Initial reactions and observations:
- It’s clear the 4-2-3-1 suits Bayern’s play better.
Bayern’s upturn in performance last season was in large part due to their switch to a 4-2-3-1 formation. This 4-2-3-1 formation returned with Bayern performing much better as a result. Four goals in forty-five minutes, compared to two goals and one concede in the first half. What will it take for Kovac to revert back to this system?!
- Coutinho played well.
Coutinho performed on his ‘starting’ debut, making good one-two’s, providing movement and linking plays up nicely. A solid performance!
- The Thomas Muller factor is real and beautiful.
While only getting around twenty minutes on the field, he provided the team with a unique attacking impetus and racked up two assists. I can’t wait to see Coutinho and Muller on the field together.
- Kovac makes correct adjustments.
The decision to switch formation and allow Coutinho more freedom paid off. Kovac found a great setup in the second half!
- Kimmich needs to play right back.
Kimmich is a solid DM although his qualities are much better utilized at the RB position. Goretzka and Tolliso are both better options compared to Kimmich in midfield.
- Bayern resilient to fight back
Bayern initially went down against Mainz however showed the fight, hunger and desire to power through to a comfortable victory.
- MIA SAN MIA!
The game ends! Bayern win 6-1!
90’—Added time is at a limited 1 minute
86’—Alphonso Davies looking superb since coming on
81’—Muller makes a great run, passes to Davies, and the Canadian converts!
80’—Micheal Cuisanse comes on for Thiago
78’—Lewandowski scores after after some great work by Thomas Muller!
75’—Yellow for Thiago. Not cynical by any means
74’—A great pass from Davies finds Lewy, who directs his strike wide
74’—Yellow card for Lucas Hernandez
71’—YES! It’s still a 4-2-3-1 with Thomas Muller manning the 10 formation, expect goals...
68’—Coutinho and Perisic come off for Muller and Davies. Muller at am?
64’—Goal from Coman from a Bayern corner! A great finish on his right peg
62’—Lewandowski chips the ball towards the goal after a Coman cross, however the Mainz defender superbly saves his team from conceding with a great clearance!
59’—Bayern much improved since changing formation. The 4231 should definitely be made first choice by Niko Kovac given how he has both Coutinho and Muller in his squad.
55’—Goal! Perisic scores a fabulous header after great work by Coutinho, Coman and Co!
52’—Coman sends in a low cross which the keeper parries out
48’- It looks like a 4231 for Bayern, a breath of fresh air from the lackluster 433 we have grown accustomed to
Second half starts’—Mainz kick off the second half at the Allianz and we should expect the game to become more open as time goes on. Due to the fact the visitors are chasing a goal!
- Bayern had a poor first twenty-five minutes but a good last twenty minutes
Bayern started the game slowly conceding early on. However, the team carried on, grew into the game and reaped the rewards of their hard work
- Phillipe Coutinho is going to be fun this season
The Brazilian was the brightest spot of the Bayern team, displaying his vision and dribbling technique. Let’s hope he can continue to perform at this quality!
- The 4-3-3 is still causing problems
Kovac’s team are continuing to rely on moments of brilliance (e.g Alaba). Bayern will need to find a better system or start to click in the aforementioned one if they are to have any chance of winning another Bundesliga
Halftime—Bayern lead Mainz 2-1 at the break. While the Bavarians haven’t been completely dominant, they’ve found a way past the deep lying opposition defense
47’—Thiago misses a clear cut chance where the goalkeeper was nowhere to be seen.
46’—Alaba scores a beauty of a free-kick into the top corner. The first one he’s scored in what seems years...
45’—YLewandowski fouled after running 10 yards, good free-kick territory for the Pole!
40’—Kimmich takes a shot from around 30 yards which the keeper easily saves
38’—Lucas Hernandez constantly going to ground while display Kovac’s desired “scumbag gened”
36’—Pavard scores a great goal, a volley into the top corner
35’—A Perisic cross followed by confusion in the box almost lends Bayern a goal
34’—Alaba narrowly misses the free kick, the goal-keeper gets a good hand to it
33’—Lewandowski gets fouled right outside the box. Are we about to see another special free-kick?
32’—The Mainz striker takes a shot easily collected by Neuer
30’—Great work from Coutinho and Coman allow Perisic a goal scoring chance...which he misses
27’—Good link up between Coutinho, Lewandowski and Perisic around the penalty area comes to nothing
24’—Due to hot temperatures, both teams embark on a quick water break. An unusual occurrence in Germany!
23’—Coman whips in a decent cross. However, no Bayern attackers are able to get on the end of it
20—Kimmich picks up a yellow card for a very late challenge to stop a counter-attack
18’—A long free kick from Mainz almost reaches it’s target before Manuel Neuer calmly takes the ball into his hands
15’—Bayern have two corners yet fail to make chances from them
13’—Many “off” passes from Bayern so far, mis-controls and over hit passes slowing the rhythm of the match down
10’—Bayern haven’t had any real chances yet. However, wingers and midfielders have won a couple of free kicks
8’—It looks like a 4-3-3 formation for Niko Kovac’s men. Thiago is playing as a 8 along with Coutinho
6’—Goal, Mainz score header!
4’—Coutinho passes to Lewandowski who take a shot that narrowly misses
2’—It looks like Joshua Kimmich is playing in the number six role today
Kickoff: The Bavarians are underway! Let’s hope for a good game! Auf gehts Bayern schieß ein Tor!!! It’s Bayern time!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Coutinho and Perisic get their first starts.
In the grand scheme of things, Bayern Munich vs Mainz isn’t exactly a marquee matchup in the Bundesliga calendar. However, with the way things are going this season, games like this could determine the title.
Niko Kovac is finally expected to start Philippe Coutinho for the first time, so maybe someone other than Robert Lewandowski will score a goal. As for the rest of the squad — everyone is available, except Jann-Fiete Arp, who is somehow still sick. Leon Goretzka has reportedly recovered from his thigh injury — his return will give the Bavarians a huge boost in midfield.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 4:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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