In a match with many of the regular starters getting a break, FC Bayern Munich did enough to beat VfB Stuttgart in the last home game of the league season. Mario Gomez had a first half goal to put him back in the lead in the Bundesliga scoring race (this didn't last, though - see below). Thomas Mueller had a goal and an assist and looked very sharp at times, and Hans-Joerg Butt had a good day in probably his last competitive match. But there were a few defensive lapses and the team looked a bit scatter-brained at times. In next month's Champions League final, Tymoschuk and/or Rafinha are going to have to feature against Chelsea's re-energized offense - at the rate they played today, we still have some work to do.
First of all, let's not panic: this was the first match after a draining performance just 3 days ago, so it's no surprise the club would come out at 110 percent intensity. Anyway, I thought the offense did a lot of things right. Tommy was really in control in the Stuttgart side of the field, running the offense and setting up his teammates. Gomez put the boys ahead in the 32d minute from another unselfish pass by Mueller, following a long run and a patient play. He certainly had a chance to make a play on the goal himself, but by waiting until CB and GK converged on him, he gave Mario a classic Mario goal:
After that, though, VfB put together a sustained period of pressure. If our defense struggles to clear the ball like this against BVB and Chelsea, we're going to be in a world of hurt in both of those cup finals. Stuttgart had several chances to level, with a header just missing and HJB looking alert between the sticks, but our re-calibrated back line could have done better throughout the last 20 minutes of the first half.
In the early part of the 2d half, I thought Bayern re-asserted ourselves, but we still gave up a few good chances. Tymoschuk (in my opinion) has a long way to go before he's a reliable defender. When he actually goes to tackle a dribbler, he's actually pretty good. But he can get caught ball-watching and let off-the-ball players slither past him, and his first touch isn't great, making it an adventure every time he goes to clear the ball.
Mueller put the icing on in the last minute with a goal of his own. Can't find any video of that yet, but I'll check again in a bit. Some closing thoughts:
- Unlike a few of the other B-teamers, I thought Pranjic looked good. Was he badly hurt? I didn't hear the announcers give any news.
- HJB was excellent, in my opinion. Considering he hadn't played a competitive match in months, he didn't miss a beat, and we might have been held to a draw here if he was a second slower.
- Huntelaar had two goals in the Schalke win, so he's not one ahead of Gomez in the scoring race. I guess this means we'll see more of Mario next week?
- I really don't care for those new kits. It's not even that they look bad, it's just ... orange? Bright orange? When did this become our thing? An attempt to convince Robben to stay?
If anyone hears new of Pranjic, leave it in the comments. Well have a post about Dante, Olic, and the upcoming transfer period soon, I promise. Thanks for reading.