Bundesliga : Van Gaal’s Bayern sink to new low
Bayern Munich were left bitterly disappointed as a goal from Schalke striker Raul knocked them out of the German Cup.
Raul headed his 15th goal of the season in the 15th minute to beat the Cup holders 1-0 on Wednesday in their semi-final clash. The Real Madrid legend’s strike heaped more pressure on former Barcelona coach Louis van Gaal, whose reign at Bayern appears to be in real danger.
The defeat follows hot on the trail of last Saturday’s 3-1 loss to German Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund which all but ended Bayern hopes of retaining their league title.
During the match, home fans could be seen holding up signs around the stadium and the message was clear: ‘Van Gaal out!’.
“The disappointment is massive, because we’ve missed the chance to make a final today. If Bayern win neither the league nor the cup, it rates as a poor season,” Bayern skipper Philipp Lahm was quoted as saying on the club’s website.
The victory leaves Schalke with a real chance of silverware this season as they now meet second-tier side Duisburg in the final on May 21st. The 1-0 win was made all the more sweeter for the Royal Blues given that last season’s Cup meeting at the same stage ended in victory for the Reds by the same score.
“We deserved it,” Schalke coach Felix Magath said.
“I was hoping Bayern would still be weary after the games against Milan and Dortmund. We made some good chances in the first half and never looked like conceding. We weren’t as good in the second half, but we managed to protect the lead through to the end.”
Meanwhile, the under-fire Van Gaal believed luck simply wasn’t on his side.
“It’s a huge disappointment. But that’s football: one team does nothing but defend, hits you on the break, and then scores,” he said.
“We didn’t start well, but I can’t be unhappy with the second half, except that we didn’t score. We put them under pressure and created chances, but luck wasn’t on our side tonight.”
Magath was previously manager of Bayern before being sacked in February 2007.