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Five observations from Bayern’s disappointing yet inevitable 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt

It was tough, playing with a man down all game, but the scoreline is an accurate summary of the team’s struggles on the pitch.

Eintracht Frankfurt - FC Bayern Munich
Manuel Neuer disappointed after conceding a goal.
Photo by Uwe Anspach/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bayern suffered a brutal 5-1 loss against a very clinical and efficient Eintracht Frankfurt side after conceding a very early red card. The players couldn’t adjust to the tempo from that moment on, which defined the whole game by turning the tide in Frankfurt’s favour. Here are five observations from the game:

Lewandowski is Bayern’s best midfielder

Robert Lewandowski was all around the pitch today: making tackles in defence, interceptions in midfield, finding teammates with great passes, creating space for his fellow attackers, and, of course, scoring Bayern’s only goal in spectacular fashion.

We all know that Lewandowski is great at finishing, but his work rate is phenomenal and that was apparent today. It’s really unfortunate that Bayern had to concede an early red card, or he could’ve bagged more goals today. He has now scored in all 10 Bundesliga games for Bayern this season, extending his record-breaking run. He has arguably been the team’s most important player this season so far, and we can only hope his form continues to help propel Bayern Munich to great success this season.

Niko Kovac experimented with the lineup, and it backfired

When fans first got to see the team sheet, it looked great: presumably, a team well set with a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Thiago being the sole pivot in midfield, behind two advanced midfielders in Coutinho and Mueller. The regular back four of Alaba, Boateng, Pavard and Kimmich was expected. What we got instead was a nasty post-Halloween surprise: Alaba starting at CB, with Davies at RB and Kimmich in the central midfield position.

As a result, Mueller had to start at right wing. Playing four players out of position against a gritty, high-pressing opponent never bodes well for any team, least of all for a Bayern Munich side in need of confidence. As a result, the plan backfired, the defense was caught snoozing within seven minutes, conceding an early red card and destroying all hopes for a comfortable Bayern victory. Forget a victory, looking at the final score, even a draw seems like a dream. The coach’s lineup choices have been highly questionable of late, and the team could do very little in what was a haphazard, makeshift formation.

Manuel Neuer kept the scoreline from being 12-1

All hail der Kapitän! Neuer has had some great games this season, but today he put in a spectacular performance in a lost cause. He continually had to make save after save, preventing the relentless Eintracht offense from capitalizing on Bayern’s early error. Furthermore, the quality of the saves he had to make were astounding, and he rose to the occasion. He was not at fault for any of the goals Bayern conceded, as the defence was caught completely off guard and let him down. It was a bad day for the team as a whole. Conceding an early red card was never going to bode well for Bayern, but Neuer was the reason the team suffered a bad loss and not a historic thrashing. If Neuer keeps this form going, it can only spell good things for Bayern during the busy stretch of the season.

Coutinho needs to be rested

The Brazilian was one of the players who looked completely out of sorts in today’s game. His passing was poor (compared to his normal game standards), he was dispossessed easily, and he made a string of careless passes that gave away possession to Eintracht at dangerous moments, costing us goals on the counter. Sure, he is very talented and can be a world-beater on his day, but this version of Coutinho looks rusty, tired, and in a different league. It would perhaps do him good if the coach opted to rest him for a game or two. Bayern’s so-called “star signing” of the season hasn’t impressed so far, and he has a lot to do to justify his spot in the starting 11.

Ex-Bayern player Rode is a revelation at Frankfurt

Remember Sebastian Rode? The midfielder who had a short two-year spell with Bayern before transferring to Dortmund? The player who failed to impress the Bayern management and ultras alike? Well today, this man returned to haunt his former side, and haunt he did. With not a foot wrong in midfield, he was the machine behind Eintracht Frankfurt’s relentless press, winning 2 aerial duels, and boasting a passing accuracy of 85.7% per Whoscored. He also contributed indirectly to three of Frankfurt’s goals, helping to get the passing channels in motion, the most noteworthy moment being a sublime backheel to help Paciencia create the second goal. The loss was bitter, but it is always good to see former Bayern men do well in their respective clubs. Rode’s a good guy.

Bayern’s humbling in such a fashion was definitely not something we as fans were expecting, but then again, here’s to hoping the lads can turn this loss into motivation for getting positive results beginning with the game against Olympiacos this Wednesday. Mia san mia!

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