Bayern Munich’s recent struggles continued as Ajax held them to a 1-1 draw in their Champions League Group E clash on Tuesday.
After winning their opening seven games of the season under new coach Niko Kovac, the Bundesliga champions had picked up just one point in their last two games against Augsburg and Hertha Berlin before the Dutch side’s visit to the Allianz Arena.
They looked like they would get back on track when Mats Hummels’ fourth-minute header put them ahead, but Erik ten Hag’s youthful side bounced back in style, levelling midway through the half thanks to Noussair Mazraoui’s fine strike.
Substitute James Rodriguez came closest to finding an undeserved winner for Bayern in the second period, while Donny van de Beek will be left to rue a golden opportunity 20 minutes from time for Ajax when he fired wide with only Manuel Neuer to beat.
Andre Onana kept out Arjen Robben’s whipped effort in the opening exchanges, but was helpless to stop Hummels’ unmarked header from the Dutchman’s precise cross shortly afterwards.
Ajax responded well to that early setback, though, with Dusan Tadic firing over from eight yards and Hakim Ziyech testing Neuer from distance in quick succession.
Their renewed confidence paid dividends in the 22nd minute when Mazraoui played a smart one-two with Tadic before drilling past Neuer from 12 yards for his first Ajax goal.
The visitors were dominant for the remainder of the opening period and were only denied a half-time lead when Neuer parried over Ziyech’s powerful 30-yard drive.
Tadic wasted another wonderful opportunity moments after the restart, scuffing a close-range effort from David Neres’ cross, while Nicolas Tagliafico’s low drive was kept out by Neuer.
Hummels was denied what looked a clear penalty after being clattered by Onana just before the hour mark before Van de Beek steered agonisingly wide.