German Bundesliga, Leagues, Story

After Bayern’s 5-0 win over Freiburg, Thiago Alcantara insists the players were at fault for the club’s woes under Carlo Ancelotti.

Bayern Munich kicked off Jupp Heynckes’ fourth tenure as coach with a 5-0 rout of visiting Freiburg on Saturday.

Heynckes got off to a perfect start with an own goal from Julian Schuster, a diving header from Kingsley Coman, and second-half goals from Thiago Alcantara, Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich.

The margin of victory also helped restore some of the swagger missing after Bayern’s lacklustre start to the season.

The 72-year-old Heynckes — who won the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble in his previous stint with Bayern before retiring in 2013 — was coaxed into returning after Carlo Ancelotti was fired.

The result allowed Bayern to close within two points of league leaders Borussia Dortmund, who lost 3-2 to RB Leipzig in the day’s late kick-off.

Third-placed Hoffenheim lost ground on Bayern as visiting Augsburg twice came from behind to grab a 2-2 draw at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.

The home side broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Benjamin Hubner drilled home from the edge of the box after Andrej Kramaric’s initial effort was blocked.

And, even after Augsburg substitute Michael Gregoritsch equalised after 75 minutes, the hosts thought they had done enough when Marc Uth found the top corner five minutes from time.

But Augsburg’s persistence paid off in bizarre style in the 89th minute when a deep cross hit luckless Hoffenheim defender Kevin Vogt and ricocheted into the net to wrap up a 2-2 draw.

Before their game vs. Schalke, Hertha knelt and locked arms for “tolerance and responsibility.”

Hertha Berlin lost 2-0 to Schalke after having taken a knee before kick-off in solidarity with the recent NFL protests.

The side’s hopes took a blow before the break when Genki Haraguchi was sent off with a direct red card for a dangerous challenge on Schalke forward Guido Burgstaller. The Japan midfielder apologized straight away.

Hertha did not have a shot at goal in the first half. Leon Goretzka fired Schalke ahead from the penalty spot early in the second, and Burgstaller wrapped it with just over 10 minutes remaining.

Hannover continued to slide after their fine start to the season as they suffered their fourth Bundesliga game without a win in a 2-1 home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sebastien Haller put the visitors in front after 10 minutes and, despite an equaliser from Salif Sane before the break, Ante Rebic won it for Frankfurt with one minute left.

Alexandru Maxim, Stefan Bell and Danny Latza scored for Mainz as they edged struggling Hamburg 3-2 at the Opel Arena.

Hamburg’s Brazilian striker Walace had briefly brought the visitors back on level terms, but their second, an injury-time penalty from Sejad Salihovic, was a mere consolation.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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