BERLIN — With their coach’s job on the line, Hamburger SV players responded with a tenacious performance to hold Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich scoreless for 88 minutes before losing 1-0 on Saturday.
Just when it seemed Bayern would drop its first points of the season, Franck Ribery crossed for Joshua Kimmich to seal the side’s eighth successive win across all competitions.
Carlo Ancelotti is the first Bayern coach to win his first eight matches.
In contrast, Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia was under pressure before the game after garnering just one point from four matches, and criticism from club chairman Dietmar Beiersdorfer followed defeats to promoted sides Leipzig and Freiburg.
“There is no coach who is not the loneliest person in the world in such situations. It’s nothing special. It’s the fate of a coach,” Labbadia said before his side’s fourth successive league defeat.
Despite the encouraging performance, Beiersdorfer refused to say whether Labbadia would be in charge for the next game against Hertha Berlin.
“I can’t say that now. We need to speak about it internally,” Beiersdorfer said.
Labbadia’s players largely frustrated Bayern’s much-vaunted forwards before the break, when they were applauded by the appreciative home fans, and goalkeeper Rene Adler produced a string of saves to keep Hamburg level after the interval.
Bayern defender Mats Hummels went off with an apparent knee injury early in the second half, to be replaced by Jerome Boateng, before Ancelotti brought on Ribery and Arturo Vidal for Kingsley Coman and Renato Sanches with half an hour remaining.
Ribery, who was fortunate not to be sent off for pinching Nicolai Mueller in the face, made the difference after being played through by a wonderful pass from Thiago Alcantara. The French winger crossed for Kimmich to score at the far post.
Bayern visits Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.
WERDER BREMEN 2, WOLFSBURG 1
Lennart Thy and Theodor Gebre Selassie scored late for Bremen to claim an unlikely looking win for its first points of the season in the late game.
With four straight defeats, Bremen made its worst ever league start, and it seemed like a fifth was on the cards after an own goal from Robert Bauer put Wolfsburg ahead with 20 minutes to go.
But Thy equalized in the 86th and Gebre Selassie claimed the winner in injury time to give Bremen its first win under interim coach Alexander Nouri.
It was Nouri’s second game in charge after the sacking of Viktor Skripnik.
MAINZ 2, BAYER LEVERKUSEN 3
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored a hat trick for Leverkusen to come from behind for its second win.
Yunus Malli scored against his former club in the first half, Chicharito equalized a minute later, and Stefan Bell restored Mainz’ lead four minutes after that.
Chicharito claimed his second midway through the second half, and he sealed the win in injury time.
BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH 2, INGOLSTADT 0
Lars Stindl scored shortly before the interval for ‘Gladbach, which missed chances to seal the win before Oscar Wendt finally did so with around 15 minutes remaining.
‘Gladbach hosts Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 3, HERTHA BERLIN 3
Jamaica defender Michael Hector scored in injury time to salvage a late draw for Frankfurt.
Hertha captain Vedad Ibisevic converted a penalty to give the visitors an early lead, but Marco Fabian equalized with a fine finish and Frankfurt captain Alexander Meier added another before the break.
Ibisevic equalized before the hour-mark, minutes before Alexander Esswein scored with a finely curled shot inside the far post, only for Hector to have the final say.
AUGSBURG 1, DARMSTADT 0
Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason scored early in the second half for Augsburg, which had it easier after Darmstadt defender Leon Guwara was sent off for a dangerous tackle before the interval.