Bayern Munich suffered their first Bundesliga defeat since 2012 on Saturday as their record 53-match unbeaten league run was ended by a 1-0 defeat at Augsburg.
Coach Pep Guardiola named a weakened team for the Bavarian derby and paid the price as Bayern lost for the first time in the league since a 2-1 loss at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Oct. 28, 2012.
With one eye on their Champions League tie at home to Manchester United on Wednesday, Guardiola started with three teenagers on Saturday, giving Bundesliga debuts to wingbacks Ylli Sallahi and Mitchell Weiser, while Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg was named on the left wing.
The gamble backfired when Weiser lost possession to Augsburg’s Daniel Baier, who fed Sascha Moelders for the Augsburg striker to blast a shot past Bayern ’keeper Manuel Neuer in the 31st minute.
“Sooner or later we had to lose, we accept that and we have to prepare as quickly as possible for Manchester United,” Guardiola said. “Next [this] Wednesday is a final for us: It’s a matter of life or death.”
It was the third straight game in which Bayern have fallen behind and Guardiola responded by bringing stars Mario Goetze, David Alaba and Thomas Mueller off the bench.
Left-back Alaba hit the post with 68 minutes gone as Bayern pushed for the goal to keep alive their bid to become the first team to finish a Bundesliga campaign undefeated.
The loss was only Bayern’s third since Guardiola took charge in June last year, after losing 4-2 to Borussia Dortmund in last year’s German Super Cup final and being beaten 3-2 at home by Manchester City in the Champions League group stage in December last year.
Bayern were confirmed Bundesliga champions 10 days ago when they wrapped up the title with a record seven games to spare and remain 20 points clear in the table.
Later on Saturday, second-placed Borussia Dortmund earned a morale-boosting 2-1 win at home to VfL Wolfsburg ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, second-leg at home to Real Madrid, where they face a near-impossible task of overturning a 3-0 defeat.
After Croatia’s Ivica Olic gave Wolves an early lead, a Robert Lewandowski header put Dortmund level before Germany winger Marco Reus hit the 77th-minute winner.
Also on Saturday, Schalke 04 moved to three points from Dortmund in third in the league with a 1-1 draw at Werder Bremen.
At the other end of the table, VfB Stuttgart boosted their chances of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 win at home to SC Freiburg to escape the bottom three, while Nuremberg dropped into the bottom three after a 2-0 defeat at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Die Fohlen moved fourth and into Champions League contention at Leverkusen’s expense courtesy of a free-kick by Venezuela’s Juan Arango and a Max Kruse penalty.
Off the pitch on Saturday, Leverkusen sacked coach Sami Hyypia after Friday’s 2-1 loss at SV Hamburg left them with one win in 11 games. Hyypia was replaced by Sascha Lewandowski, head coach of Leverkusen’s junior side.