Hoffenheim 2 Bayern Munich 0: Ancelotti’s men succumb to in-form Uth double Patric Ridge Last updated 2 years ago 02:26 10/9/2017 Getty Images Mark Uth was at the double as Bayern Munich slumped to a surprise 2-0 defeat to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich slumped to their first defeat of the season as Mark Uth’s clinical double claimed a surprise 2-0 Bundesliga victory for Hoffenheim.Carlo Ancelotti’s side looked leggy throughout Saturday’s encounter at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, and Uth made sure that Hoffenheim – the last side to beat Bayern in the Bundesliga back in April – took full advantage.Starting up front in the absence of the injured Sandro Wagner, Uth capitalised on sloppy defending from Mats Hummels and Javi Martinez to put Hoffenheim ahead 27 minutes in, with Bayern having failed to test Oliver Baumann at the other end bar an early opportunity for Robert Lewandowski. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing And despite a positive start to the second half from Bayern, Uth doubled his tally and made it five goals in his last five games in all competitions with a precise finish at the culmination of a swift Hoffenheim counter-attack six minutes after the restart.The visitors pressed late on, but a late chance for Martinez – set-up by James Rodriguez on his Bayern debut – was all they could muster, with Hoffenheim holding firm to move level on points with current league leaders Borussia Dortmund.Bayern, meanwhile, must now switch their focus to the Champions League, with Anderlecht visiting the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.On his 400th Bayern appearance, Thomas Muller nearly turned provider with a pinpoint cross into Lewandowski, whose first-time effort clipped off the crossbar on its way over.Despite Bayern’s dominance, Hoffenheim kept the champions at arm’s length, and Julian Nagelsmann’s tactics paid off when quick thinking from Andrej Kramaric from a throw-in caught out Hummels.Uth reacted swiftly, stealing in unchallenged to drive into the area and plant a neat finish past Manuel Neuer at the near post.In search of an immediate response, Lewandowski tried his luck with a free-kick from range, but the Poland striker’s dipping shot inched wide of the left-hand upright.4 – Mark #Uth scored 4 of 8 Hoffenheim goals in all comps 2017-18. Pillar. #TSGFCB— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) September 9, 2017Bayern’s determination to restore parity stretched their defence, though, with Neuer doing well to keep out Steven Zuber’s low drive prior to the interval, while Corentin Tolisso headed straight at Baumann.Kingsley Coman was the next to test Hoffenheim’s defence, drilling over from the edge of the hosts’ area after cutting inside from the left flank.But it was not to be for Bayern, who found themselves further behind when Uth side-footed home from 10 yards out having latched onto Zuber’s cut-back.Ancelotti was swift to make a change, bringing on Arjen Robben, though it was the introduction of Bayern’s next substitute – James – which almost paid dividends late on.Colombia star James whipped in a delightful free-kick that Martinez met, but, with the aid of the crossbar, Baumann managed to keep it out as Hoffenheim held firm for a well-deserved victory. Key Opta stats: – Thomas Muller made his 400th appearance in competitive games for Bayern Munich – since the club’s promotion to the top flight in 1965, only 13 players appeared in more games.- Mark Uth became the first player to score a brace for Hoffenheim against Bayern.- On matchday three, this is the earliest Bayern loss in a Bundesliga season since 2011-12. Back then they had lost on matchday one to Borussia Monchengladbach.- Hoffenheim have kept clean sheets in their last four league home games – a new record for the team. read more
History was made at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night, when the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team of the NHL’s salary-cap era to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.1The NHL instituted a salary cap after labor disputes that resulted in the loss of the entire 2004-05 season. Winning back-to-back titles wasn’t as big of a deal for much of the NHL’s history — through the 1970s and ’80s, it wasn’t uncommon to see teams win two, three or even four Stanley Cup titles in a row — but repeating has been notoriously difficult in recent decades.The last franchise to go back-to-back was the Detroit Red Wings, whose ridiculously talented Steve Yzerman-led teams won in 1997 and 1998. And before that, it was Mario Lemieux’s Penguins, buttressed by some teenager from the Czech Republic named Jaromir Jagr; they lifted the Cup in the springs of 1991 and 1992, cementing Pittsburgh as a hockey town.Just as those Penguins teams from the early 1990s owed a lot to their captain — Lemieux won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in both Cup-winning campaigns — these Penguins have been powered by their leader, Sidney Crosby. He played brilliantly in this season’s playoffs, scoring 27 points in 24 games, including 7 in six games during the Final, and earning a second consecutive Smythe. Only one other player, beyond Crosby and Lemieux, has won back-to-back Smythes since the award was first given out in 1965.2That player is goalie Bernie Parent, who led the Philadelphia Flyers to Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. (And it was never done by all-time greats like Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Roy and Bobby Orr, although each of those players won the trophy at least twice in his career.)Of course, netminder Matt Murray wasn’t too shabby, either. After returning from injury to play in the conference finals, Murray was virtually unbeatable. In 11 games, he recorded seven quality starts3Hockey-Reference.com defines a “quality start” as one in which a goalie records a save percentage greater than or equal to the league average for the season. (Or, if a goalie faces 20 shots or fewer, he must record an 88.5 percent save percentage for the start to be considered “quality.”) and stopped 93.7 percent of the shots he faced.Here’s the most ludicrous thing of all: Murray led Pittsburgh to not one, but two titles as a rookie. After backstopping the Pens to the title last season, he still qualified as a rookie for 2016-17 because of the way the NHL judges rookie status. That elevates Murray into the same territory as Montreal great Ken Dryden, who as a rookie led the Habs to a Stanley Cup championship in 1971.Dryden won the Conn Smythe that year, and because he’d played in only six regular-season games, he still qualified as a rookie for the 1971-72 season. The Habs failed to repeat, but Dryden won the Calder Trophy as the league’s best rookie. Regardless of what Murray does over the rest of his career, he and Dryden will always be mentioned in the same breath. That’s not bad company!Beyond Crosby and Murray, Penguins center Evgeni Malkin was exceptional, finishing as the leading scorer in the playoffs. Geno’s 28 points are tied for the sixth-most of any player in a single postseason since the lockout and are the second-most of his playoff career (trailing the insane 36 points he dropped in 2009, when he won the Conn Smythe).In the first nine seasons they played together, Crosby and Malkin were playoff fixtures. They won one Cup, but otherwise, the Penguins during that time frequently seemed to disappoint in the postseason. After Pittsburgh’s championship in 2009, its record under coach Dan Bylsma was just 27-27 in the postseason, and the team was 0-5 in elimination games. Despite having two of the best players of their generation, the Pens were underachieving. The Crosby-Malkin era had held such promise, but each star was aging out of his prime. It was beginning to look like they might have missed their window for further championship success.All that panic feels like a dream now. Two championships in succession have put Pittsburgh’s tally during the Crosby-Malkin era at three — one more than the team earned in the Lemieux-Jagr era.So where does this place Crosby and Malkin in Penguins lore? It’s difficult (and kind of foolish) to compare eras. The game has changed a lot since Lemieux and Jagr played together, and Crosby and Malkin probably won’t touch their predecessors’ scoring totals. But in terms of titles, the Crosby-Malkin era has been the most successful run in the Penguins’ history. It’s hard to argue with all that silverware.