After beating Atletico Madrid, 4-0, comfortably in midweek, Bayern ran out 5-0 winners against Eintracht Frankfurt, a team previously unbeaten in the league, due to a perfect hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski, a screamer from Leroy Sane and a last minute strike from Jamal Musiala.
Here are some observations:
Bayern’s varying strategies confused Frankfurt
Getting into a midfield dogfight over 90 minutes against Frankfurt is never a good idea; Frankfurt is a physical side and can out-muscle oppositions. Bayern used long-balls from Manuel Neuer effectively to bypass the Frankfurt midfield today at times and found success; the opener resulted from such a long ball and there were other instances when Frankfurt was caught out by this strategy as well. Douglas Costa and Kingsley Coman exchanged flanks too, another move which confused Frankfurt. Speaking of Costa....
Douglas Costa’s movement today showed why Bayern signed him
Costa is a highly skilled and very talented player; there is very little doubt about that. There were flashes of brilliance in his first stint at Bayern as well. Today, he was at the top of his game; his passing was incisive and his interplay with Robert Lewandowski resulted in a fantastic third goal. Costa has not looked out of place since his return; it as is if he never left.
Eintracht Frankfurt did not set up properly for this match
While Bayern scored five past Frankfurt earlier this year as well, Frankfurt looked completely out of their depth today. They had some harmless shots at goal and Bayern never looked like conceding until the score was 4-0. Even then, Manuel Neuer made a goal-line clearance to deny Bas Dost a goal.
Perhaps the Eagles missed David Abraham, as they left open spaces in the final third again and again. Despite the excellence of Bayern’s offensive movement, Frankfurt’s back-line seemed clueless and did not track important runs again and again. Furthermore, a team with Frankfurt’s physicality and height should not be conceding directly from a corner. Bas Dost was a passenger for much of the game and Daichi Kamada did not have any influence. The performance was disjointed overall; when your best player is your goalkeeper (Kevin Trapp prevented a Schalke-like score-line in this game), you know you had a bad day.
So, there you have it. I thought this would be a tough game; credit to Bayern for making a tough fixture seem as easy as one against a relegation-threatened side as well as for dealing with a first minute substitution so well. Bayern next travels to Russia to play Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday.