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Awful goalkeeping howler dooms Bayern to draw

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Bayern fans are already counting down the days until Manuel Neuer’s return in goal.

In his absence, Sven Ulreich has earned a pair of starts in Bundesliga play, and the most recent has not ended well. With Bayern leading Wolfsburg 2-0, Ulreich completely botched a simple save leading to Wolfsburg’s first goal, sparking a comeback from the visitors.

As Max Arnold delivered a free-kick 10 minutes after halftime, the ball sailed just over the wall and directly at Ulreich’s head. Instead of catching the attempt or using both hands to parry the shot, Ulreich raised just his right hand and failed to connect fully. The ball glanced off the side of his palm and into the back of the net to bring Wolfsburg a goal back.

The free-kick had decent pace, and it didn’t help that Sebastian Rudy made a poor attempt to block the delivery, but Ulreich won’t want to see a replay of that chance, as he made a hideous attempt to stop the shot. Wolfsburg would eventually equalize with just seven minutes remaining in the match as Daniel Didavi scored a pinpoint header in off the post. Ruddy let Didavi sneak behind him, and Paul Verhaegh delivered a fantastic long ball into the box for the 27-year-old to redirect in. The final whistle marked the first time since March 2004 that Bayern had blown a two-goal halftime lead at home.

The draw means Bayern has failed to put pressure on Borussia Dortmund this weekend, leaving Die Roten level with their Dortmund rivals on 13 points with the latter still to host Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

Neuer likely won’t be back until January thanks to yet another foot injury, leaving Bayern to either continue along with Ulreich and hope he improves, or look for other options either in-house or on the free agent market. Ulreich came over from Stuttgart in the summer of 2015 and has backed up Neuer since.

James stars for Bayern Munich in Bundesliga win at Schalke (video)

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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BERLIN (AP) James Rodriguez starred on his first Bundesliga start for Bayern Munich, scoring one goal and playing a role in the others for a 3-0 win at Schalke on Tuesday.’

James, who switched from Real Madrid in the offseason, earned a penalty and then scored in the first half, before brilliantly setting up Arturo Vidal to wrap up the win in the second.

[ WATCH: Alex Morgan smashes USWNT goal ]

While the Colombian midfielder made his first league start for Bayern, American teenager Weston McKennie did likewise for the home team. Despite the efforts of the 19-year-old Texan midfielder – who covered more ground than any other player in the first half – Schalke had no answer to James’ individual brilliance.

“We created the goals very well, so we deserved to win,” said Bayern’s reserve goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, playing in place of Germany No. 1 Manuel Neuer. Neuer has been ruled out until January with another hairline fracture of the metatarsal in his left foot.

The home side was first to have the ball in the net, but Amine Harit’s goal was ruled out as Bastian Oczipka was offside. Ulreich had done well with two saves beforehand.

Bayern got the penalty after referee Marco Fritz consulted his video assistant to see if Naldo had handled the ball when James cut it back. The Brazilian defender was going to ground but had his arms raised when the ball struck.

Protests by Schalke players had no effect and Robert Lewandowski duly converted from the spot.

[ MORE: NASL suing U.S. Soccer ]

It got worse for the home side four minutes later, when Bayern scored after a Schalke throw-in. Thomas Mueller, Lewandowski and Corentin Tolisso worked the ball to the unmarked James, who wrong-footed Ralf Faehrmann to score his first Bundesliga goal.

Mueller hit the post with a header from a cross by James after the break, before substitute Yevhen Konoplyanka went close at the other end.

Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco brought on Swiss forward Breel Embolo for McKennie with just over half an hour remaining.

Any hopes of an equalizer ended when James eluded two defenders and delivered a perfect ball for Vidal to strike with a volley to the top corner.

“Altogether there’s no denying that Bayern had a very good day. Then it’s hard for any team,” Schalke general manager Christian Heidel said.

WOLFSBURG FRUSTRATION, AUGSBURG ELATION

Fin Bartels’ second-half header earned Werder Bremen a 1-1 draw at Wolfsburg and denied Martin Schmidt a winning start as coach. Schmidt was appointed Monday when Wolfsburg fired Andries Jonker after the team had claimed just four points in its opening four games.

Michael Gregoritsch’s fourth-minute strike was enough for Augsburg to beat visiting Leipzig 1-0 for its third win from five games.

Two goals from Brazilian midfielder Raffael gave Borussia Moenchengladbach a 2-0 win at home over promoted Stuttgart.

Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer out until 2018

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Bayern Munich have been handed a big blow as goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer has been ruled out until early 2018 after surgery on his broken left foot.

Neuer, 31, will not return before January and the German international star will leave a huge void as Carlo Ancelotti’s side aim to push for a four-straight Bundesliga title and challenge for the UEFA Champions League.

