It was nice to see Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp back in the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. That good feeling lasted a few minutes before Liverpool started what ultimately ended up a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup.
Liverpool went up 1-0 with a devastating offensive foray punctuated by a slick Sadio Mané finish. The Bayern Munich defense looked fragile once again later in the half when Mane and Moreno interchanged to create a dangerous cross that ended up at the head of Mohamed Salah. Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich made an attempt at the cross, but in the process directed it to an easier location for Salah to head home the second goal of the first half for Liverpool.
The second half brought with it substitutions on both sides and not much better production for Bayern Munich. Kingsley Coman came on for James Rodriguez, and Liverpool sent in the mostly reserves. The game took a different feel from that point, with Bayern still pushing with mainly starters. That didn’t stop Liverpool from scoring once again with a Daniel Sturridge goal to cap off the win for Liverpool.
#1: Wear and tear played a factor.
Liverpool looked more energized throughout the game. Bayern looked lethargic, mustering only one shot on target out of 14 total. From the opening minutes, the speed that Liverpool threw at Bayern was a problem. They were flustered by the offensive scheme Liverpool deployed and didn’t seem to have the legs to react to it.
#2: How the Bayern midfield goes, the team goes.
It only lasted 20 minutes, but Thiago Alcântara being back at the helm for Bayern was huge. It’s just too bad it only lasted 20 minutes before he took a knock, Renato Sanches came on and did a good job, but they still haven’t been able to get consistently good showings from midfielders this preseason.
Corentin Tolisso and Thiago started deep, which was odd from the beginning. It culminated in Tolisso giving the ball away for the first goal, and committing a foolish foul that led to a Alberto Moreno free kick that would have been a goal if not for an Ulreich save. King Arturo Vidal made his return with a performance that was overshadowed by Bayern’s overall sputtering play.
There wasn’t a true motor in the midfield that was consistently powering the Bayern engine, and so for the majority of the game, the offense was lackluster.
#3: It’s just preseason.
This is redundant, but it’s worth repeating that it’s just preseason. Losing three of the last four preseason games by a combined score of 9-0 isn’t great though. The first 30 minutes against Chelsea was the only bright spot for Bayern. Ancelotti and company have work to do before they face Napoli in the third-place game of the Audi Cup on Wednesday and Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in the DFL-Supercup.