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FIFA Club World Cup Semifinal: FC Bayern München 3-0 Guangzhou Evergrande FC | Instant Analysis

The European Champions breeze through the semifinal in their FIFA Club World Cup debut

Lars Baron

As expected, FC Bayern München controlled the entire game, playing mostly in cruise control as Guangzhou Evergrande FC had no answer. Franck Ribéry, Mario Mandžukić, and Mario Götze all scored, and the defense held Muriqui and Elkeson in check. Here is some instant analysis of the match, notes scribbled throughout the 90 minutes.

  • With all their ball-control, the FC Bayern players lacked a bit of inventiveness in the final third. Instances arised For that reason, the first two scores were off a rebound and a bad Guangzhou turnover. The player creating the most throughout the match was Thiago, who set up many a scoring chance and linked up play very well.
  • Marcello Lippi gave Guangzhou a "Plan A", and that was it: sit back and try to win the ball, then break forward at all costs. I wonder if the Guangzhou players thought they would get deported if they passed the ball backwards. Pep Guardiola countered with a high line, leading to off-sides calls left and right. When Guangzhou got possession, the players looked bewildered like a baby picking up a rattle for the first time.
  • Playing behind the ball Guangzhou did not give FC Bayern a lot of space, but the players in white took their chances when they had them. Toni Kroos spanked a shot that clanged off the cross bar, and Mario Götze artfully picked the top left corner for the third Bayern goal after creating space for himself on the right flank.
  • FIFA have noticeably shown off its new goal-line technology, sometimes comically on shots that are clearly not goals. It was hysterical for FIFA to show the goal-line technology graphic for Ribéry's goal and not even pick the right point in time to show it. For all its questionable decisions over the years, football's governing body definitely tries to hard on some things and not enough on others.
  • It was a bit disappointing that no reserve players got a chance for pitch time. With the match tucked away after 48 minutes, Mitchell Weiser, Julian Green, or Pierre-Emile Højbjerg should feel hard done by their lack of pitch time. If a 3-0 lead over a club like Guangzhou Evergrande is not a good time to bring in some of the younger players, there is no point in trying to predict when a good time is outside of friendlies.

With the victory, FC Bayern now await either Raja Casablanca or Atlético Minero for the final in Marrakech. Guangzhou will do battle with the loser for third place, which will take place right before the final.

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