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Below-strength Bayern thwarted by ruthless Stuttgart

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Below-strength Bayern thwarted by ruthless Stuttgart

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat May 12, 2018 4:40 pm

Champions FC Bayern stumbled in the final Bundesliga match of the season, losing 4-1 to VfB Stuttgart. Daniel Ginczek and Corentin Tolisso traded goals before Anastasios Donis put the visitors in front in the first half. Chadrac Akolo and Ginczek netted shortly after the interval.

The Bavarians started with Sven Ulreich in goal and Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Mats Hummels and Rafinha in a back four. Thiago anchored a midfield featuring Thomas Müller, James, Tolisso and Franck Ribéry, with Robert Lewandowski as the sole striker.

Jupp Heynckes made three changes to the XI that saw off Köln last Saturday. Tolisso, Ribéry and Thiago took over from Javi Martínez, Franck Evina and Sebastian Rudy. Martínez, Sandro Wagner and Rudy came on for Tolisso, Müller and Ribéry in the second half.

Lewy shines, bogeyman Donis

After bidding farewell to Jupp Heynckes and Stuttgart centre-back and former FCB man Holger Badstuber, the 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw the hosts signal their intent from the off, Lewandowski firing wide from 20 yards. But Stuttgart's Donis soon gained possession in midfield, ghosted past a number of Bavarians and crossing to Ginczek, who proved a cool customer from five yards.

Bayern went looking for a reply but struggled against the well-organised visitors, who posed a constant threat on the break. FCB had a decent shout for a penalty waved away by referee Sascha Stegemann. It took their outstanding individual quality to level the scores. Lewandowski wriggled his way past two Stuttgart men in the box before shining with a brilliantly bamboozling pirouette, inviting Tolisso to crash home.

Bayern were buoyed by the goal, strangling the visitors with their possession game and creating a number of chances. Keeper Ron-Robert Zieler denied two Lewandowski efforts before shining against Tolisso. But Stuttgart survived the spell of Bayern pressure and restored the lead against the run of play. Again, Donis gained possession in midfield. Again, he shone with a blistering solo run and appeared in the Bayern box seconds later, this time slotting past Ulreich.

Sloppy defending

Bayern went straight back onto the front foot after the interval, Zieler saving from sub Martínez. But the Swabians soon added a third following another textbook counter, Emiliano Insua's cross inviting Akolo to head past Ulreich. Three minutes later Erik Thommy drew a fine save from Ulreich, but Ginczek was on hand to bury the rebound, beating Bayern's unfocused rearguard to the ball.

Bayern went looking from a reply, Ribéry seeing an effort blocked, Lewandowski skying from 18 yards. Zieler proved equal to Thiago before Lewandowski hit the side-netting, but another goal refused to come, and Stegemann blew for full-time.

The result means Bayern finish the campaign on 84 points, a towering number despite Saturday's defeat. The Reds are back in action next Saturday, when they will be looking to seal the double in the DFB Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt. Maybe the defeat against Stuttgart will prove a crucial wake-up call, but first the Munich giants and their global family will celebrate a fine Bundesliga campaign and the sixth championship title in a row.

Live match report for by Greg Salmen
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