When Juan Bernat scored on an open net following a misguided ball from VfL Wolfsburg defender Naldo, a Bayern Munich comeback may have been possible.
Wolfsburg had jumped out to an 2-0 lead with two first-half scores from Netherlands international Bas Dost, and the Bavarians aimed to dig themselves out this hole.
But after a second-half brace from Belgium star Kevin De Bruyne, the game started to resemble a rout, and it’s not very often that Bayern finds themselves in this position against league opponents.
In fact, per BBC Sport, the club’s only league defeats since October 2012 had come after they shored up last season’s title.
Attempting to keep an even-keel perspective on the match, manager Pep Guardiola spoke of his squad’s lack of execution and the determined play of his opposition.
“They got an early goal and we couldn’t control their counter in the first half,” he was quoted as saying by the official Bundesliga website.
“We had too many turnovers in possession and have not stopped their counterattack. We should not have left them so much space.
“Congratulations to Wolfsburg, they were better at the right moments and got the goals. We have to analyse what happened here and move on. After a six-week break, now we need match practice.”
Wolfsburg was playing with heavy hearts in this competition, as a pre-game ceremony took place to remember 20-year-old midfielder Junior Malanda, who was suddenly killed over the winter break in a car accident.
As for Bayern, hopes of finishing the league undefeated have been quashed. Guardiola will get back to the drawing board prior to his crew’s next fixture, Feb. 3 against Schalke.