Tuchel exonerated by Kahn as Dortmund usurps Bayern’s top spot

    Oliver Kahn criticized Bayern Munich’s players for their performance in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Mainz, but cleared manager Thomas Tuchel of any blame for their current decline.

    Bayern lost points in their second Bundesliga game in a row and lost first place to Borussia Dortmund, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 later that day.

    Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann last month but has already watched Bayern’s Champions League and DFB-Pokal exits in the quarter-finals of both.

    Despite winning only two of his first seven games, Bayern CEO Kahn doesn’t think Tuchel deserves any criticism for the past month’s results.

    “Thomas Tuchel is the last person we need to talk about right now,” Kahn told reporters. “He does his best to help the boys progress.

    “There are 11 people on the pitch who have to work hard to reach the goals of this club. What the team showed on the field is not enough.”

    Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic are under increasing pressure as Bayern risk missing out on the Bundesliga title for the first time since 2011/12.

    “I don’t have a problem with criticism,” Kahn said. “I have been through a lot in my career and I know what it means when things go wrong at Bayern. We are all responsible.

    “Despite such a poor performance, we can still become German champions this season. My only goal is to finish the season as champions and be on the road again next time.”

    Sadio Mane gave Bayern the lead at Mainz, but goals from Ludovic Ayorke, Leandro Barreiro and Aaron Martin stunned the visitors in 14 minutes of the second half.

    Bayern had gone four games without a win in all competitions and Kahn was particularly concerned about his side’s defeat at the Meva Arena.

    “We played a disastrous second half,” he said. “Who was the team that wants to be champions? With such indicators it will be very difficult to become champions.

    According to German publication Sport1, Kahn, Salihamidzic and president Herbert Hainer spoke with the Bayern team for 15 minutes in the dressing room after the game.

    Echoing Kahn’s sentiment, Hainer admits something needs to change in Bayern’s mindset if they are to catch up with Borussia – one point more – in their last five games.

    “We were in complete control of the game in the first half, we were leading 1-0 and we forgot to score the second goal,” he said. “After they equalized the score, we finally broke up.

    “The second half was disappointing – I have to say it very clearly. When you see two halves, so different, and we fall apart like that, it’s really hard to explain.

    “You’ve seen it a few times in the last few games and I don’t know why. The coach will work on it. We can say that there is no security. There’s more when they’re goal down.”

    Bayern return to action a week later on Sunday with a home game against Hertha Berlin.

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