Bayern Munich stumbled at the very start of the Bundesliga season after an unlucky draw against Hertha Berlin. It was a generally good match that the spectators could enjoy, despite the disappointing result. Here are our observations!
The new signing Benjamin Pavard looks sharp! I like the tandem made of Niklas Süle and Pavard. They managed to complete each other throughout the game. Süle is a very strong physical presence, and Pavard seems to have a very good sense for positioning and timing, and is very quick to boot. Today both of them showed good performances, although they were shaky defending a few times — for example when Pavard received a yellow card. The defense also seemed too relaxed from time to time, which Hertha could have punished. But the two goals that Bayern conceded were not the fault of the defense, but rather very unlucky.
Bayern struggled today to find the back of the net. Even though they managed to put two past Rune Jarstein, something was missing from Bayern’s attack. Hertha, for its part, defended marvelously and can be very proud of themselves today. But what I found frustrating throughout the match is that Bayern was not very inspired on offense. The attack lacked versatility. Crosses were wasted and one-on-one dribbling by Kingsley Coman just didn’t work out on the left flank. But this is something that Bayern always struggles with — how to break down a well-organised defense. The team relied more on individual effort than on team play. I wonder whether Bayern might have scored a second goal if the ref did not give us a penalty after consulting VAR.
Niko Kovač is still making weird substitutions
In the last 10 minutes, the Croat made two weird substitutions. First, he subbed Thomas Müller for Renato Sanches. That substitution just doesn’t make sense when trying to score another goal. It would have made much more sense to sub Corentin Tolisso, who was already very tired by 70th minute. Although Müller wasn’t at his best today, he could have potentially helped more with a fresh Sanches behind him. The second substitution that raised eyebrows was Serge Gnabry for Davies. Gnabry was easily one of the better performers today. Kingsley Coman obviously struggled today and it would have made more sense to sub him, especially since Davies already plays predominantly on the left.
This and the previous observation are kinda connected — Bayern are lacking attacking width. Maybe Perišić and Coutinho can help solve these issues.
The mind is still in preseason
Even though the season already started with Supercup, it seems that the Bayern players still have not really come back from their vacations. Today was a bit frustrating to watch, because it was obvious that some players were not fully present today. Passes were often misplaced and it really damaged our playing. Midfield and defense were often exposed to counter attacks because of these things. This team needs to get it together.