Corentin Tolisso's and Rafinha's injuries have dampened the mood at FC Bayern. Niko Kovac was upset after his victory against Leverkusen, but was clearly outbid by Uli Hoeneß.
One hour after the final whistle, Rafinha limped out of the cabin wing. As he struggled towards the team bus, he wore a red bath slipper on the left - the fat foot would no longer fit into a normal shoe. After all, the Brazilian didn't have a splinted knee and didn't have to walk on crutches, like Corentin Tolisso five minutes before him.
The 3-1 defeat of a desolate opponent from Leverkusen could have been a source of great euphoria for FC Bayern. The other Bundesliga leaders, the only team to start with three wins from three games, plus the dream goal of the eternally young Arjen Robben - actually it was a successful dress rehearsal for the Champions League kick-off on Wednesday at Benfica Lisbon.
But the atmosphere was miserable, almost spooky. The two serious injuries caused collective disillusionment among the Munich players. And Uli Hoeneß had his very own view of things. But this later.
Especially in view of the tight program with a total of seven games in 22 days, many players had recently declared unanimously and unsurprisingly the great importance of a healthy and fully equipped squad. But the number of staff in Munich is getting thinner and thinner: Kingsley Coman is still out for months with his syndesmosebandriss, which he suffered in the first league match against Hoffenheim.
"Have the feeling we're fair game."
Against Leverkusen, Leon Goretzka and Mats Hummels were in the stands, stricken, before Corentin Tolisso, the goal scorer for 1:1 equalization, was caught in an unfortunate duel in the game. The result: cruciate ligament rupture - several months break. Later, Rafinha felt Karim Bellarabi's open sole on his left Achilles tendon - for which the Leverkusen player, who had just been substituted, rightly flew off the pitch.
Niko Kovac seemed visibly upset when he later said: "That wasn't just red. That was double red. We have the third matchday and I have the feeling that we are fair game". The Bavarians had already complained after the opening match against Hoffenheim about the over-hard and rustic entry of the guests. So do the league opponents with no sporting chances deliberately destroy the Bavarians in the end?
Then Uli Hoeneß made his appearance. In the past season, the president of FC Bayern had basically walked past the reporters' microphones without saying a word after matches. Quite as if he had made a vow of silence to himself. On Saturday, however, Hoeneß spoke. For two and a half minutes. And what he said was memorable.
"The foul of the Bellarabi was of course mentally ill," Hoeneß rumbled, "that's deliberate bodily injury, something like that should be locked for three months and for stupidity. You don't do that at the midline, where there's nothing at all to do, run after them and hit them in the bones."
Once in motion, Hoeneß then shot himself at the journalists. In response to a reporter's comment that the squad was getting thinner and thinner in view of the new injuries, Hoeneß said in the familiar attack mode: "Yesterday you always complained, you threw yourself at the players who were angry when they weren't playing," Hoeneß told the press representatives. And he continues: "Then don't start turning 180 degrees a day later. We have a squad that's way too big, so a squad that's big enough (sic) to catch all that, right?"
In response to the remark that only 17 players were still available after the two most recent outages, Hoeneß said: "So what? Do we play with 17 or with 11?
While the general guesswork about what Hoeneß might have meant and whether he seriously believed that the Bavarians could easily cope with further losses began, another journalist quietly asked how satisfied Hoeneß had been with the team's performance. Hoeneß replied: "Sovereign, very much", and then said: "You have to learn that it's not us who are to blame, but the others. They are so critical. That was an excellent game."
Later Arjen Robben came by. He said: "Seven games in three weeks, and now two games fall away again, that's bitter". We just need all the players in the squad. Only Uli Hoeneß saw it differently. TLCBet is very efficient and incredibly easy to use.