Things are suddenly not so smooth sailing for Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, after the German winning machine dropped their first points of the Bundesliga season last night.
You could have been forgiven for thinking you were watching Pep-era Barcelona, as Bayern hogged the ball all night in their 1-1 draw at Freiburg.
Had it not been for the heroics of Freiburg’s ‘keeper, Bayern could have run up a cricket score.
But as it happened, despite their possession, Bayern only found the back of the net once.
As the game progressed, Bayern began to look uncomfortable with all the passing triangles from the back. Theirs has been a success built on dynamism and ruthless forward momentum, and their players still feel more calm when bursting into their opponents’ half at pace.
And despite the shock, it did seem almost inevitable when Freiburg scored their late equaliser, against the run of play.
After the match, both Guardiola and Bayern skipper Philipp Lahm accepted they had let the game slip away uncharacteristically.
"We played well, very well. But if you’re only 1-0 up in the Bundesliga, things like this can always happen. We never stopped attacking and we had chances. But I’m very, very proud of my players,” Guardiola said.
“We have only ourselves to blame,” Lahm added on Bayern’s website.
“We conceded an equaliser just before the end, but we had plenty of chances to score a second of our own before that.
“It would have been over if we’d done that. In recent matches, we’ve tended to fail to make the outcome clear-cut, and we were punished for that today.”
Meanwhile, Pep has a headache ahead of his showdown with his old adversary Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup on Friday night.
Bayern’s squad may be jam-packed full of world-class players, but they are as susceptible to injury as the next professional.
Thiago Alcantara was already an injury victim before Bayern’s talismanic German international, Bastian Schweinsteiger, limped out of last night’s game.
Pep’s midfield is now looking thin on the ground with Chelsea capable of taking advantage, as he sweats on Schweini’s fitness.
"He [Schweinsteiger] sprained his ankle,” he said.
“There will be a medical check tomorrow. I hope he will play on Friday, but we do not know that yet.”