Die Folgen: Bayern’s thrilling scoreless draw at Anfield (Bavarian Football Works)
Some people say a scoreless game is boring, but that is ludicrous if you saw yesterday’s Champions League tilt. Bayern and Liverpool hooked up for an exciting and intense match that ultimately ended with both potent offenses being held in check. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- I honestly did not think that Javi Martinez had a performance like that left in the tank, but he was superb. Martinez played the role perfectly to disrupt Liverpool’s speed and relentless attacking. He certainly is earning the opportunity to stay (in a veteran mentor role) longer in Bavaria.
- Mats Hummels has been lambasted at times this season, but he showed his true quality yesterday. It was an excellent performance overall by the entire back line of Hummels, Niklas Sule, David Alaba, and Joshua Kimmich.
- Missing Thomas Müller absolutely has an effect on the performance of Robert Lewandowski. It’s not James Rodriguez’s fault necessarily; he just does not have the same type of on-field relationship built up with the Polish striker.
- Speaking of James, I did not think he was good. He seemed overwhelmed by the speed of play and physicality on the pitch at times. This was a game where Bayern needed much more out of him than it received. I think a healthy Leon Goretzka could be a difference maker in the return leg.
- Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman did some very good things, especially in terms of tracking back defensively, but they need to be a little more polished in the final third.
- With Bayern already missing Muller for the return leg, the yellow-card suspension of Kimmich is going to really hurt in the second leg. The Germany international proved that he could, indeed, defend on an elite level (when he wants to!). Missing his well-rounded game could prove to be a real difference maker at the Allianz Arena.
- At this stage, given the “away goal” scenario, Liverpool has to be considered the favorite. It seems as if Bayern will need to score at least two goals at the Allianz Arena to secure a way through to the next round. It’s not impossible, but it won’t be easy.
- Bayern fans had their say yesterday as well:
Bayern Munich fans '20 is plenty' banner receives major plaudits from Anfield crowd.#LIVFCB #ChampionsLeague https://t.co/hSPnv0qsLd pic.twitter.com/vveeIpAjO0— AS English (@English_AS) February 20, 2019
If you missed our Match Awards, Observations, or Jurgen Klopp meltdown breakdown, check the links below:
Bayern and Barca battle over Jovic (SportBild)
It seems as if reports tying Eintracht Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic to FC Barcelona could be a bit premature.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac is said to have repeatedly (petitioned) internally for the Serb, with whom he had already worked successfully at Eintracht Frankfurt. Jovic recently raved about Kovac turning him into a professional player. This season he is with 14 hits so far on the top scorer list. His statistics impress: Jovic is successful in the Bundesliga on average every 102 minutes — a historic top value for players with at least 25 games! He even surpasses “Bomber” Gerd Müller, who met every 105 minutes.
That his transfer to FC Barcelona is already fixed, is confirmed neither by Eintracht nor Spain. But the Catalans are definitely interested. There is also no substitute for Robert Lewandowski (30) since the departure of Sandro Wagner to China. It is clear: The transfer fee for Jovic, which should be around 50 million euros, which Bayern could easily handle!
The fee is not worrisome for such a talent like Jovic, but with Jann-Fiete Arp already secured and Lewandowski looking to have two-to-three excellent years left in him, would Jovic take a gamble on coming to Bayern for a role that may not guarantee field time?
Bayern may have interest in Premier League right-back (Daily Mail)
Bayern is reportedly competing with Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton, and Borussia Dortmund for Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Bayern Munich have joined the growing list of clubs monitoring Crystal Palace right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The impressive 21-year-old broke into the Palace team in 2016 and has gone on to feature 35 times for the Eagles in all competitions. Since making his debut in the 1-0 defeat to Tottenham in February last year, Wan-Bissaka has gone on to be one of the most sought-after full backs in the Premier League.
Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Borussia Dortmund have all shown interest in the Croydon-born defender. Reports suggest the right back could cost suitors anywhere from £30milllion to £40m due to his age and ability.
Bayern’s exit from England making waves (@MiguelDelaney)
Liverpool airport greatly disrupted by the Bayern squad coming through. Of the six normal security gates, all but one shut, just in case “a normal person” breathes within 50m of them. Hundreds now funnelled through one gate pic.twitter.com/O04rs38PdO— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) February 20, 2019
Liverpool fans fawning over Thiago (Football Fancast)
Another Bayern player who played a key role yesterday was Thiago Alcantara, who turned in an very solid performance. In doing so, the Spaniard caught the attention of more than a few Liverpool supporters.