1. Dominant Victory
Even though the scoreline didn’t suggest it, Bayern Munich’s victory today was a dominant one. Niklas Sule and Bayern had luck on their side during the 75th goal. Sule’s second of the season took a heavy deflection and rolled past a frustrated Jiri Pavlenka, who was simply fantastic today.
The first half was one where two great offensive teams that showed respect to each other. Bremen was excellent defensively in the first half. Bayern only had one clear chance in the first 45 minutes. However, the conservative start to the game took a turn in the second half when Bayern started to involve the front four with more creative plays. Even before Milos Veljkovic second yellow, Bayern started to create more chances. After the Serbian’s sending off, it was a question of time before the first goal was going to come. Serge Gnabry was the best player in terms of creating chances, his progress has been very enjoyable to watch this season.
The only negative aspect of the victory was Bayern’s atrocious finishing. Robert Lewandowski had an overall good game, but again, he was quite wasteful in front of goal. Bayern cannot afford to be this wasteful on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich edge 10-man Bremen to go 4 points clear of Dortmund, who face Freiburg tomorrow (9am ET, @FS1) pic.twitter.com/BRCXJvWd9l— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 20, 2019
2. Defensive Perfection
Bremen had scored in every single game in the Bundesliga this season except for today’s game. After a couple of years of being below average, Bremen has found their style under talented coach Florian Kohfeldt, and it is an offensive one. Today, Niko Kovac showed how far up the pecking order Javi Martinez is, playing him instead of Leon Goretzka. Martinez is for me, one of the most underrated players Bayern has. Today he, Niklas Sule, and Jerome Boateng were able to silence the heart of Bremen’s excellent offense. Max Kruse and Maximilian Eggestein were two players who stand out as the creative outlet for Bremen, but Bayern’s defense limited their threat for the entire game.
One has to question if Martinez leaves this summer, who will fill his vital defensive role in the midfield?
Lastly, it is great to see that at the end of the season, Kovac has managed to create a solid defense. Earlier in the season an inconsistent defense was one of Bayern’s main worries.
3. Wednesday’s game will be tough
Bayern will travel to the North of Germany without Sule, which could be seen as a major disadvantage considering that he had a great game today and an overall good season. Bremen will be full of revenge and will believe that they could reach Berlin after a good 90 minutes.
Today, the Bremen side chances were dramatically cut short after Veljkovic’s sending off. However, the first half did show the respect Bayern had for Bremen in terms of the conservative manner from both sides.
It also showed Kohfeldt’s tactical awareness. Bremen is a side that rarely keeps a clean sheet but also a side that has — before this game — never failed to score in the Bundesliga. Bremen was happy to let Bayern have the ball, only to counter fast and creative. Today, Bayern’s defense stopped the counter-attacks but there is no doubt that Bremen has a great side for fast counters against teams that like to keep possession. Their victory against Leverkusen a month ago was a perfect example of this and Bayern will have to be very careful on Wednesday.
On an unrelated note: It was great to see Claudio Pizarro play a few minutes. It is hard to remember one player who is so loved wherever he goes; we at BFW wish you all the best!
Claudio Pizzaro comes on for Bremen vs his former side Bayern Munich. Both home and away crowd on their feet cheering his arrival.— Saddick Adams (@SaddickAdams) April 20, 2019
Over 656 games
Over 254 goals
Career spanning over 24 years
Age: Almost 41 and still going.
The best Peruvian export after coffee. pic.twitter.com/A9P8EDAS87