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Bayern Munich Finish Last in 2015 Telekom Cup | Recap and Analysis

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Pep Guardiola fields mostly reserves as Bayern are bottom feeders in the Telekom Cup for the first time.

Christof Koepsel/Getty Images

In their first action of the preseason, Bayern Munich finished third in the Telekom Cup, losing to Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-4 on penalty kicks in the consolation match. Hamburger SV went on to win the trophy by beating tournament debutants Augsburg 2-1.

Thiago Alcantara was the only goalscorer on the afternoon, finishing a cross from Douglas Costa to give Bayern the early lead over Augsburg. Alexander Esswein and Hong Jeung-Ho scored two goals in five minutes as Augsburg completed their comeback late in the 45 minute period. Esswein wiggled past Philipp Steinhart for the equalizer, and Hong Jeung-Ho headed home a corner kick to put Augsburg in the lead.

Bayern played to a scoreless draw with Mönchengladbach in the second match, Guardiola fielding mostly reserve and youth players. Patrick Weihrauch had a few chances to score from the right flank, but could not put the ball on frame. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Fabian Benko missed consecutive penalty kicks in the shootout, which handed the Foals the third place spot in the tournament.

This is the first time Bayern have finished last in the Telekom Cup in the seven-year history of the tournament. Pep Guardiola did not dress several senior players though, including Juan Bernat, Mehdi Benatia, Jérôme Boateng, Dante, Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski, Javi Martínez, Manuel Neuer, and Arjen Robben. Bayern's next preseason match will be against Valencia as part of their 2015 Audi Summer Tour in China.

Match Details

Bayern München (1-2) FC Augsburg

FCB: Thiago Alcântara (7')
FCA: Alexander Esswein (29'), Hong Jeung-Ho (35')

Bayern XI: Ulreich – Lahm, Rafinha, Alaba, Steinhart – Alonso, Rode – Thiago – Kurt, Müller, Douglas Costa

Augsburg XI: Hitz – Verhaegh, Hong, Klavan, Baba – Baier, Kohr – Esswein, Altintop (Caiuby 37'), Werner – Mölders (Matavz 42')

Bayern München (0-0, 3-4) Borussia Mönchengladbach

Penalty shootout:
1-0 FCB: David Alaba
1-1 BMG: Lars Stindl
2-1 FCB: Philipp Lahm
2-2 BMG: Tsi-William Ndenge
3-2 FCB: Joshua Kimmich
3-3 BMG: Mahmoud Dahoud
3-3 FCB: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg miss
3-4 BMG: Roel Brouwers
3-4 FCB: Fabian Benko miss

Bayern XI: Starke – Lahm, Rafinha, Alaba, Steinhart (Pohl 28') – Højbjerg, Kimmich, Gaudino – Weihrauch (Benko 23'), Lappe, Green

Mönchengladbach XI: Heimroth – Jantschke, Brouwers, Schulz, Elvedi – Traoré (Mlapa 29'), Dahoud, Stindl, Ritter (Ndenge 36') – Raffael (Sow 22'), Hahn (41' Rodriguez)

Instant Analysis

  1. The answer to the Ribéry absence is now clear: Pep Guardiola acquired Douglas Costa to at least help Bayern maintain a presence on the left flank. The role he played on Sunday was very different than the one he played with Shakhtar Donetsk, for his primary responsibilities was as a creator. Douglas did not have many moments, but still impacted the match in many different ways.
  2. How fitting, the day Bastian Schweinsteiger bids farewell to Bayern is the day Guardiola unveils a midfield of Gianluca Gaudino, Joshua Kimmich, and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. Kimmich was arguably the most important debutant, for he could be the one who follows in the footsteps of Xabi Alonso. The interplay between the three was clinical, but they have a lot of work to do to turn their chemistry into effective buildup play.
  3. Thiago Alcantara had a very positive first showing as a high playmaker. His movement in the final third was very good, and his quick decision making gave Bayern decent chances to score. His health, rather than his talent, is the bigger question, but if he can stay healthy, he could be primed for a big season.
  4. While Bayern conceded two quick goals, the given asterisk is the lack of a true center back in the team. That absence was probably the true reason behind the second goal concession against Augsburg. The only real takeaway is David Alaba's inability to be a viable center back, but with all of his offensive attributes and five other center backs in the squad, that is not a position Guardiola probably wants to play the Austrian in anyways.