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Three match observations: Bayern take care of business in Hannover

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Ahead of their UCL clash with Real Madrid, Bayern cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win vs Hannover

Thomas Mueller of Munich looks on prior to the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Muenchen at HDI-Arena on April 21, 2018 in Hanover, Germany.
Get happy, guys!
Photo by Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images

In his Bundesliga debut, Lakas Mai looked solid

Nothing more, nothing less. The 18-year-old fit right into the back line, didn’t try to do too much, and looked composed, which is basically all you can ask for. While he had one mistake halfway through the first half that almost led to a goal, he didn’t let the situation dictate how the rest of the game would go for him. Mai looked aggressive and strong going into tackles, looked good on the ball, and played the easy passes you would expect of a youth player in his first bit of Bundesliga action.

Mai's performance should be very encouraging for both the club and the player himself. While there are rumors that Mai may leave the club after this season, it would be great if Heynckes could find some more game time for him as the season winds down. With his debut today, Mai also became the first player born in the 2000s to play for Bayern in the Bundesliga.

Questions about toady’s lineup

When the lineups were revealed an hour before kick-off, it was fair to wonder what Heynckes had in mind for the team today. Was he debuting a formation with a back three?Could Niklas Süle be playing left-back? Juan Bernat on the wing again?

Heynckes ended up going with a 4-3-3 formation, but Süle actually pushed up and played as a number 6, and he looked pretty darn good doing it, especially when you consider that today was the first time he has ever started as a CDM in his career, dating all the way back to his youth days in Hoffenheim.

While his future lies undoubtedly in central defense, it’s nice to see he can jump in and do a job there for Bayern, should the need arise again in the future.

Further up the pitch, it was Thiago, not James Rodriguez, who occupied the left wing. Thiago, like Süle, did well in an unfamiliar position, often dropping further into the middle to distribute balls, while at the same time not overdoing it and staying true to his position. He also worked his way into dangerous goal-scoring situations on a number of occasions and probably should have opened the scoring for Bayern in the first half, when he headed a wonderful cross from Rafinha just over the bar from six yards out.

A comfortable win ahead of an important week

Ahead of the most important week of the season, Bayern took care of business in Hannover. They dominated possession and completed almost 600 more passes than Hannover did. The Bavarians let the ball do most of the running for them today, as their short passing looked fluid and effective, while also using their tight-space control to get out of a number of difficult situations, particularly near the touchline, which allowed them to effectively switch play throughout today’s match.

Thiago, Sebastian Rudy, and the aforementioned Süle played big roles in continuously moving the ball from one side to the other, doing their best to create openings in the Hannover defense into which they could then move the ball to put pressure on Hannover’s back line. While Hannover could hang with them during the first half, you could see them wearing down as the match went on, and Bayern used it to their advantage, scoring three goals in the final 35 minutes.