Final time: 1-1. The game ends in a draw against relegation bound Nürnberg. Here are some quick initial reactions to the game:
- Niko Kovac once again made inexplicable substitutions. Subbing off Muller at half time was just stupid, and the James sub was inexplicable. We need to find out what happened there.
- Kingsley Coman’s miss on the final counter of the game basically summed up his entire night. He got the assist for Gnabry’s goal but that does little to mask a poor performance from the Frenchman.
- Davies was unremarkable in his short cameo. Yes, he conceded the penalty but it was hardly intentional, he wouldn’t have known that the Nurnberg player was there.
- Did Robert Lewandowski play? He was missing the entire game, no one could find him in the box.
- The title race is still wide open. Maybe this was coming, given how the season has been, but it really looks like Bayern want to make this race as close as possible. The team came out against Nurnberg with basically no energy, it was a sorry performance. This might be the game we look back on in a few weeks time and think of what could have been.
90+5’ — And now it is Bayern’s turn to throw the game away: Kingsley Coman races away from both teams, running over Nürnberg’s entire half where he only has to beat Mathenia one on one. And he shoots the ball into Mathenia’s hand.
90+1’ — Leibold MISSES! Leibold’s penalty kick bounces harmlessly off the right post. Four minutes of stoppage time remain.
WHAT A MOMENT!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 28, 2019
Tim Leibold strikes his last-minute penalty off the post that would have handed Bayern a shock defeat in Nurnberg. pic.twitter.com/fKb2NSt4EM
89’ — Penalty for Nürnberg! Alphonso Davies elbows Nürnberg’s Margreitter in the face on a corner kick. The referee duly calls a penalty and awards Davies his first yellow card. “Wow,” Davies seems to say as he processes the decision.
88’ — Substitution for Nürnberg: Ilicevic replaces Bauer for the final moments of the game
86’ — Wow, Kimmich! He literally leaps between two defenders to steal the ball away. A moment later, Leibold fouls Coman on the shin conceding a free kick. Bayern can’t do anything with it, though.
84’ — Gnabry almost connects with a cross from Alaba, but he’s muscled out of the way. It looks as if Nürnberg is about to make a substitution for Pereira, who appears to have injured his leg.
82’ — Substitution for Nürnberg: Margreitter replaces Löwen as Nürnberg settles in for the final ten minutes.
78’ — Bayern continues to pile on the pressure, forcing another save from Mathenia. The intensity of the match continues to escalate.
75’ — GOAL for Bayern! Finally, a shot Mathenia can do nothing about! Playing now out wide on the right Coman, moves inside and lobs the ball toward Gnabry at the far post on the left, while Davies lurks in front of goal. Gnabry manages to tap it with the inside of his leg up and over Mathenia and into the net while Davies looks on to make sure it drops in.
73’ — Is James injured? He quickly disappears down the tunnel to the locker room, but there is nothing obviously wrong with him at first glance.
72’ — Substitution for Nürnberg: Here’s a familiar face: Timothy Tilman comes on for Ishak. But wait there’s more:
Substitution for Bayern: Alphonoso Davies replaces James Rodriguez!
69’ — Another near miss: James shoots the ball off the crossbar. Mathenia appears to have touched it, so Bayern receive a corner. The ball bounces back out to Thiago who tries to cross it in again. Nürnberg clears it out toward the arc, and Süle takes a desperate shot — well over the goal.
68’ — Kimmich drives forward with grim determination all the way to Nürnberg’s penalty area. Ewerton brings him down just outside, seeing a yellow card.
64’ — Nürnberg win yet another corner! They have as many as Bayern now (3).
62’ — Gnabry flashes his skill on the sideline, as he does a Maradona to snatch the ball away off the line and bring it back into the midfield.
60’ — Mathenia saves the day for Nürnberg again: James sends a through-ball forward past Nürnberg’s defense to Goretzka, but Goretzka’s shot is deflected away by Mathenia’s outstretched leg.
57’ — Substitution for Bayern: James Rodriguez comes on for Javi Martinez. Leon Goretzka will presumably drop back now into a double-pivot with Thiago.
Meanwhile Kimmich takes a free kick for a foul outside Nürnberg’s penalty area, but ball is cleared wide. Bayern still can’t break through.
51’ — Nürnberg nearly take a 2-0 lead! Another turnover in the midfield leads to a three-man counter. Mats Hummels loses his footing and falls over as he tries to react, leaving Niklas Süle in a one-on-three counter. Miraculously, Löwen opts to pass the ball rather than shoot, and Süle manages to clear it out of bounds.
48’ — Goal for Nürnberg! A wild scene unfolds. Nürnberg’s Sebastian Kerk catches Joshua Kimmich out of position and runs in behind his back. He cross inside to Löwen, who draws a spectacular point-blank save from Ulreich. But the ball flies back outside to the feet of Pereira, who collects the ball and fires it at the far post past three defenders and the outstretched fingers of Ulreich.
