Bayern Munich versus FC Düren. Yet another football game that epitomizes the ‘Goliath versus David’ phrase within the sports world. Bayern is the richest and the most successful team in Germany and currently the best in the world. FC Düren is an amateur club in the 5th division located in a town with a population of 90,000.
A win against Bayern tonight and Düren would have become the first-ever 5th division side to win against the Bavarians. Alas, history wanted otherwise and Bayern was able to brush aside the small club with ease.
A noble effort from the 5th division side
Firstly, I just want to acknowledge the great performance from FC Düren. Head of the Club Wolfgang Spelthah said before the game that he wanted his team to perform better than Schalke and Barcelona, and they technically did. The team from North Rhine-Westphalia played energetically the whole game and was not afraid to press when Bayern was in possession. Even though they were down 2-0 for most of the game, Düren retained their great positive attitude.
For most of these players, playing Bayern Munich is a childhood dream, something you could almost feel while watching the game. Not only did they manage to keep the goal tally down, but they also had a few chances in the first half. All of the players should be extremely proud of their performance against Die Rekordmeister.
An out-of-sync, yet dominant, Bayern Munich
Bayern’s starting XI included four debutants, excluding Douglas Costa who also made his first game for Die Roten since his return to Munich. All five substitutes were also either from Bayern II or U-19. It comes as no surprise that the overall synching of the team was not great in the first half nor incredibly impressive throughout the whole game.
With the Bielefeld game on Saturday, it is no surprise that some players, such as Thomas Muller, looked rather disinterested.
It was a hard game to analyze because of these reasons. Bayern was never going to lose this game and all though Düren put up a noble resistance, it never looked like there was going to be a ‘Cinderella Story’ at the Allianz Arena. Bayern’s first half performance was shaky but the young team did control the game in the second by putting more pressure on the Düren back-four while also passing through Düren’s press.
Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng the key for an inexperienced Bayern
I think the main reason why Bayern was able to control the game against Düren was because of the experience of Javi Martinez and Jerome Boateng. Starting off as a center-mid, Martinez was dropped back to the center-back position after Niklas Sule was substituted during half-time.
He and Boateng were the reason why Düren could never get any attacking momentum in the second half. The score was 2-0 for most of the game, so I am sure that most of the Düren players still believed that there may be a tiny chance to get back into the game by scoring a goal on a counter or a set-piece. The pair stopped any runs made towards goal by intercepting passes and was also able to control the game by passing through Düren’s press which showed signs of fatigue in the last 30 minutes.
In a game where most of Bayern’s team was either inexperienced or making their debuts, Boateng and Martinez showed their composure and professionalism.