Europe 1 with AFP 21:34 p.m., March 19, 2023

Leverkusen achieved the feat on Sunday against Bayern Munich by winning 2 goals to 1. A defeat for the Bavarians, which allows Dortmund to seize first place in the Bundesliga at the end of the 25th day, nine days before the end of the championship.

Beaten on the lawn of Bayer Leverkusen (2-1) on two penalties awarded by the VAR, Bayern Munich ceded Sunday the chair of leader of the German championship to Borussia Dortmund on the evening of the 25th day. Nine days before the end of the season, the ten-time defending German champion is one point behind Borussia Dortmund, wide winner Saturday night in Cologne (6-1).

After the ten-day international break, the leading duo will meet on Saturday, April 1 (18:30 pm) at the Allianz Arena in Munich for the Klassiker of the German championship, which promises to be decisive this season for the awarding of the title. In pouring rain in the BayArena, the match changed in the second half on two decisions by referee Tobias Stieler, reversed by VAR.

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Second decisive period

Launched deep by Florian Wirtz in the 53rd minute, Amine Adli fell into the penalty area and was shown a yellow card for a simulation. Adli threw his shoe in rage, lost in the duel with Benjamin Pavard. After viewing the video, the referee logically indicated the penalty point, because of a clear contact between Adli and Pavard, and removed the yellow from Adli.

Same situation about twenty minutes later. Adli is touched by Dayot Upamecano, the referee whistles simulation sanctioned with a yellow and Adli prefers this time to smile. But Tobias Stieler reversed his decision again by whistling again penalty, for contact in the box on Upamecano's tackle.

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'Deserved defeat'

Argentina's Exequiel Palacios converted the two penalties (55th and 73rd) to give Bayer Leverkusen the lead, while Bayern had opened the scoring, against the flow of play in the first half by Joshua Kimmich (22nd) on a strike blocked by Odilon Kossounou. Munich tried to get back into the scoring in the last ten minutes, but the Leverkusen defence and its Finnish goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky held up against the Munich onslaught.

"On the whole game, the defeat is unfortunately deserved," admitted Bayern captain Thomas Müller to broadcaster DAZN after the match. "With the exception of the last ten minutes, we were the worst team. We didn't play a good game, there was no power in our game. We deserved to lose," Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann also conceded.

Here is Bayern in the position of the hunter, he who has so often been in that of the chased, nine games from the end of the 2022/23 financial year and while the shock against Dortmund, unbeaten in 2023 in the Bundesliga, arrives in less than two weeks. "We will have to win at all costs, otherwise it will be difficult to win the championship title," Nagelsmann said.

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Champions since... 2012

The last time Bayern failed to win the title was in the 2011/12 season, in favour of Borussia Dortmund, coached at the time by Jürgen Klopp. Behind the leading duo, Union Berlin took advantage of Leipzig's misstep on Saturday, beaten in Bochum (1-0), to climb the podium. The players of Urs Fischer showed a huge realism on Sunday to dominate on its lawn Eintrcht Frankfurt (2-0).

With 48 points, the Union is three points ahead of Leipzig (45 pts) in 3rd place, pending the trip from Freiburg (5th, 45 pts) to Mainz (19:30) at the end of this 25th day.