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Bayern Munich 2-0 Olympiacos: Initial reactions and observations

Bayern convert some chances late to kill off the game.

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Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Muenchen: Group B - UEFA Champions League Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

Full time: Well there you have it, Bayern Munich beat Olympiacos 2-0 courtesy of goals from Robert Lewandowski and Ivan Perisic. Here are some quick observations from the match:

  • Thomas Muller ended the game with 5 key passes, all of which came from open play. Der raumdeuter didn’t score and was unlucky to not get an assist, but being back in his main position once again allowed him to be an engine of creativity in midfield. He should reprise his role against Dortmund.
  • Joshua Kimmich was ice cold in midfield, a far cry from the haphazard performances we have become used to seeing from him this season. He calmly dominated Olympiacos and controlled the game for the entire 90 minutes. A very strong performance.
  • Alphonso Davies continued his run of good form. It seems that Hansi Flick is using his pace to snuff out counters from the opposition — a clever idea if true.
  • David Alaba was composed but physically over-matched at center back — that could be a problem going forward.
  • Bayern Munich created plenty of chances but were unlucky with finishing. It was a typical Guardiola era performance with lots of possession and lots of chances but few goals at either end. Still, a clean sheet and two goals is a huge positive and the team will look to build on this going forward.

93’ — Final whistle! Bayern gives Hansi Flick his debut victory.

90’ — 3 minutes added on. Coutinho comes on for Coman.

89’ — GOOOOALLLLLL Fast break from Bayern. Coman in to Tolisso in for Perisic tap in. Super Sub on the field for seconds before making it 2-0!

88’ — Serge Gnabry off for Ivan Perisic.

87’ — Gnabry plays cross, falls to Müller. Has to take a wide angle, tough shot.

85’ — Kimmich with a great close opportunity that misses. Big chance.

82’ — Goretzka comes off for Tolisso.

80’ — Davies with a good defensive take away. Hard not to like his continued growth.

76’ — Davies with another great ball, pass into Coman almost got home.

Pavard with the long distance blast! Just over.

74’ — Davies with a long distance screamer, went over net.

70’ — Gnabry amazing pass into Coman sitting on a platter and he knocks it wide. Should be 2-0.

68’ — GOOALLLLLLLL!!! Lewy tap in from Coman pass. Who else??!!!?? The Polish Hitman continues his incredible form.

66’ — Looks like Coutinho is warming up on the sideline. The offense needs a little juice.

65’ — Gnabry cross into box, easy save.

60’ — Lewandowski touch and pass into Coman. Coman shakes defender and blasts a close range shot , but another save from OLY.

58’ — Great little run by Davies upfield through traffic, but fell apart at the end. Coman cross/shot saved by GK.

56’ — Müller pass into Gnabry but snuffed out. OLY defense has been stout. Bayern corner.

51’ — Olympiakos counter snuffed out. Bayern on the fast break Müller pass into Lewy a bit off.

50’— Free kick leads to a Goretzka header off the post! Second ball off the wood today.

48’— Neuer getting bored. Just came out to mid field to clear a ball. No halftime subs

45’ — 2nd half kicks off. Coman earns a fast Bayern corner.

Halftime Observations and Reaction

  • Bayern is absolutely dominating passion (75%) and racked up 346 passes to Olympiakos 135. It doesn’t even seem like the OLY should have that much, there was almost no offensive threat the entire half. Die Roten’s passing however efficient and confident it looks hasn’t resulted in much.
  • The retooled back line has looked great, Alaba’s horrendous giveaway withstanding, with good communication and passing. Davies continues to impress with a nice takeaway, good passing, and both he and Pavard are showing nice forward pressure.
  • Kimmich and Goretzka are looking solid in the midfield. It hasn’t been perfect with some off target passes and a couple giveaways by Kimmich, but all in all they look solid with Goretzka really showing some athleticism we’ve missed. He had a couple nice passes and shots that have created some of the only chances in the first half.
  • Müller and Coman both went down in the penalty areas (Müller twice) without any calls given. They were fairly soft challenges but 3 is 3. Bayern really need to convert all of this possession and passing into some better chances.

45’ — Half!

44’ — Kimmich corner gives Pavard a header off the woodwork!

40’ — Coman goes down in the penalty area! ANOTHER swallowed whistle!

38’ — Great ball from Goretzka into a Lewy run that JUST couldn’t quite connect.

35’ — Great opportunity for Lewandowski. Chests a pass down in front of goal but didn’t take the opportunity to shoot. I thought it was there.

Ball went out to Müller, who took a long shot that was saved.

33’ — Handball on OLY in Bayern box.

Coman dancing his way into the OLY box, strong shot saved by goal. Corner kick Bayern.

30’ — Counter is on for OLY. Defense denying any opportunity for the visitors.

27’ — Gnabry staying on the left wing and Coman on the right.

25’ — Pavard cross gives Lewy a good header chance, saved by keeper. Bayern corner.

24’ — Another long distance service into the box from Gnabry, easy grab by keeper. Pas

20’ — LONG distance pass from Gnabry to Lewy in the box, tough ball header goes wide. Coman forces a goalkeeper save.

19’ — Coman cross into Lewy gets saved by keeper. Davies concedes a corner kick.

17’ — Mistake by Alaba in front of goal, shot went wide for OLY.

16’ — Kimmich and Goretzka working well in midfield. Gnabry over to the left wing takes a shot saved by GK.

14’ — Bayern corner kick.

11’ — Gnabry pass to Müller who takes a shot. Blocked but aggressive start here for Bayern. Another shot attempt by Goretzka from distance over the net.

9’ — Great feed from Lewy to Müller into the box and Müller goes down again in the box! No foul given

8’ — Foul on Lewandowski who was turning to make a run after a good pass from Javi

5’ — Müller pass to Goretzka who takes a good shot low into the corner. Saved.

3’ — Bayern controlling possession. Looking confident passing so far.

Müller goes down in the box but no foul could called! Counter results in an easy save by Neuer.

1’ — Kickoff! Time to see how the players respond.

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups!

It’s hard to come up with a suitable description for tonight’s game, because we live in very strange times. After parting ways with Niko Kovac on Sunday, Bayern Munich come into this game with far more than Champions League qualification on the line. Olympiacos, for their part, have no idea what to expect, and neither do we as fans. Will Hansi Flick be a success on his coaching debut? Will the players respond to the defeat at Frankfurt?

No one knows at the moment, but there are some things we DO know for certain. In his pregame press conference, Flick confirmed that Thomas Muller, Javi Martinez, and Joshua Kimmich would start, and Jerome Boateng will not play as the team needs to get used to playing without him for their upcoming game against Borussia Dortmund. That likely means Javi will play at center back, which is a scary thought for anyone who remembers his most recent performances at the position.

In addition, there’s a decent chance that Kimmich will play in midfield, and one of either Chris Richards or Derrick Kohn could get a chance to start for the first team. That would obviously be a huge shakeup if it happens — but some might say it would be a better idea to put Javi Martinez at defensive midfield and start either Mai or Richards in defense. Either way, this game is an extremely important one, and there will be no room for error.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Time: 7 pm local time, 1 pm EST

TV/streaming:, Find Your Country

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