Wednesday evening oversaw one of the most monumental nights in DFB-Pokal history. For the first time since 2000, Bayern Munich were shockingly eliminated from the DFB-Pokal by a third-division side.
FC Saarbrücken, who sit 15th in the 3. Liga, just two points away from the relegation places, stunned Die Rekordmeister at the Ludwigsparkstadion. After Patrick Sontheimer levelled the tie just before halftime, a last-minute goal from Marcel Gaus sealed one of the most inconceivable scorelines in Pokal history while simultaneously sending shockwaves through European football.
As Saarbrücken sat on top of the world, it felt as though, for Bayern, everything was crumbling in on them. Just as Thomas Tuchel’s side began to digest what had just happened, Thomas Müller approached a seething away section, where he would speak to a handful of Bayern supporters.
Shortly afterwards, the 34-year-old offered his congratulations to the hosts for their surprise victory when speaking to the media: “You have to congratulate Saarbrücken for the fight. We just weren’t clever and missed a lot of chances before the counterattack to make it 2-1. They should be happy, but if Bayern loses in Saarbrücken, we have done a lot of things wrong.”
However, Müller would then relay the frustration of the fans, as well as his own: “Absolutely understandable from the fans. It’s not necessarily about the game or the result. What is not possible at all is that only three or four players understand how to respect the support. They came here; I don’t know how many 100 kilometres during the week. The most important thing is to understand how to give something back. Of course, it doesn’t work that way.”
It is a result that would hurt even more since Bayern have only ventured further than the second round of the DFB-Pokal once in the last four years, which was last season when they lost 2-1 to Freiburg in the quarterfinals. Now Tuchel has to galvanise his side and ensure that the result and performance are quickly forgotten as Borussia Dortmund await in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
GGFN | Will Shopland