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Bayern Munich Lose Final Friendly on Penalties vs. Guangzhou Evergrande | Recap and Analysis

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Müller's missed penalty proves the difference as Bayern's China tour comes to an end.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Bayern Munich lost their final friendly in China on Thursday, losing to Guangzhou Evergrande on penalties after a scoreless 90 minutes.

Thomas Müller had a majority of the chances in the match despite his brief half-an-hour shift in the second half, but his penalty miss to lead off the shootout proved to be the difference in the match. Xiaoting Feng hammered the match-winning penalty past Ivan Lucic the goal to give the Southern China Tigers the 5-4 victory.

Manager Pep Guardiola rested several of his regulars, starting instead with Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Joshua Kimmich, and Sinan Kurt in the side. Højbjerg had two early chances to give Bayern the opener, one of them a curling free kick which goalkeeper Cheng Zeng had to deflect away.

Coming on for Mario Götze as one of nine substitutions in the match, Müller got involved quickly, nearly guiding a long ball from David Alaba into the back of the net in the 60th minute. Philipp Lahm, who has connected with Müller multiple times this preseason, provided Müller with another great chance, but the 25-year-old could not beat Cheng Zeng after breaking free.

Müller was the only one who missed in penalties though, trying to guide the ball right before Cheng Zeng made the save. Xabi Alonso, Jérôme Boateng, Douglas Costa, and Thiago Alcântara all converted theirs as Bayern lost the penalty shootout.

The Rekordmeister are now due to return home, and new signing may greet them once the team touches down in Munich. Bayern's next match will be the DFL-Supercup against VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, August 1.

Match Details

Guangzhou Evergrande (0-0, 5-4) Bayern Munich

Penalty Shootout:

0-0 FCB: Thomas Müller miss
1-0 GZE: Paulinho
1-1 FCB: Xabi Alonso
2-1 GZE: Kim Young-Gwon
2-2 FCB: Jérôme Boateng
3-2 GZE: Hanchao Yu
3-3 FCB: Douglas Costa
4-3 GZE: Xuri Zhao
4-4 FCB: Thiago Alcântara
5-4 GZE: Xiaoting Feng

Bayern XI: Neuer (Lucic 46') – Rafinha, Boateng, Alaba (Pohl 73'), Bernat (Steinhart 46') – Højbjerg (Lahm 46'), Kimmich (Alonso 57'), Rode (Thiago 46') – Götze (Müller 57'), Lewandowski (Gaudino 73'), Kurt (Douglas 46')

Guangzhou XI: Cheng Zeng – Jain Liu (Kim Young-Gwon 46'), Xiaoting Feng, Fang Mei (Hanchao Yu 46'), Zheng Zhou  – Paulinho, Zhi Zheng (Xuri Zhao 68') , Long Zheng (Jiaqi Zhang 87')  – Lin Gao (Xuesheng Dong 77'), Ricardo Goulart (Junhui Wang 68'), Robinho (Shangyuan Wang 46')

Instant Analysis

  • Whether it was the change in personnel, the opponent, or the fact it was the final match of the tour, Bayern were not up for this match. The players ran out of ideas pretty quickly even though Sebastian Rode and Højbjerg were thundering into the box. Having Douglas Costa, Lahm, Müller, and Thiago come on in the second half made a notable difference, not a good sign for Götze, Højbjerg, or Rode in their quest to secure regular minutes.
  • Celebrating his 19th birthday today, Kurt was able to put his stamp on the match early in the contest. While he was not navigating around Guangzhou defenders with Franck Ribéry-like precision, he was able to win some one-on-one duels and get into interesting positions in the penalty area. What was not there was the finishing touch, rarely getting usable service into the box. He clearly needs another season of development under his belt, but there is a possible winning skill set in the cards.
  • Other than experimenting with two up front, Guardiola has not tinkered with Bayern too much this preseason. The only tactical trials on Thursday came in the second half when Müller entered the match. Rather than keeping Douglas Costa on the left, the gaffer elected to place Müller on the left and Costa on the right. While the experiment only lasted about 15 minutes, it was fascinating nonetheless. Müller does not usually play on the left, but he performed rather well, possibly making him a legitimate option on the left flank during the season.
  • Medhi Benatia was due to start, but was a late scratch due to a calf issue in warm-ups. The Moroccan international had played more than an hour in the previous two matches as part of Bayern's China tour. Alaba played center back in his place.