Bayern crash to Frankfurt defeat in Bundesliga

BERLIN (AFP) – Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich crashed to a 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt early yesterday as the club world champions gave renewed hope to their title rivals, three days before their Champions League last-16 first leg at Lazio.

Robert Lewandowski netted his 26th league goal of the season for Bayern, but Frankfurt deserved the win thanks to first-half goals by Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada and Amin Younes.

Bayern, who drew 3-3 with struggling Arminia Bielefeld last Monday, could see their lead cut to two points by RB Leipzig when they visit Hertha Berlin.

“We haven’t learned from the Bielefeld game,” Bayern captain Manuel Neuer told Sky.

“We have to be aggressive from the very beginning, we have to be wide awake. We only got going in the second half.”

Fourth-placed Frankfurt are seven points behind Bayern and unbeaten in 11 Bundesliga matches.

It was Bayern’s third league defeat of the season. Their last, a 3-2 reverse at Borussia Moenchengladbach in January, was followed by a shock German Cup defeat at second-tier Holstein Kiel.

Frankfurt capitalised on the league leaders’ jaded form since lifting the Club World Cup in Qatar just over a week ago.

Coach Hansi Flick saw Bayern’s improved second-half performance as a good “sign” and something “we’re building on”.

“We have had some turbulent days,” he added, referring to Bayern’s energy-sapping round-trip to Qatar.

Bayern were missing defender Benjamin Pavard plus forward Thomas Mueller, who were both sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19, while midfielder Corentin Tolisso is sidelined by injury.

Frankfurt’s top-scorer Andre Silva dropped out before kick-off with a back injury.

Just like in the draw against Bielefeld, Bayern were 2-0 down at half-time.

Kamada opened the scoring by tucking away a cross in the 12th minute, then set up Younes, who fired into the far corner past the diving Neuer on 31 minutes.

Bayern pulled a goal back just after the break when Lewandowski scored after Leroy Sane toyed with his marker before putting in a superb low cross.

Frankfurt held on for a fifth straight league win.