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Pressure increases on van Gaal as Bayern beaten by Hanover

Sergio Pinto celebrates Hanover's third and clinching goal in the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich.
Sergio Pinto celebrates Hanover's third and clinching goal in the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Hanover beat Bayern Munich 3-1 to boost their Champions League hopes
  • Bayern suffering third straight domestic loss in difficult season
  • Bayern coach Louis van Gaal under pressure despite doing double last season
  • Bayer Leverkusen beat Wolfsburg to cement second place in Bundesliga

(CNN) -- Bayern Munich's dismal domestic form continued Saturday with a 3-1 defeat at Hanover which heaps the pressure on their Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.

The third straight loss leaves the reigning champions in fourth spot in the Bundesliga, 19 points adrift of Borussia Dortmund, who beat them in the league last weekend.

Crucially, they are also seven points behind Bayer Leverkusen, who beat VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 in the late game and hold the second automatic qualification place for next season's Champions League. Hanover are third, five points ahead of Bayern with games running out.

Coupled with a German Cup defeat to Schalke, van Gaal's tenure at Bayern is threatened despite achieving the double last season and losing in the final of the Champions League to Inter Milan.

Bayern are leading Inter 1-0 in their Champions League last 16 tie after the first leg in the San Siro, a rare success for the Bavarian giants in a season hit by injuries to key players.

But they were at full strength Saturday as the home side took the lead on 16 minutes with Norway striker Mohammed Abdellaoue crashing the ball home.

Konstantin Rausch, who helped set up the first goal, was heavily involved in the second in the 51st minute as his shot took a deflection past Thomas Kraft from the head of Bayern striker Mario Gomez.

Bayern hit back almost immediately as their star pairing of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery combined for Robben to head home

I have always had the support of my board. They decide whether to withdraw this support, not me
--Louis van Gaal
RELATED TOPICS
  • FC Bayern
  • Hanover
  • Bundesliga
  • Louis Van Gaal

But midfielder Sergio Pinto restored Hanover's two-goal advantage with a long-range shot just after the hour mark which Kraft fumbled.

Bayern's dismal afternoon was complete when Brazilian defender Breno was sent off for lashing out after losing the ball.

Van Gaal, who had said before the match that defeat could signal his exit, was more reticent when speaking to reporters after the final whistle about his position.

"I am not in a position to answer this question," he told AFP.

"I have always had the support of my board. They decide whether to withdraw this support, not me."

The chairman of the board, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, said they would take time to reach a verdict.

"Of course we are all disappointed, but I think we have all been around long enough to know that after such a game, you need to have a night's sleep before you consider what to do."

Dortmund, who beat Bayern 3-1 at the Allianz Arena in the previous round, cemented their title chances with a 1-0 win over Cologne Friday night.

In the relegation battle, VfB Stuttgart, one place off the bottom at the start of the weekend, beat 10-man Schalke 1-0.

And bottom side Borussia Moenchengladbach enjoyed a 2-0 win over mid-table Hoffenheim.