Bayern Munich held to draw on trophy day by stuffy Stuttgart
Bayern Munich came from behind but were then pegged back in a 2-2 draw with VfB Stuttgart before receiving the Bundesliga championship trophy while the visitors could enjoy a crucial point in the battle for top-flight survival.
Stuttgart defender Konstantinos Mavropanos could not keep out Serge Gnabry’s shot on the line and Thomas Müller then overturned Tiago Tomas’ early opener to put Bayern in front at the break.
But Sasa Kalajdzic towered to head in an equalizer, moments after Müller hit the post for the second time in the game, and even missed a glorious chance to seal a crucial three points when his weak shot was saved by Manuel Neuer.
Bayern had secured their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title with a home win against Borussia Dortmund last month but have been sloppy since having lost at Mainz last week.
And the news the players went straight to Ibiza on their days off at the start of the week also raised eyebrows in some quarters.
Robert Lewandowski had a shot deflected onto the bar late on but Bayern couldn’t find a winner and even had Kingsley Coman red carded deep into added time for a petulant reaction to a challenge from Mavropanos.
They were still in party mood, albeit slightly subdued, when captain Neuer was presented with the trophy, the first won by coach Julian Nagelsmann in his career, by league chief Donata Hopfen after the full-time whistle of their last home game. They finish at Wolfsburg next week.
“Shortly after a game, when you’ve not won, it is not so nice,” said admitted Nagelsmann on DAZN.
It is the first time since 2019 that Bayern were able to celebrate the title with their fans because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Even when there are many here who know the ceremonies, it is simply always beautiful,” said Müller. “We wanted to win, were eager, but we have also made mistakes.”
Record winner Müller has received the trophy on 11 of Bayern’s 32 German championships, all but one of which have come in the Bundesliga era.
Stuttgart were far from joining Bayern in the same spirit as they remain in the Bundesliga play-off place going into their final match at home to Cologne next week.
“They can celebrate and we have, perhaps, the opportunity to put Hertha under pressure with three points next week,” said Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat.
They could yet secure safety by winning to make up the three-point gap to Hertha Berlin, who finish at Borussia Dortmund, due their goal difference advantage.
And automatic relegation now seems unlikely with second last Arminia Bielefeld three points behind and with a goal difference seven worse off when they conclude by welcoming RB Leipzig.
Leipzig thrashed Augsburg 4-0 on a cracker from Andre Silva, a double from Christopher Nkunku and an Emil Forsberg penalty to move into the fourth and final Champions League spot, pending next Saturday’s league finale.
A draw will secure fourth given their goal difference and send them into the cup final against Freiburg a week later on a high.
Augsburg, 14th, were confirmed in the Bundesliga again next season despite their loss thanks to Stuttgart not winning.
Goncalo Paciencia’s stunner gave Eintracht Frankfurt, 12th, a 1-1 home draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach with the hosts resting several top names after their Europa League semi-final win on Thursday.
Gladbach, coached by former Frankfurt boss Adi Hütter and in a disappointing 10th, went ahead early via Alassane Plea sweeping the ball home.
But Frankfurt, who meet Rangers in the May 18 Europa League final in Seville, levelled through Paciencia’s long-range thunderbolt on 66 minutes.