1. Tough first half to watch
Nothing. Happened. We had one, maybe two, semi-exciting moments in the first 45 minutes. Schalkes back-line was rock solid and made very few mistakes, giving Bayern very few opportunities to make things happen. Credit to Schalke for coming in and executing their game plan to near perfection in the first half. They put five men in the back and waited for their chances to hit on the counter. It's something many have tried, but few have done with any success.
2. No one impressed offensively in the first half
The only player on the pitch that played relatively well for Bayern in the first half was Medhi Benatia. Yes...Medhi Benatia, a man who has become sort of a scapegoat for all things Bayern in recent months. This positive appearance is hopefully a sign of things to come.The meagre offensive output changed in the second half, as the 1-0 really opened things up a bit and created more room for our offensive players to operate. Schalke arguably needed a result more than Bayern did, so once they conceded, they had no choice but to play more aggressively.
3. Counter-attacking defense was solid
Bayern did a great job of getting men back on the counter today as they didn't really let up many clear chances for Schalke to take advantage of. Alabas speed really helps in this regard, with his pace allowing him to make up for small defensive lapses. Arturo Vidal also helps immensely, as his tireless work ethic means that he'll be around the ball at all times, whether it's to make things happen on offense, or to win the ball back on defense.
4. Robert Lewandowski!!
Lewandowksi reminds me a lot of former striker Roy Makaay in the way he can be virtually invisible the entire game, and then out of no where score a goal or two. His first goal came after a sublime chest down on a Vidal header, and the second goal, a beautiful header against the momentum of his body, really sealed the deal for Bayern on the day and has - for now - put them 10 points clear of Dortmund who play Hamburg tomorrow. It was his first goal in four games, and getting him back into a goal-scoring mood will be a necessity if Bayern want to beat Athletico Madrid.
5. A good game for squad rotation
Kingsley Coman, Mario Götze, and Medhi Benatia all started, with Coman and Götze completing all 90 minutes for the first time in quite a bit. Coman has missed some time with a muscular injury, and everyone knows about Götzes recent struggles. Seeing Benatia play without getting injured was also a welcomed sight. Sebastian Rode came on in the 78th minute (!) and replaced an excellent Arturo Vidal. Furthermore, Thomas Müller got a well deserved day off, as did Thiago. Fresh legs could be a huge factor when coming up against Athletico in two weeks, and giving some players the game off/only subbing them on for short shifts was important today. All in all, a pretty good game.