BERLIN, Jan 18 (Reuters) - An experimental Bayern Munich side lost 3-0 at Salzburg in a friendly on Saturday as the treble winners prepare for the resumption of the Bundesliga season later this month.
Coach Pep Guardiola had hoped for a better result on his 43rd birthday, but instead watched his team endure their worst 45 minutes since he took over at the start of the campaign
The Austrian league leaders had 14 shots on goal in less than an hour and were 3-0 ahead by the break thanks to Sadio Mane, a Jonatan Soriano penalty and Robert Zulj. They also had a second-half spot kick saved by Bayern's Manuel Neuer.
World club champions Bayern deployed an unusual defensive formation, with holding midfielder Javi Martinez on the right and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in a central defensive role, but the strategy backfired with the Spaniard looking out of sorts.
Guardiola rested Franck Ribery and captain Philipp Lahm, who are nursing minor knocks, while Arjen Robben, Daniel van Buyten and Bastian Schweinsteiger were also not deemed ready to play. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Josh Reich)