#1: That was not fun (if you’re a Bayern Munich fan)
Yes, we know it’s a preseason friendly. Yes, it’s really hot and humid in China at the moment. Yes, the International Champions Cup is a shameless cash-grab. However, it still hurts when your team puts in a shambolic performance the way Bayern Munich did against AC Milan.
Whether it was fatigue, or a case of the team not caring about the result, the quality of play from Bayern was awful. The team struggled to complete simple five passes, their crossing was as ubiquitous as it was non-existent, and the forwards looked like they hadn’t even met each other before.
#2: Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield experiment failed spectacularly
For this particular game, the former Milan coach went with a relatively untested pairing consisting of Corentin Tolisso and Javi Martinez. So ... a young talent who’d just joined the squad, paired with a player who hasn’t played in midfield for over three years? It didn’t end well.
AC Milan put pressure on Bayern all game, bullying them in midfield and into dispossessing them. Javi Martinez had a particularly brutal time of it, missing simple passes and showing almost no vision. The predicament lead to a strong dependence on wing-play, with defenders Mats Hummels and David Alaba sending the ball wide for the fullbacks to carry up the pitch.
In defense, the midfielders were a non-factor, a surprise considering how experienced Javi is as a defender. The Rossoneri easily bypassed Ancelotti’s weak dual pivot to strike at Bayern’s fragile defense. When embattled Bayern youngster Renato Sanches came on in the second half, it was a huge improvement.
#3: Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels were still on holiday
If anything could sum up Bayern’s (non-midfield related) problems on the day, it would be the performances of these two. Robert Lewandowski spearheaded an incredibly ineffective Bayern attack, on a day when Milan were clearly out to prove something. The Polish striker was consistently late with his runs and failed to threaten the Milan goal even once. Despite having the likes of Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman, and Thomas Muller to supply him, Lewy was completely absent from the game.
He may point a finger at the quality of service he received. After all, the team’s crossing and general passing in the final third was awful on the day, with neither Thomas Muller nor David Alaba managing to get a decent cross into the box. Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma remained untroubled in front of goal for the entire 90 minutes.
Mats Hummels meanwhile had a shocker in defense. He was completely unlike his usual self. Instead of a calm, composed defensive presence - the Bavarians had to deal with poor positioning from their star defender, and not an insignificant number of errant passes. Bayern youngster Christian Fruchtl had a horrible time, conceding goals that were not really his fault - the defense he had was porous.