clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five observations from Bayern Munich's 2-0 win against Hoffenheim

Bayern Munich thwarted Hoffenheim's defensive efforts with offensive teamwork, and stifled Hoffenheim's anemic offense with a makeshift but effective back three.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
1. Team CoCo is a work in progress

In Sunday's match, Kingsley Coman and Douglas Costa paired up on the left side of the pitch. With their amazing pace, the interplay between Coman and Costa can be breath-taking, when it happens. The duo had some phenomenally fast give-and-go plays in the opening minutes of the game, but Hoffenheim's defense soon managed to stifle their ability to work together. Among the attacking players today, Coman was the odd man out, and he was replaced by Thiago in the second half. With a shot on goal and an assist, Costa, in contrast, was a constant threat to Hoffenheim on the left.

2. Robben is back!

Arjen Robben put in an excellent game and looks like himself again, playing the full 90 minutes. His return to form was evident from the opening minutes of the game, blasting two very dangerous shots from distance just over Hoffenheim's goal. A classic Robben left-footed shot arching toward the far post of the goal in the 88th minute went just wide. Robben also played the perfect counterpart to Costa in feeding the ball to teammates, each of them logging 60 passes.

3. If you find Lewandowski, he will find a way to score

Robert Lewandowski barely got into the game in the first half-hour, with most of the attacks coming on the wings, especially through Arjen Robben. Lewandowski would announce his arrival on the scene, though, with a goal off a fantastic cross from Douglas Costa. Once the ball began bouncing his way from better crosses, Lewandowski remained a constant threat. He caught a cross from Robben in the 46th, quickly passed it back to Alonso at the edge of the penalty area, but Alonso's shot went just over the goal. Lewandowski had another near miss in the 58th, shooting the ball wide with his shin off a cross from Thomas Müller. Finally, in the 64th minute, a brilliant assist from Philipp Lahm in the penalty area allowed Lewandowski to lob the ball over Baumann and into the net. It is his 19th goal this season - one behind Dortmund's Aubameyang and one more than Hoffenheim have scored as a team.

4. Defense with no margin for error

Bayern fielded a makeshift defense centered around Holger Badstuber, with David Alaba on the left and Joshua Kimmich on the right. Xabi Alonso played centrally just ahead of them, dropping back as necessary, while Alaba frequently moved far up the left side, playing partly as a midfielder. The scheme worked against Hoffenheim's anemic offense, but the varying three-man back line around Badstuber left little room for error and allowed Hoffenheim to break through and shoot on goal twice. The worst lapse came in the 41st minute: as Badstuber inexplicably stood far up the pitch with Robben lingering back behind him, Hoffenheim's Hamad found Kramaric already past Badstuber. Kramaric then outmaneuvered Alonso in a lopsided one-on-one to shoot at close range. Neuer fortunately managed to punch the ball away, but against a better offense, such mistakes will prove costly.

5. Kimmich solid at right-back

Kimmich stepped up today and played an outstanding game at right-back, enabling Philipp Lahm to take a central role in the midfield (which bore fruit in the form of his first assist of the season). Kimmich quietly logged 115 touches, second only to David Alaba (132), and made 112 passes with 95 percent accuracy (only Alaba had more, 119 at 94 percent accuracy). The diminutive defender (only 5'8") won as many aerials as Holger Badstuber (3), and had one more defensive aerial (4). Kimmich's play was exactly what Bayern needed from him.