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Five observations on Bayern's 2-0 victory vs Wolfsburg

A tough, but in the end deserved victory for Bayern.

Martin Rose/Getty Images
1. Bayern struggled to defend Wolfsburg on the counter

Bayern played their usual four in the back with Philipp Lahm pushing into the middle while in possession. This, like always, left Bayern prone to being caught out of position on counter attacks, and thats exactly what happened. On a few instances in the first half, a slightly better touch or more accurate shot could have seen Wolfsburg go in front, with Marcel Schäfer missing the best chance of the game until that point when he missed the target from about 7 yards out. After the break, Wolfsburg continued to pressure Bayern whenever they had the ball, forcing Manuel Neuer into some great saves along the way. Keeping Lahm out on the right and out of the middle on offense would likely help with this while also taking some pressure off of Joshua Kimmich. Hopefully, this is something we see against Juventus in two weeks.

2. Bayern just lacked the final creative touch in the final third

Bayern had plenty of possession around the box, but like too many times this season, lacked the final ball that would lead to a clear cut chance for the team. It wasn't until a heel flick by Thomas Müller to Robert Lewandowski in the second half that Bayern had a real chance in front of the net. Lewandowski wasn't able to put it away, though he did redeem himself in the 74th minute with a beautiful flick past the Wolfsburg keeper.

3. Douglas Costa in the center is a waste

With Arjen Robben and Kingsley Coman both starting today's game, Douglas Costa was forced to play in the middle of the pitch. While he's not necessarily bad at it, he's a lot more effective out on the wings where he can terrorize opposing fullbacks all game long. It was only after he was subbed off for Thiago Alcantara that Bayern started to create more and more chances. While most probably done out of need more than choice, a player like Thiago or Mario Götze would likely offer more creativity in the middle of the pitch than Costa.

4. Manuel Neuer may have saved this game

With Bayern struggling to stop Wolfsburg's counter attacks before they could develop, Neuer was absolutely crucial in preventing the home side from scoring today. He made a handful of great saves to deny the Wolfsburg attackers from getting on the score sheet, and during a time where Bayern are missing half of their defense, Neuer being in top form will be crucial to the success of the team in the coming months.

5. Franck Ribéry is still a difference maker

Ribery came on at the 56 minute mark and made an immediate impact. He played a big role in both of the goals, and it's obvious that when healthy, he can still be a top player in this side. Whether he can do it for extended stretches over 90 minutes week in, week out remains to be seen, but there is no doubt in my mind he can play an instrumental part in Bayern's success for at least another season.

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