Neuer rested for Bayern's Zagreb trip

The goalkeeper will miss the Champions League dead rubber, with young stopper David Hundertmark picked in his place, though Franck Ribery may play in the fixture

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will be rested for Wednesday’s Champions League group stage finale against Dinamo Zagreb, although Franck Ribery and Thiago Alcantara have both been named in Pep Guardiola’s squad.

The German champions are assured of top spot in Group F prior to their trip to Zagreb, with the hosts consigned to a fourth-place finish whatever the outcome of Wednesday’s matches.

And Guardiola is set to ring the changes, with Neuer’s place in the squad taken by young goalkeeper David Hundertmark.

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He is joined in the travelling party by Julian Green, Fabian Benko and Niklas Dorsch as well as more senior talents such as Ribery and Alcantara following their recent injury troubles.

Ribery came off the bench to feature for the first time this season during Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach after an ankle problem while Alcantara has not played since sustaining a knee injury while on international duty with Spain in November.

The pair are both set to play a part in Croatia on Wednesday, although Guardiola is without suspended defender Holger Badstuber and the injured quintet of Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Douglas Costa, Mario Gotze and Juan Bernat.

Dinamo Zagreb – Bayern Munich Preview: Ribery calls for Gladbach response

The German champions will seek to make amends for their Borussia Monchengladbach horror show when they conclude their Group F campaign

Franck Ribery has stressed Bayern Munich must not dwell on their surprise 3-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach as they look to finish their Champions League group-stage campaign with a flourish against Dinamo Zagreb.

There is little to play for in Wednesday’s Group F clash at the Stadion Maksimir with Bundesliga champions Bayern guaranteed top spot, while Dinamo are consigned to a fourth-placed finish and elimination from Europe for this season.

However, Bayern will be keen to make an impression after finding themselves in the unfamiliar position of having to bounce back from defeat following an abject showing at Borussia Park on Saturday.

It was the first time Bayern had been beaten in the league before the mid-season break since the 2012-13 campaign and the reverse allowed Borussia Dortmund to cut the gap at the top of the table to five points.

However, there was some good to come from the match with winger Ribery coming off the bench to make his first appearance in nine months following an ankle injury.

Ribery took just six minutes to make an impact as he scored a consolation for Bayern, and the Frenchman is now focusing on returning to full fitness.

“It feels good to be sent on if you’ve been sidelined for so long,” he told Bayern’s official website. “I’m back and that’s good.

“I still need time, I need to find my rhythm, and have good training. We need to quickly forget the Gladbach loss and focus on the next match.”

Captain Philipp Lahm believes the nature of the Gladbach defeat shows Bayern – who are without the suspended Holger Badstuber for the trip to Zagreb – have plenty of room for improvement.

“We’re no longer used to falling behind,” he said. “We have to analyse the defeat. We never said we were unbeatable. We wanted to keep our run going for as long as possible but it’s ended.”

Dinamo’s European venture for the season came to an end following a limp 3-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out and there is little motivation for the Croatian champions other than to avenge a 5-0 battering in the reverse fixture in September.

The hosts may be unfancied against Bayern but Zoran Mamic’s side head into the fixture buoyed by a last-gasp 2-1 win over Hajduk Split in the Eternal Derby on Saturday, with Hilal El Arbi Soudani scoring a 94th-minute winner.

“We deserved to win. We had hoped to return to first place and I hope we can continue like this in the future,” Dinamo captain Domagoj Antolic told the club’s official website. 

“There were songs and joy in the locker room but our thoughts immediately turn to preparations for the Bayern match.”

Ribery: Bayern have only themselves to blame for first defeat

The Frenchman marked his return from injury with a goal but he was disappointed with his side’s profligacy in their shock loss at Borussia Monchengladbach

Franck Ribery says that Bayern Munich only have themselves to blame after falling to their first Bundesliga defeat of the season at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.

After dominating the first half, the defending champions were stunned by goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson after the break.

Ribery, making his first appearance after nine months out with an ankle injury, came off the bench to score a late consolation, but bemoaned his side’s lack of potency.

“It’s our own fault,” the winger told reporters after the 3-1 loss. “After the first half we have to be 2-0 or 3-0 in the lead.

“But Gladbach did well and took all their chances. It’s a pity. We have to keep going.”

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By contrast, Gladbach coach Andre Schubert was thrilled with how the game panned out, paying tribute to his side’s improved second-half showing.

“During half-time we discussed whether we wanted to change and play more offensively,” he stated.

“My team attacked the Bayern goal much more often as compared to the first half. We did that quite well.

“Football is a lot about guts. When you score in such a game, you can do way better when you play with courage.”

Guardiola: Missed chances cost Bayern against Gladbach

The German champions slipped to their first Bundesliga defeat of the season and their coach has explained why he feels they lost

Pep Guardiola bemoaned Bayern Munich’s inability to convert a host of first-half chances after their 3-1 Bundesliga defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Yann Sommer made good saves from Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, before Kingsley Coman hit the woodwork as the visitors controlled the opening period at Borussia Park.

However, Monchengladbach stunned Guardiola’s men with second-half goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson to register their second straight win over the Bavarian giants.

The result represented the defending champions’ first league defeat of the season, having previously won 13 of their 14 top-flight matches.

“We played a very strong first half and created plenty of chances,” Guardiola told a news conference. “Unfortunately we couldn’t find a goalscorer.

“After the [Monchengladbach] goals we lost our shape a little bit.”

The return of Franck Ribery after nine months out with an ankle injury was a rare positive for Bayern on a dismal day, and the winger found the net for a late consolation.

“We are pleased for him, that he is after the long injury available again,” added the Bayern coach.

Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1 Bayern Munich: Guardiola's men stunned by clinical hosts

Goals from Oscar Wendt, Lars Stindl and Fabian Johnson gave Borussia Monchengladbach a shock 3-1 win over Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Franck Ribery rose from the bench to make his comeback in the second-half and pulled a goal back for Pep Guardiola’s side, though Gladbach stood firm to take all three points.

The result comes as a major shock given Bayern’s early-season form, with the reigning champions having avoided defeat in all of their domestic fixtures prior to their humbling trip to Borussia Park.

More to follow…