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Daily Schmankerl: The aftermath of Bayern Munich vs. Liverpool; Julian Brandt coveted by Bayern and Dortmund (?!); and MORE!

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It was a Wednesday to forget.

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Die Folgen: Bayern’s disappointing 3-1 loss to Liverpool (Bavarian Football Works)

Bayern Munich did not put forth its best effort while losing at home to Liverpool in the Champions League. Here are some quick hitters on the match:

  • There will no doubt be a lot of doom-and-gloom after the result, but Liverpool outplayed Bayern, plain and simple. Jürgen Klopp’s team was just better. The lack of passion in Bayern’s play at times was the most disappointing aspect of the effort.
  • As much as I think Niklas Süle is a future top-rated center-back, he’s still may only be the third-best central defender on Bayern at the moment. While Sadio Mané ultimately beat Rafinha and subsequently Manuel Neuer for the game’s first goal, Süle’s poor initial positioning and awful angle while trying to support Rafinha gave Mané just the sliver of space he needed. It was not a good game for Süle overall and he has not been nearly as consistent this season as he was last year. Again, his potential and physical tools make him a strong candidate to lead the defense for years to come, but he’s not quite there yet.
  • Possibly unpopular opinion: VfB Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard would rank fourth on that list of center-backs heading into next season.
  • James Rodriguez was a complete and utter non-factor. Entering the game, I was worried that James’ skill set might not be as effective because Liverpool was going to play too fast for him. The Colombian just never looked comfortable on the pitch. This was a game that was much more suited for Goretzka’s relentless and physical style of play. Unfortunately, Kovac reacted too late. James has great skill and against a different team may have been more effective. More than any other player, Liverpool was a bad match-up for the Colombian star.
  • Kingsley Coman might have been able to do a little better with some of the opportunities that Franck Ribery had on his feet. Ribery was mediocre at best yesterday, but Coman’s dynamic style just creates more issues for the opposition right now.
  • Robert Lewandowski will get a lot of heat after this for not producing, but Bayern’s offense was a jumbled, chaotic mess for the most part. The striker’s criticism of the team after the game was spot-on. Bayern was not aggressive moving forward and played too cautiously.
  • More than anything, Bayern missed Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich. Kimmich is one of the best right-backs in the world, so his absence was obvious, but what Müller brings to the table was noticeably absent. There was no creativity, no one to exploit space in the defense, and generally no one effective at working with Lewandowski. Despite what his detractors say, Bayern is simply a better team with the Raumdeuter on the pitch.
  • The double pivot of Javi Martinez and Thiago Alcantara was not bad, but they weren’t great either. Much like the rest of the squad, the duo just needed to be better and more sharp.
  • Mats Hummels was very good on the night. If there was a bright spot, it was the play of the Joachim Low cut down victim.
  • Neuer’s gaffe was the third major boneheaded play by a German goalkeeper in the last calendar year. Sven Ulreich’s howler against Real Madrid and forrmer Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius’ concussion-induced blunder (also against Real Madrid!) happened in more prominent games, but as much as Kovac wanted to defend Neuer after the game, it was a mistake unbecoming a man considered by some to be the world’s best.
  • You can feel the pain from various players during in these post game comments compiled by FCBayern.com:
  • The bottom line is that this is just one chapter of the season that has been closed. Agreed, however, that it was the most important chapter, and it calls for improvements to be made this summer.
  • More than any team, Liverpool was the draw that was most likely to induce an early exit for Bayern. Call it bad luck, call it a bad match-up, or just say Liverpool was the better side, but it’s not the end of the world. Bayern has plenty left to play for this season and a very good core to build around. Bayern will be back...they always rise again.

If you missed our Match Awards or Observations give them a look:

Brandt subject of a bidding war between Bayern and Dortmund? (Münchner Merkur)

Could Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt be the rope in a tug of war between the Bavarians and Borussia Dortmund?

Julian Brandt is coveted by top German clubs. At the moment he is in focus at Borussia Dortmund. According to SportBild, Borussia is ready to put 25 million euros on the table for Brandt. Is that enough to outmaneuver Bayern?

Bayern was already rumored to be a target for Bayern before the news broke that BVB might make a play for the Germany international. Back in late February, the Münchner Merkur reported:

For a long time, FC Bayern has been considered a hot contender for a transfer of Julian Brandt. The fact that the German national player is playing a strong second half at Bayer Leverkusen makes the probability of a transfer to the record champions a bit bigger.

Bayern still scoping Pepé (kicker)

It appears that Bayern is still kicking the tires on Lille winger Nicolas Pepe, but they have some reservations about about his overall game:

Bayern Munich’s interest in Nicolas Pepé of Lille OSC is confirmed. The Ivorian possesses enormous qualities on offense, but the Bavarians have doubts whether the 23-year-old is the right man when it is tight 30 meters in front of the opponent’s goal. FCB scout Laurent Busser watched Pepé (28 games in Ligue 1, 17 goals) three weeks ago in Strasbourg, so he is again under the microscope.

Bayern Twitter still rules (@FCBayernEN)

If anything, this tweet from @FCBayernEN made me laugh yesterday.