FT: Bayern win 3-1 with goals from Coman, Muller, and Coutinho. Here are some initial observations from the game:
- Philippe Coutinho finally had a really good game. A fine performance from the Brazilian, hopefully he builds on it.
- Thomas Muller wasn’t half bad at striker for a change. He took his chances and scored as well. It will be huge if Muller takes more scoring responsibility from now on.
- Alphonso Davies is just amazing. It was his shot that rebounded off the post for Muller to score, and he got the assist for Coutinho’s goal. Add in the incredible block on Son, and you have a world class performance from the youngster.
- Kingsley Coman’s injury was a huge blow. He will be missed.
- Jerome Boateng looked shaky out there, like he wasn’t fully in the game. Not something you want to see ahead of a tough clash against Freiburg.
90+2’: Neuer saves a shot from Son 1v1.
86’: Joshua Zirkzee comes on for Ivan Perisic. Meanwhile, Goretzka comes on for Javi Martinez.
80’: Victor Wanyama comes on for Spurs.
76’: Javi fouls Eriksen, concedes the foul right outside the box. Neuer saves the resulting free kick.
70’: Bayern dominating, looking comfortable in possession.
63’: Goal! Coutinho scores to make it 3-1! I stand corrected!
61’: Coutinho shoots a cutback from Perisic right at the keeper. The poor guy just can’t score today.
60’: Both teams look relatively subdued at the hour mark, though Bayern are still asking more questions.
56’: Free kick to Bayern causes chaos in the Spurs box, no goal tho.
50’: Decent start to the second half by Bayern.
45’: Second half kicks off!
HT’: Bayern lead 2-1, but could have had way more goals. It remains to be seen how costly this game will be.
44’: GOAL! Pinball in the box, and Muller scores from a rebounded Davies shot. Classic Muller.
43’: Since Coman went off, Bayern have looked rattled. The injury is clearly playing on their minds at the moment.
38’: How is this possible? Gnabry hits the post from a scrumptious shot.
35’: Kimmich and Lo Celso booked. This game is getting ugly for no good reason.
32’: Bayern’s impromptu lineup shuffle has given Spurs the impetus to go forward. Bad time for Bayern.
29’: Serge Gnabry shoots, and it takes a deflection. it goes just wide.
25’: Huge blow to Bayern. Kingsley Coman tripped over his feet (or did it get stuck in the turf?) and went down immediately. The injury looked nasty, and he has been helped off the pitch. Thomas Muller is coming on to replace him.
19’: Goal. Shambolic defending leads to Sessegnon scoring. Flick needs to get this under control.
18’: Bayern dominating at the moment. Interesting to note — Gnabry isn’t playing striker, but staying on the right wing.
13’: Goal! Kingsley Coman calmly slots it home. Great pass by Gnabry to set him up.
11’: Pavard shoots from a cross by Perisic, which is blocked. Thiago tries to score from the rebound, but Tottenham’s keeper parries it at point-blank range.
10’: Not much going on for Bayern offensively at the moment. Coutinho cuts in on his left foot, but finds no space to shoot.
5’: We’re five minutes in and there have been no goals so far. Both teams have been making inroads, but neither have created a clear cut chance. Gnabry might want to work on staying onside.
Kickoff: We are underway! With such a strange lineup, it looks like Flick really wants to prove that Bayern aren’t dependent on Lewandowski to score goals. Let’s see how that works out for him.
One hour until kickoff: Flick has gone for full rotation! It’ll be interesting to see how this works out!
Unsere Elf für #FCBTOT! #packmas pic.twitter.com/cvaL4d7MCD— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) December 11, 2019
Even when it’s a dead rubber, Champions League games are always entertaining. Coming off the back of two losses, Bayern Munich play for pride against Tottenham Hotspur, and hope to become the first ever German team to win all six games in the group stage.
Jose Mourinho left a bunch of his players behind in London, most notably Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris, and Tanguy Ndombele. Bayern, meanwhile, will be without the services of Corentin Tolisso and Michael Cuisance, in addition to long-term absentees such as Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez.
With Spurs clearly preparing a more experimental lineup, Hansi Flick has the opportunity to rotate his lineup for a bit. While Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller are expected to start, Philippe Coutinho might come in for Kingsley Coman on the left wing, while Serge Gnabry could be restored to a starting role on the opposite flank.
Flick’s preferred midfield pairing remains to be seen, but Spurs may be a good opportunity for Thiago Alcantara to notch up some minutes. Whether Joshua Kimmich or Leon Goretzka will partner him is anyone’s guess, and will depend on who plays where in defense. If Benjamin Pavard returns to the lineup at center back, that would necessitate Kimmich’s return to the RB spot, meaning that we would see a Thiagoretzka pairing.
On the other hand, if either Jerome Boateng or Javi Martinez start at CB, Pavard would be at RB, and that opens up a whole host of potential combinations on midfield. There’s also the potential for the coach to hand Lars Lukas Mai his first start in the Champions League, although the chances seem slim. Meanwhile David Alaba and Alphonso Davies should reprise their roles from Saturday — the two seem to have a strong understanding and have been Bayern’s most consistent defenders as of late.
Whatever the result, Bayern will play to win, and certain players (like Muller) will try to prove that the Bavarians aren’t a one-man-show up front. With a clash against Christian Streich’s Freiburg coming up, the team needs a win to bolster their confidence.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 9:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST
TV/streaming: Fubo.tv, Find Your Country
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