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The German giants suffered a rare loss but their manager deflected any blame away from his players

Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick applauded his Hoffenheim counterpart Sebastian Hoeness for masterminding the Bundesliga champions’ first defeat since December.

Flick’s side came into Sunday’s clash in Sinsheim on the back of a 2-1 extra-time win over Sevilla in the European Super Cup, perhaps explaining why Robert Lewandowski was rested and Joshua Zirkzee started.

Even if the talismanic Poland striker had started, it is difficult to imagine even him having the influence to halt a Hoffenheim side that played with great intensity and craft in attack as they secured a stunning 4-1 victory.

Hoffenheim were 2-1 up at half-time as Joshua Kimmich got Bayern back into the contest after goals from Ermin Bicakcic and Munas Dabbur had the hosts 2-0 to the good.

The excellent Andrej Kramaric put the game beyond the European champions with a brace in the final 13 minutes, ending a 32-match unbeaten run.

Bayern fans might have put their struggles down to the fact they played for 120 minutes less than 72 hours earlier, but Flick would not as he saluted the work of Hoeness, once a youth coach at the club where his uncle Uli Hoeness played and reigned as president.

“There were many reasons for the defeat, but in terms of their willingness and desire, I can’t blame the team at all,” Flick told Sky. “The mentality after the 120 minutes on Thursday was great.

“We gave our opponents too many chances and we weren’t as effective on the offensive side as we normally are.

“Big compliments to Hoffenheim. The team showed a very strong performance, and also a compliment to Sebastian Hoeness himself – his team was very well adjusted.

“They closed our spaces very well, we didn’t have a lot of opportunities to play our offensive game in the way we normally can.

“I don’t blame fatigue for defeat. We just haven’t been able to play our way, with the dynamism with which we normally can.”

Flick’s side will look to get back to winning ways on Wednesday when they face fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund in the DFL Supercup final. In the same fixture last season, Bayern were handed a 2-0 defeat. 

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September 28, 2020
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