FULLTIME: Bayern Munich 3-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf 3
Initial reactions and random observations
- This is just the new normal for Bayern. Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule, or Mats Hummels lose focus for a split second, and Manuel Neuer can’t save them anymore. This happened on several occasions throughout this match (and, not just on the goals). What’s the solution? Does Bayern need a wholesale centerback change come next summer? Sule is still young, so you want to think that there’s still hope for him. However, are Boateng and Hummels just done? Bayern probably are going to have to drop €70-100 million next summer on centerbacks.
- Thomas Muller showed some good form in this match, but the question must be asked: Did that good form come from knowing that he doesn’t have to worry about James Rodriguez stealing his spot in the lineup?
- Robert Lewandowski had to drop deep often in this one to see the ball. The lack of attacking presence on the wings really dampens his game.
- Javi Martinez was pretty good today.
90’- GOAL FORTUNA DUSSELDORF. DODI LUKEBAKIO- Wow. Another counter. Another foot race. Another centerback beaten. Neuer rooted to the ground. Another goal.
LUKEBAKIO WITH THE HAT TRICK!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2018
He scores his 5th goal of the season and ties the game for Düsseldorf! pic.twitter.com/NDrleDRVtl
89’- It’s been back and forth for chances for both teams, though Bayern have had the better opportunities. Just stoppage time remaining.
80’- Kovac brings off Sanches for Rafinha to try and lock this one down.
78’- GOAL FORTUNA DUSSELDORF. DODI LUKEBAKIO- The Fortuna man gets his second of the match, beating the offside trap. He beat Boateng in a footrace and slotted the ball past Neuer for the goal.
Lukebakio again!!!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2018
Düsseldorf pull within one goal with just under 15 minutes left to play. pic.twitter.com/2uZ4nneG6N
76’- A loud cheer erupts from the Allianz Arena, as the scoreboard updates and shows that Mainz has equalized against Borussia Dortmund.
A few minutes ago, Kovac brought on Robben for Ribery.
66’- Fortuna just miss a diving header. After some work to get the ball into the attacking third, a “ping-pong” ball ends up getting crossed into the penalty area, but the attempt on goal goes just wide.
58’- GOAL BAYERN MUNICH! THOMAS MULLER!- Bayern score a fantastic team goal to put Bayern back up by two goals in this one. Lewandowski received the pass from the wing, stretching to trap and hold the ball. Muller ran onto it and put it past Rensing with a left-footed shot to give Bayern the 3-1 lead. Great goal.
52’- After some good play around the Dusseldorf box, Sanches feeds Ribery. The Frenchman takes two touches to free himself at the top of the penalty area, but his shot strikes Lewandowski on the way in and goes out for a goal kick. Looking at the replay, that shot looked destined for the corner if it didn’t hit Lewandowski.
48’- Alaba’s cross into the box is deflected, but Lewandowski finds the ball. He is too close to the end line to shoot, so he tries to play it in front of goal where it’s deflected out for a corner. Nothing comes of it.
46’- Second half underway.
Halftime observations and analysis
- Again, it was a solid bordering-on-great first half for Bayern that all came undone thanks to the centerbacks tuning out for a split second. That’s been Bayern’s Achilles heel all season long, and it doesn’t look like Niko Kovac has managed to find a solution for that problem yet. Aside from that one incident, Jerome Boateng and Niklas Sule were composed at the back, limiting Fortuna to hardly any chances.
- I described Renato Sanches’s play as “chaotic good” this morning, and it fits. Since returning to Bayern this season, it’s almost like he and Kovac have found the “switch” to flip that’s turn the entire trajectory of his early career around. His energy in the middle of the field is unrivaled, and his decision-making is finally catching up to it. It’s so fun to watch.
- With Thomas Muller playing the “wide right” attacking midfield position, the onus for attacking up the flank has completely fallen to Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich. The two are playing pretty well so far, but for that flank to really get going, it’s clear that Bayern need a winger.
45’- GOAL FORTUNA DUSSELDORF. DODI LUKEBAKIO.- Just before halftime, Fortuna manage to get themselves back into the game with a fairly lucky goal. Zimmer tried a bicycle kick in the Bayern box, but it was blocked by Boateng. However, the ball fell right do the feet of Zimmer who was on the ground, and he kicked it toward Lukebakio who got in front of Sule. He quickly smashed it past Neuer for the goal.
It did look like Zimmer was offside on the initial pass, but the goal stands
Düsseldorf take one back!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2018
Dodi Lukebakio capitalizes on Bayern's poor defense and scores just before the half. pic.twitter.com/HiGlcoxaVq
41’- Fortuna launches a counterattack, but Sule easily clears the cross into the box. That was Fortuna’s only foray into the Bayern box since the opening few minutes.
34’- Goretzka finds Lewandowski with a cross into the box, but the striker scuffs his shot, sending it wide. It’s not often that you see Lewandowski scuff a shot like that.
31’- Bayern have remained in control in this one with Dusseldorf not offering much of anything going forward at the moment.
21’- GOAL BAYERN MUNICH! THOMAS MULLER!- Just minutes after Sule gave Bayern the lead, Muller follows up with a goal to put Bayern up by two. Boateng played a lofted ball over the top, and Muller beat the offside trap to just place the ball out of the reach of the charging Rensing.
MÜLLER MAKES IT 2-0!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2018
What a pass from Boateng to set up the goal pic.twitter.com/RiioEJFCLs
18’- GOAL BAYERN MUNICH! NIKLAS SULE!- Sanches’s corner is knocked on target, and Fortuna tries to clear. However, the ball doesn’t even make it out of their own penalty area, and Sule smashes it into the back of the net with a quick turn and shot. Bayern lead 1-0!
Niklas Süle puts Bayern ahead!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2018
Düsseldorf fail to clear the ball and Süle takes advantage. pic.twitter.com/Apzm0mmroI
14’- Bayern have had the ball for nearly the entire match thus far, and they’re finally pressuring the Fortuna defenders into questioning themselves. Boateng unleashes a laser beam shot from the top of the box that goes just wide.
6’- Bayern have had a few solid spells of buildup since that initial Fortuna flurry, but haven’t been able to get any quality shots off around the Fortuna penalty area yet. It feels like that is coming though.
3’- Woof. That wasn’t the start that Bayern wanted. Neuer is called upon in the first minute to make a quality save, and then Bayern has to defend a few different corners. Ball cleared.
Kickoff!- The ball is rolling in Munich!
One hour until kickoff: Lineups are out! Looks like it’s a 4-3-3 with Thomas Muller on the right. Franck Ribery starts, Arjen Robben is on the bench. FCB youth player Wooyeong Jeong makes it to the bench for the first time this season.
Now that that badly-timed international break is over, Bayern Munich can finally return to the business of catching up to Dortmund in the Bundesliga. After the massive setback that was Der Klassiker, Niko Kovac’s men have no margin for error if they want to stay in this season’s title race.
As always, let’s start with the injuries. Bayern has four players out injured — Corentin Tolisso, Kingsley Coman, Thiago Alcantara, and James Rodriguez. Arjen Robben is questionable for the game, while Kovac confirmed that Robert Lewandowski, who was reported to have a minor knee injury, is fit and will definitely start. Aside from that, the lineup is up in the air, but we can guess what Kovac will do. Since Bayern are sitting seven points behind BVB, it’s imperative that the team takes all three from a fixture against a newly promoted team like Dusseldorf.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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