Bayern Munich's 23-match winning streak ends with Hoffenheim defeat
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Berlin (AFP) –
European champions Bayern Munich suffered their first defeat since December when their 23-match winning run was ended by a shock 4-1 Bundesliga defeat at Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Hoffenheim, the current league leaders, raced into a 2-0 lead with early goals by defender Ermin Bicakcic and striker Munas Dabbur.
Although Joshua Kimmich gave Bayern a lifeline just before the break, Croatia international striker Andrej Kramaric netted a second-half goal and converted a late penalty to seal the win.
It was the first time Bayern have lost under head coach Hansi Flick in any competition since going down 2-1 to Borussia Moenchengladbach on December 7, 2019.
Hoffenheim coach Sebastian Hoeness is the nephew of Bayern's honorary president Uli Hoeness and left Munich's reserves in July to take over at the new Bundesliga leaders.
Bayern looked tired in Hoffenheim, showing the effects of being taken to extra time in the UEFA Super Cup on Thursday before beating Sevilla 2-1 in Budapest.
The defeat brings to an abrupt end Bayern's run of 23 consecutive wins, a record for a club in one of Europe's five main leagues, surpassing Real Madrid's 22 straight wins between September and December 2014.
With Robert Lewandowski rested ahead of Wednesday's German Super Cup showdown at home to Borussia Dortmund -- the chance to win a fifth title in 2020 -- his 19-year-old understudy Joshua Zirkzee struggled to spark Bayern's attack.
Hoffenheim took full advantage of Munich's lethargy with Bicakcic giving them the lead on 16 minutes when he out-leapt Corentin Tolisso at a corner and headed past Manuel Neuer.
The hosts doubled their lead when Bayern defender Benjamin Pavard tried to snuff out a counter-attack, but his pass rolled into the path of Israeli striker Dabbur, who held his nerve to chip the ball over Neuer on 24 minutes.
It was the first time Bayern have been two goals down since they lost 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019, a defeat which cost Flick's predecessor Niko Kovac his job.
Bayern knuckled down and went in 2-1 down at the break after Leroy Sane's superb pass across the box eventually landed at the feet of Kimmich who fired home superbly from the edge of the box on 36 minutes.
Hoffenheim could have had a third goal as their Croatia striker Andrei Kramaric clipped the crossbar after his shot beat Neuer on the stroke of half-time.
Flick responded by beefing up his side by bringing on Lewandowski and central midfielder Leon Goretzka for Zirkzee and Pavard respectively on 57 minutes.
Lewandowski went close with a couple of half chances but Kramaric made sure of the win when he finished a counter-attack with a stunning strike on 77 minutes.
With the visitors growing ever more desperate, Bayern conceded a penalty in added time when Neuer brought down replacement forward Ihlas Bebou in the area and Kramaric converted the resulting penalty.
© 2020 AFP