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Bayern Munich advance in DFB Pokal with boring win over SV Darmstadt

Bayern Munich beat SV Darmstadt behind a lackluster performance, and a lone wonder goal from Xabi Alonso

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Against minnows SV Darmstadt 98, the question was always would Bayern Munich be able to breakdown what was surely going to be a deep and ultra defensive opponent. Could they do that while missing half their team, and most of their creative players, to injury? While the answer to that question was "no" it didn't matter because Xabi Alonso pulled one moment of pure magic out of his back pocket, leading Bayern Munich to a 1-0 win.

The first half was plodding and pedantic. Bayern passed the ball from side to side, up and down the pitch and Darmstadt moved about 5 yards everytime. They had little penetration through the Darmstadt lines and their only effective attacking route was over the top which worked on occasion, but in most cases just yielded minutes of endless clearances from Darmstadt.

On the flipside, when Darmstadt found themselves in possession they were uncoordinated and lackluster, frequently losing possession or running around in circles. Bayern pressed without composure or structure to win the ball back and recommitted to their sloppy attacking.

That changed in the 39th minute, when Xabi Alonso took it upon himself to stop the sloppiness, controlling a clearance from Darmstadt with a high bounce, before unleashing a 35-yard strike into the far top corner. It was an amazing goal created out of nothing and lit a fire under Bayern Munich for the rest of the first half as they pushed high against a Darmstadt defense more content than ever to sit back in their own half. A well timed Robert Lewandowski header nearly pushed Bayern Munich up another goal, but it clanged off the post.

The second half continued the trend of one way traffic for Bayern Munich as Darmstadt opened up and pushed when they could looking for the equalizer. Up against the strength of Bayern they couldn't do much, as Bayern coasted through much of the second half untested, but unable to get a many quality shot on frame.

Instant Analysis

  • Bayern Munich really miss Douglas Costa and Arjen Robben. Kingsley Coman is hugely valuable but he's still far too raw to carry this team's offensive creativity on his lonesome.
  • Joshua Kimmich played rightback for most of the game. It was a "whatever" kind of performance seeing as Darmstadt didn't exactly challenge Bayern in any way.
  • Even Thiago Alcantara couldn't resurrect Bayern Munich in this match. After his introduction, it was just more of the same dull football that had preceded it. Thank goodness the winter break and the return of so many players is almost here

Match Details

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Rafinha, Boateng, Martinez, Lahm (Rode 87'), Alonso, Kimmich, Vidal (Thiago 66'), Müller, Coman, Lewandowski

Goals: Alonso (39')

SV Darmstadt 98: Mathenia, Sulu, Garcis, Diaz, Rajkovic, Gondorf, Heller, Vrancic (Rausch 76'), Niemeyer, Kempe (Sailer 81'), Wagner

Goals: lol

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