Referee apologises after awarding Bayern dodgy penalty

Thomas Muller scored the controversial late penalty that gave Bayern all three points
Thomas Muller scored the controversial late penalty that gave Bayern all three points

Referee Knut Kircher has issued an apology to Augsburg after getting his decision wrong to award Bayern Munich a last-minute penalty in a 2-1 derby win for the Bavarians.

Kircher pointed to the spot after consultation with his linesman when Douglas Costa barged into Markus Feulner inside the penalty area and went to ground.

"I couldn't just disappear into thin air," said the Augsburg midfielder who, along with his team-mates, labelled the decision "a joke".

Only it was nothing to laugh about as Thomas Muller converted from the spot to earn Bayern all three points and deprive Augsburg of one at the Allianz Arena.

"You work your a*** off all week and the lads did such a good job, and then you get a penalty like this which is absolutely abysmal," raged Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl to Sky television, later asking Bayern coach Pep Guardiola at the press conference to confirm that "the penalty was a joke".

Guardiola obliged partially by admitting it was a very harsh decision, and one which Kircher later said he regretted making.

"I've spoken to (Augsburg's director of sport Stefan) Reuter and Weinzierl and I have apologised," Kircher said.

"We've seen the images again and our perception of it was simply wrong."

Kircher explained that he did not have the best of views of the incident and had therefore relied on his assistant.

"It was clear to him that a foul had been committed," Kircher added. "He saw the Augsburg player block his path.

"He was wrong and I was wrong, and because I am in charge out there, I have to assume the responsibility for this decision.

"It doesn't help Augsburg get a point now, but I really am sorry."

Defeat leaves Augsburg with just one point from their first four games of the season while Bayern were able to keep pace with Borussia Dortmund at the top of the standings and open up a four-point advantage over Wolfsburg in third.