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Four observations from Bayern’s 3-2 win over Chelsea

Wow, we won for a change.

ICC Singapore - Chelsea FC v FC Bayern Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC

#1: Bayern Munich hit back

After an embarrassing defeat to AC Milan on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s men needed a victory to get their preseason back on track. In the first half, Bayern were by far the most dangerous side. The team bossed possession and created chances by the boat-load. Almost inevitably, a superbly taken long-range strike by Rafinha found the back of Thibaut Courtois’ net.

Chelsea looked rattled, and the Bavarians sensed it. A second goal came soon after the first, with Thomas Muller scoring in trademark, volley style from a Franck Ribery cross. Fifteen minutes later, Muller got his second - a wonderfully taken shot from outside the box that completely bamboozled the keeper.

The goal wrapped up a domineering performance from Bayern up to that point. However, a momentary lapse in concentration allowed Chelsea to pull one back before the half.

#2: James Rodriguez puts in a frustrating performance

In normal terms, James Rodriguez had a good game. The Colombian put in a strong showing both offensively and defensively, something that he is not known for. He linked up well with Muller and Ribery, and produced some quality efforts as well.

Yet, there was an underlying sense of frustration from the former Real Madrid man’s play. Still looking for his first goal in a Bayern shirt, James squandered his first good chance of the game - a chance created by Ribery, naturally - shooting it well over the bar. He didn’t fare better with his next two attempts, both of them unable to hit the mark. In the second half, an excellent tackle from Gary Cahill denied him once again.

James’ problems on the night could be summed up from a single play in the middle of the second half. Upon receiving the ball inside the penalty area, James shot it cleanly - and it went just wide of Courtios’ far post. The Colombian looked visibly annoyed with himself, yelling and punching the air in frustration. His luck just wasn't there.

#3: Renato Sanches shows his quality

Of all the players on the Bayern Munich squad that needed good performances in this game, Renato Sanches was the one that needed it the most. The embattled Bayern youngster has been linked with moves away from the club all summer, with some quick to write him off as a failed experiment.

Renato had to make a statement. Placed in the dual pivot alongside Corentin Tolisso, the young Portuguese lad put in the kind of performance that Bayern Munich probably expected from him last year. He dominated the midfield along with Tolisso, putting in smart tackles and timely interceptions wherever he was needed. When Chelsea won the ball in their own half, they were simply incapable of launching a counterattack - Renato was in the way.

To his credit, Sanches played an intelligent game on the day, leaving the more complex maneuvers in midfield to his partner. For the first time in his Bayern career, he seemed to have a dedicated role in midfield. He didn’t try anything flashy, instead focusing on keeping possession and acting as a foil to Chelsea’s midfield play. With Tolisso having an incredible day as well, the pair formed an extremely effective partnership.

#4: Bayern’s defensive frailty rears its ugly head once again

After the first three goals, Antonio Conte’s men seemed down and out. That should’ve been the end, but it wasn’t. A lethargic passage of play in the final minutes of the first half allowed Chelsea to pull one back, courtesy of Marcos Alonso. In the second half, the Bavarians endured frequent scares from the English champions, especially after Rafinha was subbed off. They finally conceded a goal with just four minutes left to play, Michy Batshuayi scoring a simple tap-in from a corner. This was despite both Javi Martinez and Mats Hummels being on the pitch at the time.

After almost conceding such a dominant lead, Carlo Ancelotti will have some thinking to do before Bayern’s game against Inter on Thursday.

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