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Werder Bremen vs Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and random observations

Despite a terrible referee and some nervy moments at the back, Bayern hold onto a nice away result.

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Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

94’ - FULL TIME: Bayern win 2-1 in Bremen. They played better than the final score line would indicate, dominating possession and creating good chances throughout the game.

  • Bayern created a number of good chances, both through individual quality out on the wings, as well as good interplay in the final third and on the counter. Their attack looked much more unpredictable than in recent months when their only source of danger came from crosses.
  • Kingsley Coman and Thiago both returning is huge for Bayern. A run of good results and performances before the winter break is crucial, and Coman and Thiago will be important to making that happen.
  • Joshua Kimmich played very well in midfield, and his passing was instrumental in Bayern creating chances throughout the game. Though it might be an unpopular opinion, I’d like to see Kimmich stay in midfield and partner up with Thiago as I think they could play very well off of each other.
  • After a positive performance midweek against Benfica, Bayern carried that momentum into today and played another good game. Their attack in particular looked better than it has for most of the season. Most importantly, the game was won by the youngsters. Coman, Gnabry, Kimmich, Goretzka, and Süle are, in theory, all part of Bayern’s future plans. To see them all contribute to a win feels good. With Bayern considering this a transition year, all of them should be playing major minutes together going forward.

Second Yellow for Moisander, 92’ - Boateng clears the ball to Lewandowski, who does well to control it. He goes to beat his man on the wing and is shouldered out of bounds by Moisander. A clear second yellow. With Veljkovic injured and Moisander now suspended for next week, Marco Friedl may get another chance to start in defense.

90’ - Four minutes of added time signaled by the fourth official.

Substitution, 90’ - Javi Martinez comes on for Thomas Müller.

86’ - Bayern win a free kick 25 yards out. Alaba gives it a go, but his shot sails over the bar. 4 minutes to go plus added time.

82’ - Thiago picks up a yellow card on a foul in Bremens half.

81’ - A free kick from a dangerous area for Bremen leads to unrest in Bayern’s box. Rafinha manages to clear the ball and draw a foul in the process.

Substitution, 80’ - Serge Gnabry makes way for Thiago. Welcome back, Thiago!

78’ - It took 40 minutes, but we finally have our first mow-down of Kinsley Coman.

77 ‘ - Pizzaro immediately makes his presence felt and plays Kruse in on goal. His shot goes wide, though the referee awards them a corner.

Substitution, 76’ - Claudio Pizzaro for Nuri Sahin

73’ - Another corner for Bayern, this time on the left. Kimmich’s delivery gets cleared out of the area but only as far as Alaba. Alaba hits it first time on volley and just misses wide.

70’ - A spell of possession sees Coman beat his man out on the left. He squares it back to Alaba, and after some interplay in the box, the ball is laid off to Goretzka, who’s shot is blocked. Bremen go on the counter and win a corner, though nothing comes of it.

Substitution, 66’ - Kevin Möhwald for Johannes Eggestein

66’ - Lewandowski tries to play Coman in behind, but the pass just comes up short and is intercepted by the Bremen defense.

Substitution, 63’ - Milos Veljkovic comes off injured and is replaced by Sebastian Langkamp.

55’ - Kimmich pings a ball to the left sideline, and it’s played on first time to Coman. The Bremen goalie is indecisive and hesitates coming out. Coman tries to play it into the middle but Pavlenka blocks it for a corner.

53’ - After occupying the right wing after coming on, Coman has switched with Gnabry and is playing on the left wing in the second half.

50’ - Thomas Müller has the ball out on the right and squares it into the middle, where it takes a deflection and bounces off of Serge Gnabry’s leg and into the far corner. 2-1!

GOAL Bayern, 2-1!

47’ - A nice one two between Müller and Alaba sets Alaba free on the left. He plays Coman in behind, and the winger cuts it back to Müller. Unfortunately his effort is blocked and it goes out for a corner. The corner is met by Süle, but it goes wide. Very nice build-up by Bayern as they look a real threat every time they’re on the ball.

