clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Four observations from Bayern’s tight win over Hertha Berlin

New, comments

In a mixed performance, Bayern managed to win, but only in extra time.

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Kingsley Coman of FC Bayern Muenchen scores his team's third goal during the DFB Cup match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 06, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 06: Kingsley Coman of FC Bayern Muenchen scores his team’s third goal during the DFB Cup match between Hertha BSC and FC Bayern Muenchen at Olympiastadion on February 06, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.
(Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

Some players have to work on their crosses!

I’m looking at you David Alaba and Kingsley Coman — although their link-up play was quite enjoyable to watch. And, also, Coman scored the winning goal. In some segments of the game, such as their hard work in defense or loads of runs forward, both of them excelled. But both of them have to work on another area in particular — crosses! It was really unnerving to watch almost half of our chances being squandered by poor crosses. According to SofaScore, Coman crossed five times and not a single one was accurate, while David Alaba crossed seven times and managed a single accurate crossed ball. Frightening. On the other hand, it seems that Serge Gnabry improved his touch with five crosses, four of which were accurately delivered. Keep going Serge!

Another game, another inconsistent performance

Bayern Munich conceded an early goal but managed to bounce quickly back. Bayern played a very good first half, but things took a turn in the second half. This is a negative trend that we’ve see time and time again under Niko Kovač’s reign — we play good for the first 45 minutes and in the second half our game just seems to fall apart. Today was no different. The first half was marked by total dominance by Bayern over Hertha Berlin. Bayern had 67% possession and dominated in every single aspect of the game. I should note that Hertha had only one shot in the entire first half, and that one ended behind Sven Ulreich in the back of the net. Still, the game should have ended at 2-1, but Mats Hummels made an unfortunate error that led to Hertha scoring their second.

Individual talent and effort secured the victory

Niko Kovač set the team up to win, but because of the events in the second half, Bayern relied heavily on certain individuals. Usually, Bayern does this when they are playing against a side that parks the bus waiting for their chances, forcing Bayern to rely on pinpoint crosses and ruthless finishing. Tonight, we were denied by both, except for Serge Gnabry’s fantastic goals. It worries me that, in these kinds of situations, Bayern seemingly has no “plan B” up in its sleeve. If crosses don’t work out, try something else. Of course, that’s not entirely up to Kovač, because Der Rekordmeister is used to these kinds of scenarios, and it’s unlikely to change any time soon. On the plus side, it was obvious that Bayern was in better physical shape than their opponents, and that brought us a calm finish to the game after Coman scored the winning goal.

Did we witness the lineup that will see against Liverpool?

After the appeal over Thomas Muller’s ban was denied by UEFA, Niko Kovač will have to find a solution for Muller’s place. It could be possible that this will be Kovač’s go-to lineup against Liverpool. It is also possible that he will put Joshua Kimmich in number “6” position, and Leon Goretzka to number “10” position and leave James Rodriguez on the bench. We will see if the Croat will experiment further with the lineup before their trip to Liverpool in two weeks.