Ten-man Bayern Munich suffered a morale-sapping fourth straight defeat by losing 1-0 to Augsburg on Saturday ahead of their mission-impossible Champions League semi-final, second-leg against Barcelona.
Augsburg’s Paraguay striker Raul Bobadilla followed on from Barcelona’s Lionel Messi by inflicting more misery on Bundesliga champions Bayern.
Bayern host Barca in Tuesday’s home semi-final facing an uphill task having been routed 3-0 in Spain, when Messi scored twice, which followed defeats to Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup semi-final and a league defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.
“It’s not easy, after the defeat to Barcelona, to play 80 minutes with a man down,” said Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who is missing injured wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.
“We haven’t got any more wingers, so our wing-backs have to attack as well.”
On Tuesday’s clash with his former club Barcelona, Guardiola added: “If we just focus on scoring goals, we will lose heavily.
“We have to stay calm and try to control our game.”
Guardiola named a near full-strength team against Augsburg, resting only Xabi Alonso and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
– Reina sees red –
But the German giants played nearly 80 minutes with ten men after reserve goalkeeper Pepe Reina was shown a straight red card.
Neuer came on to face a penalty after Reina was sent off with just 13 minutes gone for fouling Bobadilla.
Dutch defender Paul Verhaegh hit the post with the resulting spot-kick having beaten the diving Neuer.
Mario Goetze then hit the Augsburg post early on and striker Robert Lewandowski clattered the crossbar late in the first-half for Bayern.
Augsburg grabbed the winner when Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hoejbjerg, on loan from Bayern, put in a cross which Bobadilla deftly back-heeled past Neuer on 71 minutes.
With two games left, Borussia Moenchengladbach are virtually assured a direct Champions League place next season after their 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen moved them up to second.
Germany striker Max Kruse, who is set to join Wolfsburg next season, put them ahead when he converted Patrick Herrmann’s 50th-minute pass before the Gladbach winger added their second on 81 minutes.
Guinea forward Ibrahima Traore then claimed his second in two games when he blasted the third in from the right two minutes from time.
The win moves Lucien Favre’s Gladbach up to second ahead of Wolfsburg, who are at Paderborn on Sunday.
Borussia Dortmund are on the verge of a Europa League place next season after enjoying a 2-0 win at home to Hertha Berlin.
Goals by defenders Neven Subotic and Erik Durm lifted Dortmund to seventh and two points behind sixth-placed neighbours Schalke who are at Cologne on Sunday.
With Germany winger Marco Reus rested, Subotic headed home on nine minutes before Henrikh Mkhitaryan provided his second assist when his pass found Durm and the World Cup-winner rifled home his first goal of the season on 47 minutes.
Hanover remain third from bottom after their 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen.
Stuttgart stayed in last place despite their 2-0 home win over Mainz thanks to goals by Daniel Didavi and Filip Kostic which means just two points separate the bottom five clubs.
Mid-table Eintracht Frankfurt enjoyed a 3-1 win over Hoffenheim while Hamburg stayed above the relegation places with a 1-1 draw at home to Freiburg on Friday thanks to Gojko Kacar’s 90th-minute equaliser.