Bayern Munich suffer first league defeat in 54 matches

Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich manager

Pep Guardiola

Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola handing out instructions to his players
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola handing out instructions to his players

Bayern Munich suffered their first Bundesliga defeat since October 2012 as their record 53-match unbeaten league run was ended in a 1-0 defeat at Augsburg.

Coach Pep Guardiola named a weakened team for the Bavarian derby and paid the price as Bayern were beaten for the first time the league since losing 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen on October 28, 2012.

With one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final clash at home to Manchester United, with the tie level at 1-1, Guardiola started with three teenagers, giving Bundesliga debuts to wing-backs Ylli Sallahi and Mitchell Weiser while Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg was named on the left wing.

The gamble backfired when Weiser lost possession to Augsburg’s Daniel Baier who fed Sascha Moelders and the Augsburg striker blasted his shot past Manuel Neuer with 31 minutes gone to claim the winning goal.

“We tried everything and fought until the end. You can’t always win in football and we have to accept that. Now we have to prepare as quickly as possible for our ‘final’ against Manchester United,” Guardiola said.

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It was the third game in succession Bayern have fallen behind and Guardiola responded by bringing stars Mario Goetze, David Alaba and Thomas Mueller off the bench.

Left-back Alaba hit the post with 68 minutes gone as Bayern pushed in vain for the goal to keep alive hopes of becoming the first team to go through a Bundesliga campaign undefeated.

Having lost 4-2 at Borussia Dortmund in July’s German Super Cup final and beaten 3-2 at home to Manchester City in the Champions League group stage last December, this was only Bayern’s third defeat of the season since Guardiola took charge in June.

Bayern were already confirmed Bundesliga champions ten days ago when they wrapped up the title with a record seven games to spare.