After Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring in just the 3rd minute, it looked as if Bayern Munich was on course to claim a convincing 3 points away at RB Leipzig. They were the better side for large portions of the first half, and Emil Forsberg’s penalty just before the halftime whistle came against the run of play after Lucas Hernandez’s poorly timed challenge on Yussuf Poulsen in the box.
Julian Nagelsmann made significant halftime adjustments and Leipzig looked much more dangerous in the second half, but some of the Bayern players were still frustrated after the match to have picked up only a point at the Red Bull Arena. Overall, they felt they were still the better side and were disappointed that they collectively failed to respond to the adjustments by Nagelsmann.
Thomas Müller, who assisted Lewandowski’s goal with a sensational through ball, was particularly frustrated to concede a goal right before the half, referring to the penalty as a “gift” (AZ):
After the first half, it should never have been 1:1 at halftime. We were so dominant, the opponent had almost no scoring chances. We have to blame ourselves for gifting Leipzig the 1:1. With a bow on top.
Captain Manuel Neuer, who was arguably Bayern’s best performer in light of the important saves he made, also expressed his disappointment with the draw and said that Bayern failed to react appropriately to Nagelsmann’s tactical changes:
I’m disappointed; I have to say that quite clearly. It’s well-known that often makes tactical changes. In that case, we also have to react to them and play more courageously.
Despite only collecting a point against Leipzig, Neuer looked ahead to the Champions League starting back up this week and said that Bayern can take away the positives from the Leipzig match and build upon them ahead of Red Star Belgrade’s visit to the Allianz Arena:
Leipzig is also playing in the Champions League. That’s the level that we can expect on Wednesday. We have ten points from four games in the league. This stability is important for the Bundesliga and also gives us confidence for the Champions League.
Manager Niko Kovac viewed the first half against Leipzig as one of the best he’s seen his team play since he came to Bayern, but he was ultimately frustrated to have conceded and only come away with a draw:
For me personally, we played the best game in the first half since I have been here. Then we had problems; it became a slugfest. All in all, I am not satisfied with just one point.
As was often the case last season, especially after Bayern’s difficult spell from mid-late fall, questions are again being asked about Kovac. After the Leipzig match, Müller was pressed with a question about Kovac’s status, and the Raumdeuter simply replied, “Please, don’t start a fire.” Presumably along with most of his teammates, Müller has no interest in entertaining questions about Kovac’s status with the club.