Bayern Munich slumped to their first home defeat of the season, losing 3-0 to old foe Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday in the original Klassiker.
Bayern find themselves only four points behind league leaders Borussia Dortmund. The margin was five at the same stage last season when Jupp Heynckes took over from Carlo Ancelotti to save the day.
Below-par Bayern are currently bereft of confidence, pace and ideas, failing to score for a second straight Bundesliga game, plummeting to fifth place in the table. The international break cannot come soon enough to regroup.
Manager rating out of 10
3 — Niko Kovac’s substitutions left Bayern badly out of shape, and after stretching their poor run to four games without a win, cynics might suggest Ancelotti was fired for less little more than a year ago. One wonders what Heynckes is doing right about now.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Manuel Neuer, 5 — Had no chance of preventing the first and final goals, but hastily played Thiago into trouble for Lars Stindl’s second. It’s difficult to captain the side as a goalkeeper during a poor run when Bayern are clearly lacking leaders on the pitch.
DF David Alaba, 5 — Average performance at left-back before tweaking his hamstring early in the second half and had to be replaced after 55 minutes by Renato Sanches.
DF Niklas Sule, 6 — Unfortunately blocked Neuer’s line of sight for the opening goal, but a couple of last-ditch challenges prevented an even heavier defeat.
DF Mats Hummels, 5 — Horribly exposed by Stindl for the second goal, but did go close with an effort in the first half — one of the few chances that Bayern enjoyed in the opening period.
DF Joshua Kimmich, 6 — Toiled in vain to drag Bayern back into the match after swapping over to left-back after Alaba’s departure.
MF Thiago, 5 — A general lack of inventiveness amid an error-strewn display and badly caught in possession for the crucial second goal.
DF Leon Goretzka, 4 — Switched to right-back after Kovac’s reshuffle, but Bayern’s miserable day was typified when Goretzka was penalised for a foul throw midway through the second half.
MF James Rodriguez, 4 — The Colombia star cut a forlorn figure throughout and looks a shadow of the player who impressed under Heynckes last season.
MF Arjen Robben, 6 — Toiled industriously in the first half and, with Bayern chasing the game, there were certainly more deserving candidates to be hooked off at half-time as the “Flying Dutchman” made way for Serge Gnabry.
MF Thomas Muller, 5 — Brilliantly denied by Yann Sommer but the offside flag was up anyway and deservedly taken off at half-time for Franck Ribery as Bayern chased the game.
FW Robert Lewandowski, 4 — Goal chalked off narrowly for offside in the second half but largely anonymous otherwise.
MF Franck Ribery, 3 — Replaced Muller at half-time, but only caught the eye when booked for dissent towards the referee after a clear foul on a Gladbach defender.
MF Serge Gnabry, 6 — The former Arsenal winger replaced Robben and enjoyed a series of promising moments but little of the desired end product.
MF Renato Sanches, 6 — A couple of surging runs after coming on for Alaba, showing the correct spirit in a losing cause.