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Lothar Matthäus: “No one fears playing Bayern anymore”

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Lothar probably has a point here, to be fair.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Dortmund - Bundesliga Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

In his weekly column for Sky Germany (via AZ), former Bayern Munich and Germany legend Lothar Matthäus said that teams no longer fear facing Bayern as they once did. Specifically, he said that teams don’t panic or fold when they go against Bayern and always feel that they can still get a result against them:

The opponents have lost their respect and fear of Bayern Munich. Even when teams are behind, they still believe they can win and some of them do. Something like that was extremely rare in the past.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

While Bayern’s fortunes have significantly improved under Hansi Flick compared to Niko Kovac, Bayern have still kept a total of just four clean sheets in the league from a total of 15 matches. Additionally, as Matthäus had alluded to, Bayern has conceded a total of 7 goals from leading positions in the league and conceded a total of 20 goals. This means that 35% of the goals that Bayern has conceded in the league were scored when they were leading, which simply isn’t good enough if they want to retain their title. What’s even more telling is that of the matches where Bayern has conceded while leading, they’ve gone on to win only twice, against SC Paderborn and Union Berlin, who both currently dwell in the bottom half of the table.

If Bayern continues to struggle while ‘Gladbach, RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund hit their form, there will be constant tension in Munich, Matthäus feels:

If we have tension in our league until the end, except for Bayern and their fans, everyone is happy.

Still, though, Matthäus feels that Bayern should never be written off and that part of their problem is mistakes of their own making. He used Javi Martinez’s late tackle that resulted in a penalty against ‘Gladbach as an example of such a mistake:

Javi Martinez should not have had to make a tackle in the decisive action in Gladbach at all. Then neither the ejection nor the penalty would have happened. And if he tackles, then he has to hit the ball. It was similar with the red card for Boateng in Frankfurt.

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-MOENCHENGLADBACH-BAYERN MUNICH Photo by UWE KRAFT/AFP via Getty Images