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Bayern Munich 3-1 Hannover 96: Initial reactions and observations

Bayern pulls five points ahead of Dortmund for now

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Oliver Kahn of Bayern Munich Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Initial observations and reactions

  • A win is a win. Even though Bayern dominated the statistical side of the match the scoreline didn’t reflect it. This made for a nervous second half, after Jonathas cut the lead in half from the penalty spot. Luckily for FC Bayern, Hannover did not register another shot and there was no serious danger. No matter how the game looked, Bayern will take the three points.
  • It was good to see Robbery on the field together again! Franck Ribery came on and secured the win for Bayern. Doing so, gave the Rekordmeister enough breathing room to bring on Arjen Robben. The whole stadium went quiet when they saw Robben step up to take a free-kick from right outside of the box, but his shot went way over the bar. As both players are set to leave the club this summer, it is good to see them on the field again, even if it is for brief moments.
  • Bayern had so many chances. Bayern was not able to convert on many of the great chances that they were given. After playing two of the Bundesliga’s cellar-dwellers the last two weeks, their competition gets tougher for their final two games. Against the likes of Leipzig and Frankfurt, they will probably need to be a little more dangerous in order to secure the vital points they need to finish out this campaign.

90’ + 3 — The final whistle has blown. Bayern Munich 3-1 Hannover 96.

90’ + 2 — Yellow Card! Wimmer fould Thiago right outside of the box.

Robben’s ensuing free-kick goes over the crossbar.

90’ — Three minutes of stoppage time.

87’ — Substitutions for both teams. Rafihna replaces Alaba for Bayern, while Prib comes on for Maina.

86’ — Substitution: Arjen Robben makes his first appearance since November. Coman comes off.

84’ — GOAL!! Franck Ribery! Assisted by Kingsley Coman

78’ — Muller’s free-header hits the top of the net off a of a corner kick.

74’ — Bayern continues to try to crack Hannover’s defense. Shots keep coming, but Hannover is standing strong.

71’ — Substitution for Bayern: Ribery comes on for Gnabry

69’ — Substitution for Hannover: Wimmer comes on for Felipe.

64’ — Injury pause for Hannover’s Felipe, After receiving treatment, Felipe re-enters the game.

60’ — Bayern is attacking heavily since going up a man. They continue to test the defense with every possession.

54’ — RED CARD, Hannover! Jonathas is sent off after being on the field for nine minutes after a bad foul gives him his second yellow.

51’ — PK Goal! Hanover. Bayern lead 2-1. Jonathas scores, picks up yellow for shoving Ulreich out of the way afterwards.

49’ — VAR gives a penalty to Hannover. Handball from Boateng

46’ — The ball is rolling again!

Hannover makes a halftime sub: Jonathas replaces Hendrik Weydandt

Halftime Observations:

  • After a impressive start from the visitors, Bayern settled in and dominated the majority of the match. Bayern’s suffocating style of play has limited Hannover to only one shot (not on target). Bayern has had 13 shots (eight on target) and leads the possession 79%-21% so far.
  • Lewandowski’s goal was the breakthrough that was needed. After many legitimate, dangerous chances, Lewandowski’s header-goal helped Bayern take a sigh of relief and let them play more freely.
  • Kingsley Coman has been dangerous. Coman’s work on and off the ball has been impressive. His service has been dangerous. His assist set up Goretzka’s goal He also bent in a shot from outside the box that had the keeper beat, but barely missed the upper 90.

Halftime — Bayern takes a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

45’ + 1 — Goretzka has had two chances since scoring, one was deflected for a corner and one he skied over the bar.

40’ — GOAL!! Goretzka scores from outside the box! Bayern up 2-0

37’ — Muller and Boateng force saves from Hanover’s keeper and earn two corners, but nothing came from them.

35’ — Bayern is probing for a second goal, no serious chances yet

27’ — Goal!! Robert Lewandowski. Bayern leads 1-0!

20’ — Match has restarted after a brief injury pause for Hannover’s captain, Schweigler. Subs are warming up, but Schweigler is back on.

14’ — Bayern’s chances keep coming Lewandowski’s arching header tested the Hannover keeper again.

11’ — Coman’s header is straight at the keeper after Kimmich puts a great ball in from the by-line.

9’ — Byaern has had a few chances inside the box. They are testing out the defense and the keeper with clever passing.

6’ — Hannover has a header go way wide, after both teams have traded possession the so far.

Kickoff — We are under way at the Allianz Arena

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Kovac has opted to rest Mats Hummels, and Alphonso Davies doesn’t make the squad.

MATCHDAY! After the disappointing draw with Nurnberg last week, Bayern Munich will be looking to get back to winning ways against Hannover. However, because Hannover are the worst team in the league this season, there’s a decent chance that Bayern may slip up and drop points yet again. It’s just been that kind of year.

As for the lineup — does anyone expect surprises from Niko Kovac at this point? We got our main lineup against Borussia Dortmund, and that’s going to be the one trotted out for every big game left in the season. Of course, there’s a decent chance that Kovac may opt to start Leon Goretzka over Javi Martinez, but that’s about it. All the usual suspects — Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman, etc. are all fit and ready to play.

In addition, this game could mark the return of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery to the pitch. Both have been injured for some time now, Robben hasn’t made an appearance since November. Kovac could decide to give them a cameo at the end of the game.

As for injuries, only Manuel Neuer and James Rodirguez are guaranteed to not feature. Both have lingering calf issues that they have yet to recover from. In any case, Bayern should be able to beat Hannover without their help. Anything less than a win would only exacerbate discussion over Kovac’s future.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST

TV/streaming:, Find Your Country

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