Niko Kovac is going nowhere
As the first Bayern Munich coach to win the double since Pep Guardiola, Niko Kovac has finally secured his job beyond a shadow of a doubt. His tactics against RB Leizpig were spot on, and unlike the earlier game, Bayern were just a bit better with their finishing. That made all the difference.
However, that’s not the main observation. What we cannot ignore is the incredible love shown to him by the Bayern faithful inside the stadium. Even before the game started, chants of “Niko Kovac, Niko Kovac” rang out around the Olympiastadion.
After the game ended, the coach’s name was on the lips of the Bavarian ultras. In the team celebrations in front of the fans, Kovac was content to let his players take the lead and watch from a distance. The fans went out of their way to call him to the front and give him the megaphone. He responded in appreciation of their support:
This was an incredible gesture from the local fans and a tremendous show of support for the embattled coach. Kovac may be a double winner, but their support will ring louder than any silverware. The Bayern bosses cannot ignore their voices. Niko Kovac must be given another season.
Kingsley Coman isn’t Bayern quality? Get outta here
Can we dispel the narrative that Kingsley Coman isn’t good enough? He has shown time and time again that he is a fighter who shows up when the team needs him. Only injuries have hampered his career. The idea that Coman has no end product is a myth. He has plenty of end product; he merely lacks rhythm on account of his frequent injuries and a lack of playing time.
I mean, just look at this finish:
I mean just look at this shot fake / first touch. Kingsley Coman is a wizard. pic.twitter.com/b2ifavzbAJ— michael (@MichaelEFranca) May 25, 2019
Here’s a bold prediction: despite all the incredible wingers Bayern are linked with this summer, Coman won’t give up his spot easily. Hey might well bench Leroy Sané come next season. This kid has been coveted by Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, and now Bayern Munich. The talent is there; he’s just 23 years old. Let’s be patient and let him show us the heights he can achieve.
Manuel Neuer saved the game
Is Manuel Neuer BACK? We don’t know, but he put in a vintage performance against Leipzig. His first save (off a corner, at almost point blank range) was critical, keeping Bayern from falling behind when Leipzig had all the momentum. His one-on-one save against Forsberg in the second half had the same effect — if Bayern had conceded there, Leipzig could have overrun the team with their momentum.
Robert Lewandowski may have collected the MotM for his two goals, but I argue that Neuer deserved it even more. He was an absolute wall in goal, and hopefully this is a sign that he’s getting back to his best.
- Mats Hummels and Niklas Süle were excellent, Hummels especially. Hummels frequently won 1-v-1 duels with Leipzig’s pacy wingers on the left hand side of the pitch, where he left them not even an inch to breathe. After all the terrible gaffes that Bayern have made in their Pokal journey this season, it was nice to see the defense step it up for the final.
- Bayern need to cross more. The first good cross in the game — David Alaba’s cross to Lewy — resulted in a goal. Crosses were wreaking havoc on Leizpig’s defense, it’s a shame this team tries low passing so much when the aerial route is so much more effective.
- Konaté is going to give me nightmares.