46’ - The second half is under way.

Halftime: Bayern have certainly looked the more dangerous side, breaking and putting the Bremen defense under pressure constantly.

  • Serge Gnabry has been very active, though at times a little out of control and wild. He’s switched regularly with Thomas Müller, at times occupying the number 10 role with Müller shifting out wide.
  • Neither center back looked good on the goal. Süle looked lost and Boateng was late.
  • Kimmich has looked dangerous in possession, and most of the chances that have been created have involved him.
  • On the whole, Bayern are getting into dangerous areas, but the final ball has eluded them on a number of occasions. More of this in the second half would put them in a good position to take three points back to Munich.

43’ - Kimmich tries another ball over the top, this time to Lewandowski, but the polish international is unable to control it properly or he’d have been through on goal.

39’ - Another ball over the top by Kimmich once again finds Gnabry, who chips it to Lewandowski. Unfortunately his first time finish goes over the bar.

Substitution, 37’ - Ribery signals he has to come off and on comes Kingsley Coman!

33’ - Max Kruse sends a right footed cross into the penalty area where Yuya Osaka meets it with his head and sends it past Manuel Neuer. The center backs both looked lost on that one.

GOAL Bremen, 1-1

29’ - Bremen create their first real chances of the game, and a shot from the right side of the area is cleared before it could get to a Bremen player at the back post. Bremen manage to retain possession and a shot by Nuri Sahin from outside the area is saved by Manuel Neuer.

27’ - Bayern break down the left with Müller. His cutback finds Lewandowski, but his shot is blocked out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

26’ - A cross by Alaba finds the head of Thomas Müller, but he’s unable to redirect the cross towards goal and misses wide.

20’ - After what looked like a clear missed penalty call on a foul against Franck Ribery, Bayern quickly win back possession. A lofted ball over the top of the defense by Kimmich finds Serge Gnabry, who fires in the rebound after his initial volley is saved.

GOAL Serge Gnabry! 1-0!

18’ - Bremen do well to press Bayern deep into their own half and force Bayern to kick it long and give back possession.

14’ - Kimmich creates a pocket of space for himself outside the Bremen box with a Cryuff turn and fires a shot, but his left footed effort goes just wide of the target.

11’ - Bayern have been in control thus far. They’ve had the lions share of possession and have done well pressing to win he ball back quickly after losing it.

7’ - Some early possession leads to two corners for Bayern, though nothing comes of either

Kickoff - The game is underway. How great to see both Thiago and Kingsley Coman back on the bench!

One hour before kickoff: Lineups are out! Serge Gnabry returns to the lineup!

As the euphoria of the Champions League subsides, Bayern Munich return to the Bundesliga with renewed vigor. Standing in the way of three points is Florian Kohfeldt’s high-flying Werder Bremen side. Can Niko Kovac’s men bring home the win?

In team news, Kingsley Coman, Thiago Alcantara, and Serge Gnabry have all returned to training, but Mats Hummels is confirmed to be out. In any case, judging by the coach’s press conference, Kovac is going to keep things relatively unchanged from the midweek game. Expect Thomas Muller to start behind Robert Lewandowski, with Franck Ribery and possibly Arjen Robben on the wings. Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich might be asked to continue their partnership in midfield, making it necessary for Rafinha to play at right back.

Werder Bremen have not won a game in four matchdays, but form counts for very litte in this year’s edition of the Bundesliga. They sit in seventh place, a far cry from the relegation battles of the past. Considering the way Bayern has played this season, this is exactly the kind of fixture we are liable to mess up, just like we did against Augsburg, Feiburg, and Dusseldorf. Yet, the win against Benfica gives us hope.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Weserstadion, Bremen, Germany

Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST

TV/streaming:, Find Your Country

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