clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Five observation’s from Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

New, comments

Bayern Munich put in another strong performance against their bugaboo club

Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

The Bayern Munich resurgence in the Champions League continued into the weekend in the Bundesliga. They sucked every ounce of energy out of Gladbach and got two early goals before shifting into neutral. Their showing may not have been as dominant as it should have been, but it nonetheless seems like Bayern are back on course to lift multiple trophies. Here are five observations from Bayern’s 2-0 win against Gladbach.

Ancelotti’s free system is starting to take shape

Defenders bombing forward. Wingers swapping flanks. Midfielders surging into the penalty area. Forwards tracking back and combining in midfield. Bayern appeared completely fluid on Saturday, covering all areas of the pitch with ease. Their one-twos and their flicks back-and-forth kept Gladbach on their toes, a freedom Ancelotti has initiated since his appointment. The casual shape only works when the work rate is high though, something that hasn’t always been the case this season.

Bayern dominant again in their opponent’s half

Gladbach did not do well getting on the ball, and when they had the ball, they did not do well keeping it. That said, Bayern certainly did their part in winning the ball in Gladbach’s half of the field. Arjen Robben and Robert Lewandowski – two players not known for their defensive work – were vigorously pressing Gladbach’s defense whenever they tried to play it form the back. Their early-game pressing is most indicative one their rediscovered vigor and is something that should help relax Ancelotti’s furrowed brow.

Bayern relaxed a bit, but that can be acceptable

The ferocity Bayern brought from the opening whistle was not maintained for the entire game. Having just allowed one shot in the first half, the hosts eased off the ball a little more in the second period. That allowed Gladbach to finally establish a presence in Bayern’s half of the field, though it didn’t amount to anything. Bayern got away with their lull in intensity by holding a solid shape, though Andre Hahn still almost punished them after slipping behind the defense. With as many games Bayern have to play, maintaining a high gear isn’t always necessary as long as they don’t let their opponent get back into the game.

Subtle rotation was much more effective

Ancelotti made “just” four changes from the team that took the field in midweek, a modest number compared to the seven he made against Cologne. Bayern also had more of their strong characters on the field against Gladbach too, which showed in their early dominance. The team looked rather fresh for a side that had played in midweek, especially when compared to the team opposite them. Ancelotti will still try to get his younger players experience, but he may have learned his lesson when considering the amount of changes he should make from game to game.

Individual skill is still Bayern’s meal ticket

Though Gladbach were clearly a fraction of the side that got a victory in Glasgow on Wednesday, they did put Bayern under a decent amount of pressure. Bayern handled it easily though, using neat turns, lobs and flicks to open up space. That kind of individual skill makes a real difference when facing a team that sits in their own half, which many teams will do this season.