On a day in which the club didn't have it's best form, and in which a few officiating decisions left fans scratching their heads, Bayern Munich did enough to hold on for a 2-1 vs. Augsburg. Mario Gomez had both of the goals for Bayern; Arjen Robben assisted on the second, but also looked out of sorts at times, losing balls and failing to get his usually excellent dribbling game untracked. Credit to Augsburg, who played hard and executed their game plan well, but Bayern will need to improve over this form if we want to get past Dortmund - to say nothing of Real Madrid.
Gomez's first goal came less than a minute into the match, and it appeared that Bayern might have one of those days when everything goes right (we've had a few of those in the past 6 weeks). And in the subsequent 20 minutes, we were still doing the majority of the pressing, and we won a few free kicks and a corner. Tymo even went close on one occasion. But Augsburg struck back to level the match in the 23d minute. It appeared the Augsburg goal might have deflected off Neuer, but really it never should have gotten that far in the first place - Ja-Cheol Koo did a good job to finish, but it was Boateng's error in reading the ball and trying to swipe it out of mid-air that let Bellinghausen get to the ball and swing it back to Ja-Cheol to shoot.
And it wasn't just a lucky fluke for Augsburg, they continued to press and forced Bayern into a few errors. It wasn't until the second half when Bayern's offense finally started to get it together. For all those calling for Schweinsteiger + Kroos at midfield, we finally got a look at that pairing in the last 35 minutes of this match. But it was Gomez again with the winning goal, this time from close range in classic Gomez fashion. We could have had a third to seal it late, either from a penalty that should have been given, or from Bastian who put a header on net but couldn't get it past Jentzsch (whose name I might have spelled wrong in the line-ups - sorry, Simon. You're good).
Some take-away thoughts:
- Our plan to get an early lead and rest everyone didn't exactly come to fruition, did it? Everyone of our best XI played 90 minutes except Kroos and Ribery (who played 89 or whatever). At least Gustavo will be fresh for this week.
- I hate complaining about the officiating, but there were some pretty obvious fouls against Bayern players that weren't called - at least one against Mueller and one against Ribery, off the top of my head. I guess the Bundesliga is moving towards the English model, where "tough defense" means hacking and grabbing. Not an encouraging sign.
- I have no idea why Augsburg took Nando Rafael off early in the second half. Was he hurt? I thought he was looking pretty good up front for Augsburg.
- Gomez probably earns MOTM with the two goals, but Ribery also had a pretty good game - he beat his man to set up the first, and also had a threatening shot that almost went in soon after the Augsburg goal. Lahm looked OK. Other than those 3, I don't think anyone was in the kind of form that's going to win us silverware.
Some video clips. This one should have all 3 goals:
This is just the second Gomez goal, but it's higher quality and has multiple angles: Back with more later. Thanks for reading.