023 Cable News Network. A Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All Rights Reserved. CNN Sans ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network. Credit – CNN