Bayern draw bothers Guardiola as Man Utd loom
Coach Pep Guardiola admitted Bayern Munich's 3-3 Bundesliga draw at home to Hoffenheim gives the holders cause for concern ahead of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first-leg at Manchester United.
The point against Hoffenheim came at a price as Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of the Manchester match and is expected to miss the next four weeks with a knee injury after limping off after only 25 minutes on Saturday.
Bayern were confirmed German league winners for the 24th time, with a record seven games to spare, by Tuesday's 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin and after partying in the capital, the European champions suffered a slight hangover in Munich.
It was only Bayern's third German league draw of the season, but having had their record run of 19 consecutive Bundesliga wins ended, Guardiola has said he wants answers to a poor second-half performance.
"In the first-half we had all the solutions, but not in the second," said Guardiola.
"We had no control, it went back and forth and when that happens, all 17 teams in the league are better than us.
"We need to analyse what happened. If we play like we did in the second-half, then we won't be favourites on Tuesday against Manchester. We must improve."
Spain midfielder Thiago suffered a suspected parial tear of the medial ligament in his left knee, which hampers Guardiola's midfield plans for Old Trafford.
"That's bad news, we will miss Thiago. He's a special midfield player," added Guardiola.
The Spaniard rested stars Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic, Philipp Lahm and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from Saturday's starting line-up, but still fielded nine internationals.
Veteran striker Claudio Pizarro scored twice, while Swiss wing Xherdan Shaqiri also got on the scoresheet in the first half after Hoffenheim took an early lead through striker Anthony Modeste.
Bosnia midfielder Sejad Salihovic curled in a 44th-minute free kick to make it 3-2 at the break.
Hoffenheim equalised on 75 minutes when Brazilian left winger Roberto Firmino darted on to a through ball and his shot beat both Bayern centre-back Dante and goalkeeper Tom Starke.
Despite the draw, Bayern remain 23 points clear in the table and extended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 53 matches.
- Dortmund fight back in Stuttgart -
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund face Real Madrid away in their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday.
They needed a Marco Reus hat-trick to seal a 3-2 win at second-from-bottom VfB Stuttgart, who finished with ten men.
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp admitted his players have not followed the game plan after finding themselves two goals down after just 20 minutes before fighting back.
"We had planned to play football and to go hard into the one-on-ones," said Klopp.
"The football part didn't work out and we clearly misunderstood the instructions about the one-on-ones.
"It was important that we reacted after going 2-0 down and we clearly needed to go behind, because in the second-half things were great and we deserved the win."
Klopp knows that a similar first-half display at the Bernabau will be severely punished by Real.
Stuttgart midfielders Christian Gentner and Martin Harnik took advantage with the guests' defence in disarray to put the hosts 2-0 up.
Reus pulled one back with a superb finish on 30 minutes, then hit the equaliser when he converted a 68th-minute penalty after Stuttgart's Georg Niedermeier was shown a red card for bringing down Robert Lewandowski.
Reus saved his best for last when he completed his hat-trick with a long-range shot which took a deflection off defender Daniel Schwaab on 83 minutes.