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German clubs losing ground in UCL

Champions League
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 By Mark Lovell

Sven Ulreich not up to the task as Bayern stagger to Wolfsburg draw

Craig Burley explains why Carlo Ancelotti's days at Bayern are numbered while Shaka Hislop lambastes Sven Ulreich's howler.

Bayern Munich squandered a two-goal advantage at the break on Friday in a disappointing 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena. A terrible flap from backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, deputising for the injured Manuel Neuer, allowed Wolfsburg a lifeline in the 56th minute. After missing a host of chances to seal the game, substitute Daniel Didavi punished Bayern's profligacy in front of goal with a neat header in off the post with seven minutes remaining to seal an unlikely draw as Bayern frittered away a two-goal Bundesliga lead for the first time since 2004.

Positives

Neuer will be back in January. Get well soon, Manu.

Negatives

Neuer will not be back until January; one can only hope Bayern will still be within touching distance of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table. Ulreich the understudy is not up to it.

VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
Bayern MunichBayern Munich
0
6
FT
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Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Carlo Ancelotti again wielded the severe rotation stick, making six changes from the comprehensive victory against Schalke on Tuesday, leaving James Rodriguez and record signing Corentin Tolisso on the bench. It all looked like clear sailing until Ulreich's shocker turned the course of the game.

Player ratings (1-10, 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Sven Ulreich, 4 -- A horrible flap to concede the softest of goals from a free kick, allowing a previously toothless Wolfsburg side a grip on the game. It is the sort of error that should not happen to a professional goalkeeper. With this mistake, he's lost the confidence of the defence in front of him. If he keeps a clean sheet against the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe of PSG next week, it would be quite a shock.

DF Rafinha, 5 -- Very limited at both ends of the pitch. David Alaba's return at left-back cannot come soon enough.

DF Mats Hummels, 7 -- His superb last-ditch tackle prevented a goal as Wolfsburg came on strong after Ulreich's lapse. Hummels could have been the hero but headed narrowly wide from a corner with the last touch of the game.

DF Jerome Boateng, 7 -- Following his lengthy injury break, Boateng enjoyed a decent first full 90 minutes of the season alongside his 2014 World Cup-winning central defensive partner Hummels. A team-best 109 touches of the ball.

DF Joshua Kimmich, 6 -- Lively first 45 but well-marshalled by ex-Borussia Dortmund stalwart Jakub Blaszczykowski after the half-time oranges.

MF Sebastian Rudy, 6 -- Impressive in the first half but faded as his side struggled, no doubt still under shock from Ulreich's moment of madness.

MF Arturo Vidal, 5 -- Ineffective display, a performance evidently not as sharp as his mohawk haircut. Vidal's work was curtailed on 63 minutes as he had been walking the red-card tightrope after an early caution. However, he will probably start in Paris on Wednesday.

Sven Ulreich let Wolfsburg back into the match when he conceded a goal off a free kick.

MF Franck Ribery, 5 -- Should have sealed the three points but blazed over into the Bavarian night sky after fine work from Thomas Muller. Not one of his better games and subbed off late as Bayern scrambled for a winner. Ribery has now only played a full 90 minutes four times in 23 games in 2017 under Ancelotti.

MF Arjen Robben, 6 -- Returned to the starting lineup after missing the Schalke game with flu. Massively prominent in the first half with his distinctive bald head bobbing away and his deflected goal doubled the lead. Following Ulreich's faux pas, Robben immediately had the chance to restore his side's two-goal cushion but he prodded wide.

MF Thomas Muller, 6 -- Busted a lengthy 999-minute goal drought against the same opposition last season, but captain Muller could not tame the Wolves again ... although his sublime back-heel into the path of Ribery was worth the entrance fee alone.

FW Robert Lewandowski, 6 -- None of his absolutely mad five-goals-in-nine-minutes antics from two seasons ago, just a disputable penalty which he coolly dispatched for his seventh goal in six league games this season and his 14th consecutive successful Bundesliga penalty conversion. With Alaba still out injured, it appears Lewandowski is allowed to take every single free kick, to no avail.

Substitutes

MF Corentin Tolisso, 6 -- Replaced Vidal after the hour mark and caught the eye late on as Bayern pressed, but it was too little too late.

MF James Rodriguez, N/R -- Came on for Robben as Ancelotti shuffled his pack with five minutes remaining. Rodriguez had little time to make an impact and too late for a rating.

MF Kingsley Coman, N/R -- Too late for a rating, and must hope he gets longer to impress against his first club, PSG, on Wednesday.

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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