Wolfsburg 1-3 Bayern Munich: Robert Lewandowski helps champions end winless run

After winning the past six titles, the 28-time German champions are sixth in the Bundesliga and have not won their past four matches overall.

But, a day after Bayern president Uli Hoeness labelled press treatment of the club a "joke", the headlines are kinder for Kovac thanks to Colombia star James, a player with whom he has reportedly shared a tense relationship.

But Kovac, under mounting pressure with each failure to win, has received vocal support from colleagues at several Bundesliga clubs, including Wolfsburg.

From now on, Hoeness announced, "we will protect our players and the club will return to full unity".

"That felt like a liberation", said centre-back Mats Hummels, while sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was equally relieved, saying: "We have shown character in a hard phase".

Hoeness responded to criticism that Juan Bernat's last-minute transfer to PSG had been a mistake by saying: "The weal and woe of Bayern Munich does not depend on Juan Bernat".

"The work atmosphere is good, we work hard".

Bayern have had a poor start to the season by their standards and are now in sixth position having clocked up 13 points from seven Bundesliga matches.

Scoreless in five matches for club and country, Lewandowski's struggles initially continued when his mishit follow-up to a Robben effort allowed Koen Casteels to scramble the ball off the line.

There were nervous looks in the Bayern ranks on 57 minutes when Robben was dismissed after a foul on midfielder Elvis Rexhbecaj.

"I want to congratulate the team for a top performance", said Kovac. We were under a lot of pressure. "It is the first step and showed that FC Bayern can fight back".

Robben was subsequently dismissed after catching Elvis Rexhbecaj on the ankle, and things got more worrying for Bayern soon after as Weghorst fired in from close range having been teed up by substitute Admir Mehmedi's cross.

Arjen Robben put the win in danger at the hour mark after booking his second yellow card and receiving his marching orders.

Three weeks ago, the world was still in order; now, we have experienced four games that we did not like.

Kovac said he took off left-back David Alaba, who suffered a second-half thigh knock, only as a precautionary measure ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game at Greek side AEK Athens.

Bayern eventually took the lead on 30 minutes as Mats Hummles threaded a superb pass for Lewandowski, who calmly slotted through the legs of Koen Casteels.

  • Angelo Rivera