Bayern Munich’s poor form continued on Saturday as a 3-0 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach piled pressure on coach Niko Kovac.
A strong start soon came undone thanks to goals from Alassane Plea and Lars Stindl and Bayern struggled to mount a serious threat at the other end despite bossing possession.
They finally began to build a head of steam late in the game, only for Patrick Herrmann to deliver the final blow with two minutes to play, leaving Bayern without a win in their last four games going into the international break.
Bayern controlled the opening 10 minutes in terms of possession, but, though Yann Sommer made an excellent save to keep out Thomas Muller’s close-range header in the third minute, the offside flag was already raised.
They had been all over Gladbach but found themselves trailing after 10 minutes when Plea played a neat one-two with Jonas Hofmann before bending a low shot beyond the reach of Manuel Neuer from the edge of the area.
If the opening goal came as a surprise against the run of play, the second six minutes later was even more so.
Hofmann was key again, nicking the ball off Thiago Alcantara after he took a sloppy touch on Neuer’s hastily taken goal-kick, and then playing in Stindl – making his first appearance since April due to an ankle ligament problem – and his low shot beat Neuer.
Bayern were rocking and Hofmann went close to scoring himself soon after following another poor clearance from Neuer.
Slowly the hosts began to get a grip on themselves and the match, but Sommer was out quickly to deny Arjen Robben after the half-hour mark. Moments later, the Gladbach goalkeeper spilled a cross under what appeared to be a foul from Robert Lewandowski, but Mats Hummels skied his shot regardless.
Lewandowski had the best chance of the half for the hosts but shot straight at the goalkeeper when his team-mates were queuing up for a square ball.
Things got worse for the hosts early in the second half when David Alaba was forced off with an apparent hamstring problem.
The frustration was beginning to build, nowhere more so than in the mind of Franck Ribery, who fouled Matthias Ginter and then went into the book for screaming in the face of the referee.
Bayern were struggling to create clear openings and then wasting them when they did. Ribery’s cross looked promising, but James Rodriguez went for the spectacular and fired over when Serge Gnabry, who added some impetus as a substitute, was better placed behind him.
Moments later, Gnabry’s cross initially looked perfect for Lewandowski but just curled out of reach.
The Poland striker thought he had Bayern back in the match in the 67th minute when he fired home a low shot from the left, but, in a sign of how the day was going for the hosts, the assistant’s flag was raised on the tightest of offside calls.
Gladbach sought to punish Bayern further on the break as Plea found the run of Florian Neuhaus, but his shot across goal drifted wide.
The spark had gone out of Bayern’s fightback by now and the final blow came in the 88th minute when Herrmann fired home, with the goal withstanding a check on the video monitors for a possible handball.
The result sees Gladbach leapfrog Bayern to move up to second in the table, with the hosts down to fifth.