As is so often the case, there’s a bevvy of Bayern Munich players who’ve joined up with their respective nations for international duty, predominantly for UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers. Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Manuel Neuer, Leon Goretzka, Sven Ulreich, and Serge Gnabry are with the German National team, David Alaba is with Austria, Robert Lewandowski is with Poland, and Kingsley Coman, Benjamin Pavard, and Corentin Tolisso are with France.
Qualifying round 3 of 10 is now in the books and most of Bayern’s players fared well with their respective results. Here’s a break down of all the action Bayern players were involved in.
Alaba and Austria defeat Slovenia 1-0
David Alaba captained Austria in their third qualifying match in group G, starting as a left midfielder. Within the first 25 minutes, Alaba could’ve had 2 assists with crosses that he sent in to Marko Arnautović and the Marcel Sabitzer, but both of his teammates just narrowly missed breaking the deadlock with their efforts on goal. In the second half, Austria started right where they had left off in the first half, on the front foot. Alaba had a chance of his own in the 47th minute, but his shot was deflected behind for a corner kick. In the 74th minute, Austria broke the deadlock and scored the winning goal through Schalke’s Guido Burgstaller, but Alaba sent in the initial ball that led to a shot from Arnautović, the rebound of which was fired home by Burgstaller.
Perhaps the only real negative from this match from a Bayern perspective is the fact that Alaba was subbed off late on after experiencing a muscular problem and has since pulled out of the Austrian squad ahead of their next qualifier against North Macedonia.
Goal is at about the 52 seconds mark (below):
Robert Lewandowski and Poland edge North Macedonia 1-0
It wasn’t the prettiest of wins for Robert Lewandowski and Poland, but the number 9 captained his side to an important three points away from home to make it three wins out of three for Poland thus far in group G. The Macedonians were the better of the two sides n the first half and Poland really seemed to struggle defending set pieces.
Poland put up a better fight in the second half and ultimately found the winning goal in the 47th minute through what was a scrappy, frenetic sequence in North Macedonia’s box. The Macedonian’s had scuffed a clearance of a Polish corner kick and Krzysztof Piątek’s ensuing overhead kick found its way through several bodies and into the back of the net. Lewandowski had tried to get a touch on it en route to the net, and collided with Macedonia’s keeper in doing so. The score-sheet had initially awarded the goal to Lewandowski, but closer inspection revealed that he did not get a touch on it.
Die Mannschaft beat Belarus 2-0
Neuer, Sule, Kimmich, and Gnabry all started for Germany in their 2-0 win over Belarus to see Die Mannschaft make it two wins in as many matches in qualifying group C. This one was always going to be one way traffic, but Belarus did have their dangerous moments going forward. After Leroy Sane head put Germany 1-0 up in the 12th minute, it looked as if it was going to be cruise control for Germany, but Belarus did have their moments that put Die Mannschaft’s back line into some pressure and even forced some decent saves from Neuer.
Kimmich > Sane > GOAL:
Leroy Sane scores the opener!— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 8, 2019
He cuts inside and curls it in pic.twitter.com/p0T3rLbtDU
Neuer also had an equal parts scary, nervy, courageous, incredible moment of his own in the 31st minute when traveled well off of his line to close down a Belarus counter attack. He was slightly late to get to the ball and it forced an awkward situation where Neuer had to shield the ball right on the touch line and proceed to perform a Cruyff turn to give himself enough space to play a calm pass out of danger.
Just Neuer being Neuer:
After Reus’s goal in the 62nd minute, there was really no way back for Belarus and it quite frankly should’ve been more than 2 from Germany. Next up for Die Mannschaft is Estonia in Mainz.
France lose shocker to Turkey 2-0
Pavard, Coman were in the France squad that traveled to Turkey, but it was a rough day at the office for the defending World Champions. Pavard started at right back and Coman came on as a substitute in the start of the second half to replace Blaise Matuidi. It’s hard to put Pavard at fault for either of Turkey’s two goals, but it just seemed that the raucous support of the Turkish fans in Konya really got the better of Les Bleus and Coman didn’t really have enough of an impact on the match either after coming on. It’s difficult, especially from a Bayern perspective, to really pick out much from this encounter unfortunately.