#1: Bayern Munich know how to make a statement
The last week or so has been been a tumultuous time for Bayern Munich. A shock 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim followed up by a weak performance against Anderlecht in the Champions League meant that the Bavarians were under a lot of pressure. The team had to put in a good performance to dispel the narrative of a “crisis” at the club, and they delivered in style.
Mainz are not an easy team to beat. They have taken points off Bayern in each of their last two games at the Allianz Arena. Yet, all that seemed like a thing of the past as Bayern romped to a four-goal victory, barely giving Mainz a chance to fight back. It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means, but fans of the German champions can take heart in a positive performance from the team. A real test awaits them midweek, when they travel to face Schalke at the Veltins-Arena.
#2: Joshua Kimmich is really, REALLY good
Okay, maybe this doesn’t actually count as an observation, but who cares. Joshua Kimmich is incredible. Every single goal scored by the Bavarians was directly made by him. He directly set up three goals by himself, including a beautifully lofted ball over to Lewandowski, which almost seemed to float in the air before the Polish striker blasted it into Rene Adler’s net.
The one goal he didn’t set up he was also heavily involved with, making the inital pass to Muller who had the space and the vision to find Lewandowski’s run into the box. Since Mainz all but failed to mount any offensive impetus, the young right back can only only be judged on his attacking performance on the day, which was impeccable.
#3: Good things happen when Thomas Muller plays
If there was ever a doubt about Thomas Muller’s spot on Bayern Munich’s lineup, this game should dispel all of them. Muller’s mere presence on the pitch imparted sharpness and attacking impetus to the German champions, who showed more hunger and commitment against Mainz than in the entire 180 minutes of football leading up to the game.
He was involved in every attack, even when he wasn’t directly on the ball. Muller created space for Robert Lewandowski to work with and split the attention of the Mainz defenders, making their job all but impossible. A smooth finish from a Kimmich cutback was followed up by a sublime assist to Robert Lewandowski to round out the German forward’s first full 90 minutes of the Bundesliga season.
#4: Kingsley Coman is a talented but frustrating figure
It’s not easy to describe Kingsley Coman’s performance against Mainz. The young Frenchman was simultaneously Bayern’s most dangerous and least productive attacker on the pitch. He completed a match-high five dribbles in the game, more than half of all dribbles attempted by the team. Mainz’s fullbacks simply had no answer for him.
Yet, the winger was found lacking in his end product in the final third of the pitch. When he found himself in a position to score or assist another player, that final little bit of quality always missing. He missed what was by all rights a total sitter, blasting a perfectly placed ball straight into the crossbar. Later, his passes to Lewandowski or Robben always seemed to be off by just a little bit, missing their mark just enough to ruin an attack. Yet the skills he showed to create those chances in the first place were rather stunning, especially his lightning pace.
Overall, it was a positive performance from Coman. Should Carlo Ancelotti continue to play him, the chinks in his performances should disappear with experience.