Sandro Wagner has earned a start against Real Madrid
Jupp Heynckes benched Robert Lewandowski for this game and sent him a clear message: Get your head in the game or you won’t play. And Sandro Wagner made that call by Jupp Heycnkes the right one by turning in a goal and an assist to go along with 90 electric minutes of play. Wagner was Bayern’s only offensive driver for most of the game and he was up to the task.
With the Bundesliga wrapped up, this game was largely about completing the bow and making sure that Bayern’s core was focused on Wednesday’s all-consuming match against Real Madrid. The Robert Lewandowski question is a big one for Bayern given his lackluster performance in leg one that ever increasingly seems the result of an unfocused and unmotivated mind. After today’s performance and the drive and energy the Sandro Wagner put on display, I’m comfortable, albeit very nervous, with Sandro Wagner getting the start over Robert Lewandowski if Jupp Heynckes determines that the most likely way for Bayern Munich to succeed against Los Blancos.
Bayern’s teenage prospects are just that - prospects
Three Bayern youth products got their Bundesliga debuts today - Meritan Shabani and Franck Evina - while two others in Lars Lukas Mai and Niklas Dorsch added to their counts
For Shabani and Evina, it was a rough game. Both the teenagers played, well, like teenagers. Their runs were flat and static, they drifted wide and pushed the game laterally waiting for the ball for long stretches while the likes of Rudy, Hummels, and Kimmich spent minutes playing a game keep away and waiting for them to create an outlet. However both showed enough attacking flair to highlight why they got this chance with Bayern and that they deserve at least a few more in the future.
For Lars Lukas Mai and Niklas Dorsch, it was another matter as both continued their impressive performances. Dorsch was Bayern’s most dynamic midfielder for much of first 60 minutes - which is not a great sign for Corentin Tolisso - and his late run and tidy goal gave Bayern the lead late in the first half. Dorsch could easily slot into a starting role in most Bundesliga sides and he’s shown that turning down a contract extension with Bayern was the right move.
Lars Lukas Mai played well flanked by Joshua Kimmich and Mats Hummels and for the large part was a solid performer. His inexperience showed especially in 1v1 situation or in reading floated balls over the top. His read on Sebastian Haller’s goal was particularly egregious as he allowed the striker to get goal side unchallenged rather than actively defending.
Is Juan Bernat done at Bayern Munich?
Did Juan Bernat even play in this game? I didn’t see him all game. I mean even doing something negatively would have been great because then I would have at least known he was alive. The scoresheet says he went 90 minutes, had the second most passes on the team, and completed 8 defensive actions but i don’t believe that for an instant. To that end, I’ve written a letter to him.
If you’re paired with an inexperienced winger and you’re the most attacking fullback on the roster, you should probably be attacking and driving that winger forward to create space for them. That didn’t happen and the Bayern Munich left flank was largely a wasteland because of it.
Sincerely, Author Named Above