Project Tuchel is failing miserably as Bayern suffer shock loss to Mainz

MAINZ — League leaders Bayern Munich slumped to a 3-1 loss at Mainz 05 on Saturday, conceding all three goals in a span of 14 minutes in their latest slip-up which could prove costly in the race for the Bundesliga title with five games remaining.

The Bavarians, eliminated by Manchester City in the Champions League last eight on Wednesday, could not have imagined a worse afternoon after going 1-0 up courtesy of Sadio Mane's 29th minute header at the far post.

Bayern, chasing an 11th straight league crown, are on 59 points and second-placed Borussia Dortmund, on 57, can take over the lead with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt later on Saturday.

Despite having more than 70% of possession for more than an hour, Thomas Tuchel's Bayern, who have now won just two of their last seven matches under the former Mainz coach, were unable to carve out any more chances.

"We don't feel any energy any more," Tuchel said. "Too much has happened to this team and it struggles to bounce back when things don't go its way.

"It is brutally difficult to develop a spirit as a team to fight back. We struggle to win matches. We had the game under control but did not score a second goal. We are not focused enough."

Bayern were punished for sloppy defending in the 65th after failing to clear the ball repeatedly and keeper Yann Sommer punched it straight on to the head of Ludovic Ajorque who only had to nod in for the equalizer.

Another defensive error by Josip Stanisic allowed Leandro Barreiro to slot home and put the hosts in front as the Bayern club bosses looked on in complete shock from the stands.

The hosts, however, were not done yet as Aaron Martin rifled in their third goal in the 79th to make it 10 games without defeat for Mainz, who are now sixth and in contention for a European spot.

The defeat piles more pressure on embattled sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and club CEO Oliver Kahn, who had been criticised for sacking Julian Nagelsmann in late March and bringing in Tuchel.

They said at the time that Bayern's season goals were at risk and they needed to act but in just over three weeks the Bavarians, under Tuchel, have been eliminated from all Cup competitions.

They now also risk missing out on the Bundesliga title after suffering a third defeat under Tuchel in seven matches. Nagelsmann was sacked having lost three times in 37 games this season.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Clare Fallon)

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