More pressure on coach as Bayern slip

Paco Alcacer beating Manuel Neuer to score Dortmund's winner in their 3-2 home victory over Bayern on Saturday, ending the visitors' six-match unbeaten run.
Paco Alcacer beating Manuel Neuer to score Dortmund's winner in their 3-2 home victory over Bayern on Saturday, ending the visitors' six-match unbeaten run.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

DORTMUND (Germany) • Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac must have thought he was out of the woods after a sequence of five wins and a draw in their last six games had lifted the pressure following intense speculation over his position.

However, that impressive run proved to be no more than a false dawn after unbeaten Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund twice came from behind to beat six-time defending champions Bayern 3-2 on Saturday to move seven points clear of their third-placed rivals.

Paco Alcacer's winner turned the heat up on Kovac again, as his side's chances of winning a seventh straight title in his maiden season in charge took another blow and the Croat afterwards lamented their defensive frailties.

"We allowed ourselves to be beaten twice on the counter - that shouldn't have happened," he told reporters. "We should have been more compact and, unfortunately, we lost a game which should have been a draw."

Robert Lewandowski twice gave Bayern the lead at Signal Iduna Park against his former club - the Poland striker's "Der Klassiker" record now stands at 14 goals in 16 matches since leaving Dortmund in 2014 - but he also had two second-half goals disallowed for offside.

A brace from Dortmund captain Marco Reus pegged Bayern back before substitute Alcacer, on loan from Barcelona, struck in the 73rd minute for Lucien Favre's Dortmund, who remain four points clear of second-placed Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table.

Reus felt that while Dortmund were not at the races before the break, they turned the screw in the second half and played "awesome football".

"We didn't trust ourselves in the first half, but, after the break, it was great fun," he said.

Dortmund boss Favre concurred, saying: "It was a great game and I have to congratulate my players. That was a crazy game, a great advertisement for the Bundesliga and the win wasn't undeserved."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2018, with the headline 'More pressure on coach as Bayern slip'. Print Edition | Subscribe