The German national team will be hoping Neuer does not face any complications in his recovery with Joachim Loew’s men the favorites for the 2018 World Cup next summer in Russia.

In his absence former Germany U-21 goalkeeper Sven Ulreich will step up as the new No.1 at the Allianz Arena with the German goalkeeper patiently waiting for his chance in Bavaria since arriving from Stuttgart in 2015.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that Neuer’s operation “went perfectly” and the German giants are looking forward to his return.

The Bundesliga powerhouse have won three of their opening four league games to start the season but there has been some criticism for Ancelotti and his players, especially following the 2-0 shock defeat at Hoffenheim.

Losing one of the best goalkeepers on the planet is sure to test Bayern’s defensive unit and they have a tough job on their hands to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds as the top seed as they battle with Paris Saint-Germain to win Group B ahead of Anderlecht and Celtic.

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer injures foot again

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MUNICH (AP) Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has injured his left foot again and is facing another spell on the sidelines.

The German champion says Neuer was injured in training on Monday but the full extent of it won’t be known until after medical scans on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Early season sneaky PL stars ]

For now, Neuer has been ruled out of only the Bundesliga game against Schalke on Tuesday.

Neuer broke a metatarsal in his left foot in April and made his return from injury only on Aug. 26.

More AP German soccer coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga

Bundesliga wrap: Bayern rises; Schalke, Augsburg win on road (video)

Andreas Gebert/dpa via AP
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It remains tight atop the Bundesliga table, with six clubs within three points of leaders Hannover 96.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Borussia Dortmund can leapfrog HSV with a win over Koln on Sunday, while Bayern Munich used Saturday to show last week’s stumble at Hoffenheim was likely a fluke.

RB Leipzig 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

Timo Werner scored in the 17th minute and Jean-Kevin Augustin gave the hosts a second lead in the 31st minute as RB Leipzig returned to the Bundesliga after a 1-1 draw versus Monaco in the Champions League.

Thorgan Hazard converted a first half penalty for Gladbach to make it 1-1 and Lars Stindl was responsible for the side’s second equalizer. USMNT left mid Fabian Johnson was on the bench for Gladbach.

Future Liverpool mid Naby Keita made Sadio Mane‘s sending off look closer to like patty cake:

Werder Bremen 1-2 Schalke

Lamine Sane gave the hosts a 20th minute lead, one that would last just two minutes. An own goal made it level, and Leon Goretzka scored in the 83rd minute to give Schalke all the points. U.S. youth player Weston McKennie was an unused sub for the visitors.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Mainz

It was a night for the old boys, as Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller joined brace-bagging Robert Lewandowski in boosting Bayern back into a winning position.

 

Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Augsburg

Caiuby’s 76th minute insurance goal turned out to be needed, but the hosts only pulled one back the rest of the way. USMNT back Timmy Chandler went 90 minutes in the loss.

Stuttgart 1-0 Wolfsburg

Chadrac Akolo’s 42nd minute marker held up for Stuttgart.

Elsewhere
Hannover 96 2-0 Hamburg — Friday
Hoffenheim vs. Hertha Berlin — 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Freiburg — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Dortmund vs. Koln — Noon ET Sunday

Standings

 

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Hannover 96 4 3 1 0 5 1 4 2-0-0 1-1-0 10
 Bayern Munich 4 3 0 1 9 3 6 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 FC Schalke 04 4 3 0 1 7 3 4 2-0-0 1-0-1 9
 Borussia Dortmund 3 2 1 0 5 0 5 1-0-0 1-1-0 7
 RB Leipzig 4 2 1 1 8 5 3 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 FC Augsburg 4 2 1 1 7 4 3 1-1-0 1-0-1 7
 1899 Hoffenheim 3 2 1 0 5 2 3 2-0-0 0-1-0 7
 Hamburger SV 4 2 0 2 4 5 -1 1-0-1 1-0-1 6
 VfB Stuttgart 4 2 0 2 3 5 -2 2-0-0 0-0-2 6
 Mönchengladbach 4 1 2 1 5 5 0 1-0-1 0-2-0 5
 Hertha BSC Berlin 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 1-1-0 0-0-1 4
 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 1 1 2 2 3 -1 0-0-2 1-1-0 4
 VfL Wolfsburg 4 1 1 2 2 5 -3 0-1-1 1-0-1 4
 FSV Mainz 05 4 1 0 3 3 7 -4 1-0-1 0-0-2 3
 SC Freiburg 3 0 2 1 1 4 -3 0-2-0 0-0-1 2
 Bayer Leverkusen 3 0 1 2 4 8 -4 0-1-0 0-0-2 1
 Werder Bremen 4 0 1 3 2 6 -4 0-0-2 0-1-1 1
 1. FC Köln 3 0 0 3 1 7 -6 0-0-1 0-0-2 0