Bayern Munich's Sadio Mane, a two-time African footballer of the year, allegedly punched his teammate, Leroy Sane, in the face following their Champions League quarter-final defeat at Manchester City on Tuesday night. German media reports suggest that the altercation in the dressing room left Sane with a split lip.
The incident apparently began when Mane made a run-in behind instead of offering to come short, prompting Sane to express his discontent. This led to a heated discussion in the dressing room after the game, which escalated to the point where Mane punched Sane. Reports indicate that Sane continued his journey on the team bus upon their arrival back in Munich, while Mane departed separately.
After the game, Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel admitted that the scoreline flattered their opponents, saying, “This does not feel like a 3-0, but it is a 3-0, and it is a huge, huge task now to turn this around. We are realistic, but we will not give up.” Sky Sports Germany reports that Mane will apologize to the rest of the Bayern Munich squad later today, as club chiefs continue to assess the situation. The outlet claims that Bayern's bosses are considering sanctions such as fines, suspensions, and even outright separation from the squad entirely for the incident.
In addition to the off-pitch scandal, Mane has also faced increasing criticism from fans, media, and experts in recent weeks for his mixed performances on the pitch. Bayern Munich is hoping for a significant improvement in Mane's performance in the final stages of the season. Mane had been brought on in the 69th minute of the defeat, with the forward having had a mixed first season since joining from Liverpool for £35million last summer.
Bayern, who lead the Bundesliga by only two points, must win their upcoming tie against Hoffenheim on Saturday afternoon to shore up their hold at the top of the table. The incident between Mane and Sane is an unfortunate distraction for Bayern Munich as they look to bounce back from their defeat against Manchester City and secure a Champions League trophy this season.