Bayern Munich are torched by Red Bull Salzburg for 45 minutes; lose 3-0

Alexander Hassenstein

Bayern Munich were resoundingly beaten by Red Bull Salzburg after an utterly inept first half display.

This game was bad. It was piss poor. It was a completely unmitigated disaster.

Deploying in a 4-2-3-1 system, Guardiola opted to start the game with Javi Martinez as the right back. This ended about as well as one could expect as Salzburg continually torched, raided, and pillaged down the right hand side the entire first half. Javi Martinez is not fast and matching him up against wingers and wide midfielders was a terrible idea to start and Bayern paid the price over and over again. It didn't help that Dante and Boateng also added to the misery by putting together absolutely horrendous performances. In attack, Bayern did some things that basically ended up just killing them as they played virtually without a striker, looking inept and without any outlets when under pressure. It was the tinkering for the sake of tinkering meme we commonly see from Guardiola in less then important matches, only in this case it ended by blowing up in his face in stellar fashion.

The first goal came in the 12' as a great through ball from Salzburg found Sadio Mane streaking towards goal where he neatly tucked it past Neuer. The second came in the 17' as Mane was again found with a great throughball and run which saw Dante foul the Senegales striker(Some say he tripped. It was a foul from any referee perspective). As the half wound down Salzburg got their third as a dash down the left saw a cross deflected to the back post where Robet Zulj tucked it neatly away, taking the game to the half with Salzburg up 3-0.

The second half fared much better as Guardiola brought in Rafinha for the nearly useless Javi Martinez and Mario Mandzukic for Mario Götze and shifted to their standard 4-1-4-1 system. Bayern instantly improved, but being down by 3 to Salzburg who were extremely confident and structured, rebuffing most Bayern Munich attacks (which were mostly rather poor) and putting together way too many good ones of their own, they did little to improve their lot. Salzburg almost made it 4-0 when a foul just outside the area saw them awarded a penalty for a poor challenge from Boateng (it's okay, they should have been given one earlier in the half as well that they didn't get).Luckily Neuer saved it, so the game wasn't a complete embarrassment.

I'm sorry, no, this was an embarrassment. The rule of thumb is that friendlies don't matter. Losing 2-1 in a friendly? Not a big deal. Losing 3-0? That's a big deal. Especially when the European champions look hopelessly lost for 90 minutes.

The only thing this game was really good for was in getting our first truly quality view of 18-year-old Pierre-Emil Hojbjerg who played the full 90 in the single pivot. He was collected and deliberate in possession displaying good vision. Skills wise, the youngster is ready for Bundesliga football but it's his actual physical body and reading of the game that need work. Advancing those skills only comes with time and experience. Most males physically mature between the ages of 18 and 21 and it was clear by the end that Hojbjerg just didn't have the physical ability to keep up which is something we probably don't remember enough when discussing high-caliber prospects in football. Furthermore, he lacked quite a bit of experience in reading the game. He'd find himself in the wrong position on occasion allowing dangerous through balls and attacks on goals (to be fair, it's hard to chalk that one up fully to his age and inexperience given that Schweinsteiger and Lahm are two of the most experienced and intelligent players on the planet and they have struggle with that position).

Also, they played with the Brazuca which looks cool rolling along, so that was a plus in this game.

First Half Lineup: Neuer; Martínez, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Hojbjerg, Kroos; Götze, Thiago, Shaqiri; Müller.

Second Half Lineup: Neuer; Rafinha, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Hojbjerg; Müller, Thiago, Kroos, Shaqiri; Mandzukic

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