When the champions needed to produce a performance, they utterly failed and Louis van Gaal looks to be on his last legs at Bayern.Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal's position looks to be untenable after the champions lost 3-1 to a superior Hannover outfit in the third-place showdown. Everything went wrong for Bayern that could - an own goal, a goalkeeping howler and a red card. It now appears likely that a fourth Bundesliga coach will lose his job after a defeat to Hannover.
Hannover took a deserved lead on the quarter-hour. Konstantin Rausch broke down the left in acres of space. The midfielder looked up and calmly picked out Norwegian striker Mohamed Abdellaoue at the near post, who escaped the clutches of Anatoliy Tymoschuk and blasted the ball home from close range.
The home side doubled their lead five minutes into the second-half from a well-worked short corner. Rausch picked up the ball on the right-hand side and swung a left-footed shot towards goal. Mario Gomez, in attempting to clear, inadvertently headed the ball past Kraft and into the net, as if to neatly sum up the utter chaos engulfing der Rekordmeister at the moment.
And then two minutes later, Bayern finally stuttered into life as they got their way back into the game from an unsurprising goalscorer, even if the manner of the goal was not to be expected. Franck Ribery picked up the pieces after Thomas Mueller's run inside the box was halted; the Frenchman crossed to the back post, where Arjen Robben stooped to head into the unguarded net.
However, any hopes of a revival were short-lived as the hosts extended their lead in the 63rd minute when van Gaal was let down by the youngster, in whom he had placed so much faith. Sergio Pinto robbed Andreas Ottl and strode forward before unleashing a 25-yard drive. It looked a straightforward save for Kraft but the goalkeeper fumbled the ball and despite his best efforts, it ricocheted the wrong side of the goal-line.
Although the game began in sedate fashion, Hannover looked comfortable and they were much the superior team in the first-half. Rausch had two excellent chances in addition to his goal. The first came on eleven minutes when he shot wide after a good break from former Bayern man Jan Schlaudraff. The second came eight minutes before half-time when he again placed his shot wide of the post on his weaker right foot.
Robben single-handedly tried to haul Bayern back into the game after the break. His stinging volley crashed into the side netting on 65 minutes before being denied by a brave Zieler moments later. Further salt was rubbed into Bayern wounds when Breno received his marching orders on 72 minutes after picking up a second booking.
Hannover captain Steve Cherundolo kept Bayern's other star winger relatively stagnant on the night and Robben's best efforts ended up not being enough.
The champions host Hamburg in Munich next weekend whilst Mirko Slomka's men travel to Koeln. If reports are to be believed, Bayern will have a new coach at the helm.
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