Delay! The Bayern ultras have set off a barrage of smoke bombs in the away block. After standing on the field for a few moments, the referees take the match ball and go to the sidelines for a few moments. Thiago approaches the away fans and gestures to them to calm down.
After a few more minutes, the referee returns with the ball. Nürnberg will kick off.
Substitution for Bayern: As anticipated, Serge Gnabry will come on for the second half. Thomas Müller makes way for him, while Leon Goretzka stays on the 10.
- Bayern’s offense has simply not been able to break through Nürnberg’s determined 4-4-2.
- All of Bayern’s outside players — Coman and Müller up front, Alaba and Kimmich at the back, have struggled to create consistent chances in the middle.
- Robert Lewandowski has had to drift back to the middle; Leon Goretzka hasn’t contributed much to help.
- At least the defense has looked decent: only a near-error by Sven Ulreich gave Bayern fans a collective heart-attack.
- Thiago and Javi Martinez have dominated the midfield, but the connection going forward has just not been there.
Halftime! Coach Niko Kovac looks grim as halftime is called. What changes will he make?
45+1’ — David Alaba and Robert Bauer tangle with each other near the sideline over a throw-in. The referee orders Bauer to calm himself.
45’ — Awful free kick by Lewandowski. He clearly mis-hit the ball, sending it slying over the goal in a graceful arch.
43’ — Mathenia punches away a corner taken by Thiago. In the following seconds, Müller is fouled. Bayern will take a free kick from well outside the box.
42’ — Nürnberg win another corner. Bayern is struggling to contain them at the moment.
40’ — Nürnberg gives Bayern a start as Ishak manages to get a shot off in the box. Ulreich is ready and collects the ball. On the ensuing break, Coman is brought down hard by Pereira, who immediately apologizes.
39’ — Meanwhile on the sideline, Serge Gnabry is up speaking with Niko Kovac. Is a halftime substitution in the cards?
37’ — Kimmich is beside himself as the referee incorrectly awards Nürnberg a goal kick rather than Bayern a corner kick.
36’ — Bayern respond with a counter, but Mathenia defuses it with a dramatic punch-clearance.
34’ — A scary scene: Sven Ulreich nearly misses a lateral pass, managing to poke the ball away at the last second from Nürnberg’s oncoming striker. Nürnberg wins a corner, and then another. But they can’t penetrate Bayern’s defense.
32’ — Lewandowski attempts to make the most of a quick back-heel pass from Müller, but he mis-hits a side-volley and bounces the ball off the pitch and into Mathenia’s arms.
30’ — Kingsley Coman wins a corner with some fancy footwork — but the referee changes his mind and awards a goal kick instead.
25’ — Müller hits the side netting at the end of a frantic sequence initiated by a run by Kimmich.
23’ — The first big save of the day: Alaba sends a rocket at the top right corner. Mathenia just nudges it into the crossbar with his fingertips.
22’ — Ewerton brings Lewandowski down with a hard tackle. Free kick Bayern!
18’ — Bayern again try to break Nürnberg’s blockade. David Alaba whips in a cross from out left, but it is just slightly too high for Goretzka.
10’ — Another near miss! This time Coman passes the ball inside to Lewandowski. Lewy turns to shoot as Müller lurks in position, but a defender puts his foot in its path, conceding only a corner.
9’ — Now Bayern attack. Müller delivers a cross inside, but Nürnberg’s Mathenia plucks it out of the air.
8’ — Bayern snuffs out a counter as Pereira dribbles the ball straight into the back line.
6’ — Nürnberg makes a little noise as a long pass finds Pereira. He dribbles the ball tentatively from out right all the way to the top of the penalty area before losing it.
3’ — Goretzka drives up the middle and passes wide to Müller, but Nürnberg clears the ball out of bounds.
kickoff! The ball is rolling.
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Kovac has elected for some rotation, with Serge Gnabry being rested in favor of Leon Goretzka.
Matchday! With Borussia Dortmund dropping points in that spectacular Revierderby, Bayern Munich finally have the chance to go 4 points clear in the title race. Nurnberg, however, will be determined to prevent that from happening. In a weekend where all the teams near the bottom of the table have managed wins, Niko Kovac and his men will have to be vigilant if they want to create the points cushion that they want.
Because of that, expect very few changes in Bayern’s lineup. Manuel Neuer and Franck Ribery are still injured, while Jerome Boateng suuffered a bruised knee in training yesterday — they will both miss the game. Corentin Tolisso and Arjen Robben traveled with the team to Nurnberg, so they may make cameo appearances, but neither is likely to start.
Given what we know, Kovac will likely start his go-to lineup, complete with Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara, etc. This would be a pretty good chance to give Alphonso Davies his first start, or maybe some minutes to Renato Sanches, but the title race is so tight that the coach simply doesn’t have the leeway to give minutes to youngsters at the moment. We’ll have to rely on the veterans to get this job done.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Max-Morlock-Stadion, Nuremberg, Germany
Time: 6 pm local time, 12 pm EST
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