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Five observations from Bayern's 1-0 champions league win against Atletico

In a game that meant little more than a show of a bit of prestige, FC Bayern Munich still wanted to get revenge for the unfortunate loss in the away game, and they did. The Bavarians dominated possession, created more chances, and deservedly won the rematch against Atletico Madrid.

Robert Lewandowski celebrating after his superbly taken free kick.  Lewy junior on the way?
Robert Lewandowski celebrating after his superbly taken free kick. Lewy junior on the way?
Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Back to the 4-3-3

In last Friday's match against Mainz, Bayern fans were treated to a rare sight in the Ancelotti era: the return of the 4-2-3-1.  The game seemed to flow more easily, play appeared more attractive and, most of all, everyone could tell that Thomas Müller just felt at home when he got to play centrally behind the striker.

Alas, it was back to the Carlo's trusted 4-3-3 in this game, with Müller on the bench.  Was last week a complete aberation, forced upon the coach due to players like Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal not being fit?  Or will the head Italian in charge vary his formation, depending on whether Müller and Robert Lewandowski are both starting?  Stay tuned for the answer.

Deja vu: Lewandowski scores another beauty of a free kick

If you weren't looking at the jerseys of the guys in the wall, you could have sworn that Robert Lewandowski's goal today was just a replay of the one he scored against Mainz on Friday.  Same spot, same setup with David Alaba threatening to take a left-footed shot, same perfect technique, same short runup with the funny little tiptoe hitch, same curl over the wall and same placement in the top left corner of the goal, unstoppable for either goalkeeper.

It looks like Lewandowski is the designated free kick man for Bayern, at least when it's from a few yards outside of the box, because you can't do it any better than that.

Renato Sanches still looks a little lost

After the amazing Euro 2016 tournament that Sanches had, a lot of people expected him to continue his run at Bayern. Instead, he has looked out of sorts when he does play, and appears to get by on talent and instinct alone. He will make some very nice plays, he works very hard, but he often doesn't seem to know what he should be doing.

Of course, there are plenty of valid reasons for the slow start to his Bayern career (started the season injured, dealing with a language barrier and a culture shock and, oh yeah, he's freaking 19-years-old!), so this is not meant to be a criticism as such, but more of a "I can't wait to see what this kid can do once he gets fully assimilated in the club".

Missing Person's report: Has anyone seen Antoine Griezmann?

The (other) little Frenchman has been a thorn in Bayern's side in the recent past, almost single-handedly dispatching the German powerhouse from the Champions League semifinals last season, and playing well against them in the first group match between the two teams.  But, today?  Nada!  Zilch!  Gar nichts!  If I hadn't specifically been looking for him, I'm not sure I would have noticed that he was on the field.  His absence can probably be partially explained by the overly defensive setup of his team, and the fact that the game meant nothing (or maybe he freezes up when the temperature gauge goes below 32 F), but, either way, he had no impact on this game.

Neuer is an absolute luxury

I know, right?  Duh!  We've talked about Manuel Neuer so many times, and what he brings to the team, but it just stood out again today how valuable he really is.  Let's ignore that fact that he is an excellent shot stopper, has outstanding positioning, fantastic reactions, and controls his box very well.  His ability to play the ball with his feet never ceases to amaze me.  He stays calm and cool, distributes the ball well, can use both feet to clear it when under pressure, and absolutely frustrates any kind of pressing that the opposition throws at the defense.  You can see the confidence he inspires in his backline, because they don't think twice about passing it back to him.

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