Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

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Nenad Bjelica was sent off for twice pushing Leroy Sané in the face.


Union Berlin’s head coach Nenad Bjelica was sent off for twice pushing Bayern Munich forward Leroy Sané in the face during a feisty Bundesliga encounter on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in the 74th minute of the match, with Bayern 1-0 up.

Sané went to retrieve the ball after it went out of play, but Bjelica prevented him from doing so, throwing it over his shoulder when the forward swiped for it.

Bjelica, clearly annoyed by Sané’s efforts to grab the ball, then pushed the forward in the face as the pair squared up to each other on the sideline.

As players and coaching staff rushed in to separate the pair, Bjelica again put his hand in Sané’s face.

“I reacted and I shouldn’t have done. The red card was absolutely deserved,” Bjelica said after the match.

On the pitch, Bayern Munich was keen to hit back after losing to Werder Bremen last time out.

The German champion dominated the first-half but was frustrated by Union’s goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow who made multiple saves to keep his side level.

Angelika Warmuth/Reuters

The referee showed the red card after players and coaches tried to calm the situation.

However, the deadlock was broken 30 seconds after the restart.

Harry Kane saw his effort crash off the post before Raphaël Guerreiro followed up on the rebound to fire into the top corner.

Kane then thought he had doubled the host’s lead 10 minutes later, but his goal was disallowed for an offside in the buildup.

Despite all its first-half dominance, Bayern began to creak as the game wore on and Union Berlin had a number of chances to equalize.

The visitors were particularly annoyed by the decision not to award them a penalty after Kevin Behrens was seemingly prevented a goalscoring opportunity by the recovering Konrad Laimer.

The referee waved away the protests from Union Berlin’s players and Bayern managed to hold on for an important win.

“It was a decent game, a solid performance. When you score a second goal, opposition heads tend to drop. That makes things easier. It got a bit heated towards the end,” Bayern midfielder Leon Goretzka said after the game.

Bayern sits second in the Bundesliga table, four points behind Bayer Leverkusen.

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