Hoffenheim press causes problems for Bayern from the start
The away team came out of the gates with their pants on fire and swarmed all over Bayern Munich with an aggressive gegenpressing style that worked to perfection wreaking havoc and creating mistakes in Bayern’s defensive third. In the second minute Bayern loanee (more on that in a minute) Serge Gnabry used his speed to beat the usually unflappable Joshua Kimmich to a ball in the box and the defender took him down thus creating a penalty situation that Hoffenheim was able to direct into the net off a rebound from the spot kick. Gnabry himself was able to score a second for Hoffenheim in the 12th minute when more confusion allowed him the opportunity to blast a one-timer from outside of the box that he did not miss. 2-0 Hoffenheim, and then...
Hoffenheim collapses after getting an early lead then is simply overmatched in the second half
Boom, Hoffenheim forgot their game plan. Give them some credit for not just going back into a defensive shell but their intensity level noticeably diminished after taking a two goal lead. That is not a good idea against Bayern as the Bundesliga leaders were level after just 25 minutes thanks to a header from Jerome Boateng that followed a nifty poachers flick-on from Robert Lewandowski. That Boateng wasn’t even marked and didn’t have to jump for a simple finish from point blank range really makes my point.
Moving on to the second half it became obvious that Bayern was simply the better team. It mustn’t make things any easier to swallow for the Hoffenheim fan that three of their best players from a season ago - Sebastian Rudy, Niklas Süle, and Sandro Wagner all now suit up for Bayern with Rudy and Süle both starting and going the distance and Wagner putting the icing on the cake by coming on and scoring Bayern’s final goal in the 5-2 victory.
Can anybody answer the obvious question here: why didn’t Bayern include a clause in Serge Gnabry’s loan that doesn’t permit him to play against his parent club? This is rather common in cases that a player is loaned out to another club within the same division. It almost came back to bite them in the butt.
Changing of the guard
With all due respect to Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben and their tremendous service to the club it is now Kingsley Coman’s time. His speed and dribbling ability make him a terror for opposing defenders. He can play on either wing and cross with either foot. Today, he scored the decisive goal that put Bayern ahead for good. He is a truly prodigious talent and needs as much game time as possible so that he can continue to develop.
Don’t forget about Serge Gnabry either, at least for next season when his loan ends. A young tandem of Coman on the right and Gnabry on the left is a distinct possibility in 2018/19.
With more finishes like this one today having Gnabry back in the fold next year could be a bonus.