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Bundesliga 2023-24 Wrap: Bayern Munich Lose, Frankfurt Draw Freiburg In Protest-Hit Weekend

Ten-man Bayern Munich lost a five-goal thriller against lowly VfL Bochum, applying further pressure on Thomas Tuchel's position as the incumbent Bayern boss

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(Photo: AP/Martin Meissner)
Bundesliga 2023-24: Harry Kane rues a missed chance in Bayern Munich's defeat against Bochum (Photo: AP/Martin Meissner)
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Bayern Munich slumped to its third consecutive defeat on Sunday as Bochum came from behind to defeat the 11-time defending champions 3-2 in the Bundesliga.

It left Thomas Tuchel's team eight points behind league leader Bayer Leverkusen with 12 rounds remaining and will increase doubts over the Bayern coach's future after a midweek loss to Lazio in the Champions League and last weekend's 3-0 defeat at Leverkusen.

“It feels like a horror film that just doesn't end,” Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka said. “Everything is going against us at the moment.”

Not even fans' protests against an outside Bundesliga investor – which continued Sunday with model airplanes flown onto the field during Eintracht Frankfurt's 3-3 draw with Freiburg and tennis balls interrupting Bayern's game – will give Tuchel respite from the scrutiny that is sure to follow.

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“Today was a bit like Murphy's Law. Anything that could go against us, anything that could go wrong, went wrong,” said Tuchel, who must now prepare for Leipzig's visit next weekend.

Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said Tuchel will “of course” be in charge for that match, but didn't rule out making a change at a later stage.

Sunday's games were just the latest subjected to delays and interruptions as supporters showed their opposition to the German soccer league's controversial plan to sell a stake in the Bundesliga's media rights income to an outside investor.

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They started after Jamal Musiala fired Bayern into an early lead.

Bochum fans threw tennis balls onto the field forcing an early halt to play. As soon as they were cleared, Bayern supporters flung more from their section, leading referee Daniel Schlager to tell both teams to return to their locker rooms. The fans also chanted against the German soccer league (DFL) with an expletive.

Bochum coach Thomas Letsch used the unplanned break to good effect as he held earnest talks with his players, and the game resumed some 13 minutes later.

“Of course you can use it to make a few corrections. That's the positive,” Letsch said of the protests.

Takuma Asano equalized in the 38th after playing a one-two with Anthony Losilla, and Keven Schlotterbeck put the home side in front with a header to a corner before the break.

More tennis balls followed in the second half, and Bayern's struggles continued when the game resumed. Tuchel sent on Leroy Sané and new signing Bryan Zaragoza for the last half hour.

But while Letsch remained on the sideline to urge on his team, Tuchel remained withdrawn on his bench.

It got worse for Bayern when Dayot Upamecano was penalized for a high arm against Schlotterbeck in the 76th. The French defender was shown his second yellow card and Kevin Stöger duly scored from the spot.

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Bochum 'keeper Manuel Riemann made a fine save to deny Sané before fellow substitute Mathys Tel set up Harry Kane for what proved Bayern's consolation in the 87th.

FLYING IN FRANKFURT

Frankfurt's game had barely started when fans threw confectionery on the field to force a stoppage.

There was another hold-up after the break when at least two small remote-controlled airplanes were flown onto the field and more confectionery was thrown from behind one of the goals.

“No to investors in the DFL!” read a huge banner behind the goal.

Frankfurt forward Saša Kalajdžic had to go off early with an apparent knee injury sustained off-the-ball after the first interruption. He reappeared later on crutches.

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Egypt forward Omar Marmoush scored one goal then twice set up substitute Ansgar Knauff for Frankfurt, but Michael Gregoritsch scored Freiburg's third goal in the 89th. Gregoritsch also had an effort cleared off the line as both teams went for the win in a frenetic finale.

PROTESTS SPREAD

There were also protests in the second division earlier, with Nuremberg fans interrupting their team's game against Kaiserslautern by entering the inner stadium area to show banners denouncing the proposed deal directly behind one of the goals. The match resumed after several minutes when they were convinced to return to their places.

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Friday and Saturday's games were also plagued by protests, which followed disruptions to the previous weekend's matches across the first and second divisions.

Many fans want the DFL's proposed deal scrapped entirely as they are worried about the influence any investor could have on the league. As a first step, many are calling for the December vote that narrowly approved the deal to be re-run, this time with club executives' voting publicly.

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