Robert Lewandowski acknowledged Bayern Munich made “a lot of mistakes” in Julian Nagelsmann’s first Bundesliga match at the helm as the champions drew 1-1 with Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday.
Bayern were deservedly trailing after 10 minutes, as a poor start was compounded by Alassane Plea beating Manuel Neuer.
They soon sorted themselves out and eventually levelled just before half-time through Lewandowski, who tied a personal record of 11 successive goal-scoring Bundesliga appearances for the club, but Bayern were unable to add to that.
Their wastefulness was underlined by the fact that Bayern’s chances had an accumulative expected goals (xG) value of 3.1, with Yann Sommer having an impressive game between the posts for the home side.
Sommer’s eight saves – a single-match figure that was only bettered six times across all of 2020-21 – ensured Gladbach had a fighting chance in the latter stages and they were arguably denied two clear penalties as Dayot Upamecano clumsily tripped Marcus Thuram twice, and Lewandowski accepts they have lots of room for improvement.
“It’s a difficult question, whether we are satisfied or not,” he Sat.1. “What we played wasn’t perfect football.
“We lacked speed and consistency. We could score, but Gladbach also had great opportunities. Now we have to look to the next game and prepare.
“It’s not that easy to play here and the atmosphere was really great. A game like this is something special with spectators and it was always problematic for us here. We have to do a lot of things better.”
Gladbach players and coaching staff were angered by the two contentious non-penalty calls late in the game, with Adi Hutter adamant Thuram was fouled on at least one occasion.
Referee Marco Fritz did not go to a pitchside monitor to watch a replay, which Hutter felt was “weird”, but Nagelsmann thinks the situations were exaggerated by the crowd.
“I think if we have the referee and the video evidence [not calling for a penalty], it’s fair,” he said.
“Then, of course, the crowd also makes noise and reinforces the subjective feeling. I think there is less discussion in such scenes without a crowd.”
In preventing defeat, Nagelsmann avoided becoming the first permanent Bayern coach to lose his first league game in charge since Franz Beckenbauer in 1994.
Now he will set his sights on his first silverware at the club, with Bayern set to face Borussia Dortmund in Tuesday’s DFL-Supercup.