Earlier this week, we talked about FC Bayern's upcoming tough stretch of games, and noted that this first one was the most winnable. After the club failed to find the net in today's 0-0 draw, we're off to a pretty inauspicious debut. With BVB and Monchengladbach both winning today, FC Bayern now sits in third place in the Bundesliga table, and has no momentum going into this week's vital Champions League clash.
I'm watching the replay on Gol! TV right now, and honestly, Bayern isn't playing that terribly. There haven't been too many awful mistakes, it's just a question of failing to make the last pass, a few good saves from Baumann, maybe a couple questionable calls, and basically Freiburg playing a good game. Bayern obviously misses Schweinsteiger in the middle of the pitch, but that can't be the universal excuse - he's not going to be back for a while, and we need to figure out how to generate threats without him.
Some specific things we learned:
- Bayern plays great with a lead - once the opponent needs to push forward, we're a sure bet to open up their back line. But if the other team is happy to stay back in a defensive shell, we just try to hammer away at them, and don't have any finesse in attempting to unlock the defense. Most good teams love to get an early goal and then let the other team force the action, but it goes to an extreme level with us.
- Badstuber looked pretty lively - he had one goal ruled off for offsides, and had another header from a corner in the second half that went close. It's good to see him get involved, but honestly it's a problem that our CBs are such a big part of our aerial / set piece game.
- Baumann had a nice save on Robben early in the 2d half. Arjen rounded the defender and blasted a low, hard shot, and I thought it was a goal until Baumann made a diving save.
- The diving has to stop. Ribery was rightly given a yellow for a dive that was poor on multiple levels: first, putting himself on a yellow forces him to be more cautious for the rest of the game. Second, once you get a reputation for diving (which he's rapidly earning), referees are going to be looking for it. And third, he STILL HAD A PLAY ON THE BALL! The defender had sort of cut him off, but Franck still had a chance to be the first one to the loose ball and turn it back inside. Instead, he put all his eggs in the "draw a penalty" basket, and didn't even try for it.
I'm sure I'll earn everyone's ire for this, but I really don't think the club payed that terribly. Disappointing, but not terrible. A few close chances that didn't go in, and a few good defensive/goalkeeping plays from Freiburg. And Freiburg's 74th minute substitution was clearly made with a draw in mind. But we need to figure out a way to raise our level of play on the road. Back with more tomorrow - no goal videos to share, but maybe we can find something else to share. Thanks for reading.