When coach Thomas Tuchel joined Bayern Munich at the end of March to replace Julian Nagelsmann, the Bavarians were still alive in three competitions and club bosses indicated that the team aimed to win all three titles.
However, after the German Cup exit last week and a 3-0 defeat in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals at Manchester City, Bayern risk being left with only the Bundesliga to fight for — and, differently from other seasons, they are facing tough competition for the domestic title.
"We're of course disappointed. I think we had imagined things differently," CEO Oliver Kahn said in his speech to the team after the defeat on Wednesday.
"Now it doesn't help to lament ourselves and see everything negative. We still have a big chance to win the league title, so we should turn our focus to Saturday, and then there's still a second leg," he stressed.
A stunner from Rodri broke the deadlock for City in the 27th, but Bayern seemed to have recovered from the first blow to have a decent start into the second half.
A crucial mistake by Dayot Upamecano, who lost the ball deep in Bayern's half, handed City a second goal and top scorer Erling Haaland sealed the win with a third.
"Upamecano is still young, he will learn from it. If you play so many games, you'll make a mistake at some point. That punished us today and cost us the game — but things go on," Tuchel said.
Bayern top the Bundesliga but only two points ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund and seven ahead of third-placed Union Berlin. On Saturday, they welcome Hoffenheim, and after that they will have six more games until the end of the league season.
"We're not in a good position now. It's difficult to keep the heads up. We want to get three points against Hoffenheim and then prepare for the second leg. Everything is possible in football," midfielder Thomas Müller said.
Tuchel's start at Bayern hasn't been very encouraging. He kicked things off with a 4-2 win over Dortmund, returning Bayern to the top of the table. That was followed, however, by the Cup defeat to Freiburg and a narrow 1-0 win against this same opponent in the Bundesliga just a few days later.
The coach, however, remains hopeful for the second leg against City.
"It will be a difficult task, of course. Football is football. And a match in Germany is a match in Germany. Everything can happen. It will not be over until we are under the shower," he said.
- Treble mission
- Defeat to City