Julian Nagelsmann was pleased with his team’s efforts despite Bayern Munich losing 2-1 at home to Borussia Monchengladbach in the first Bundesliga game after the winter break.
A superb opener from Robert Lewandowski – who was nominated for the Best FIFA Men’s Player 2021 award earlier on Friday – was cancelled out before half-time by Foals duo Florian Neuhaus and Stefan Lainer, with the league leaders unable to respond in the second half.
Bayern were without a number of key players through COVID-19 and injuries, including Manuel Neuer, Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Leon Goretzka, Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane, but Nagelsmann still believed his team deserved something from the game.
Speaking after the defeat, the 34-year-old told reporters: “We were actually closer to winning than Gladbach were.
“Considering the situation, we did very well in the first 25 minutes, we should have been up by more. The way we conceded the equaliser was complete madness, I don’t know why we wanted to do that in the box like that, and then we conceded from another set-piece.
“In the second half we played decently and had lots of chances. Unlike in the cup game, we didn’t deserve to lose today.”
Although Nagelsmann was still able to name a relatively strong starting line-up, Bayern’s bench was practically unrecognisable, filled with youngsters, including the debuting Paul Wanner.
Aged 16 years and 15 days, Wanner’s 75th-minute introduction saw him become the second-youngest player in Bundesliga history, behind only Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko (16 years, 1 day), and Nagelsmann was effusive in his praise of the teenager.
“He’s an unbelievable talent, very quick and very brave,” the former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig coach said. “He immediately took on [Breel] Embolo and went on dribbling in his first action. Physically he’s not bad either. But he has to remain grounded and clear in his head, then the doors will be open for him.”
65 – FC Bayern München have scored in each of their last 65 Bundesliga games, equalling the competition record set by themselves (also 65 from 2012 to 2014). Always. #FCBBMG pic.twitter.com/kanVFeOgq0
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) January 7, 2022
Bayern were thrashed 5-0 by Gladbach in the DFB-Pokal earlier in the season, and Nagelsmann had expressed a desire for revenge ahead of the game, but instead Adi Hutter only increased his impressive record against the young German coach.
Hutter and Nagelsmann have now met eight times as opposition coaches in the Bundesliga, and nobody has won as often in the top flight against Nagelsmann as the Gladbach boss (W4 D3 L1).
The former Eintracht Frankfurt coach praised the intensity of his team, saying after the win: “Huge compliments to the team for coming back like that and getting the win in Munich. When the intensity is high, you have a good chance of winning, and that’s what we showed today.
“Of course Bayern could have equalised, but my team played well. They implemented what we trained.”