Werder Bremen gave Bayern Munich all it could handle as the teams battled to a 1-1 draw. Hansi Flick might have gambled too much with this rotation and Werder Bremen’s strategy to keep as many of their internationals home for the break as possible seemed to have paid dividends. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Werder Bremen was extremely tough early on. They sat back and wait for quick-strike counterattack chances, which presented Bayern Munich with a lot of problems.
- The attacking duo of Josh Sargent and Milot Rashica was a problem...a big problem. Bayern Munich had a lot of trouble containing them on the counterattack and Max Eggestein was there to take advantage of the space that the threat of those players created.
- Eggestein was also terrific overall in the midfield for Werder Bremen.
- For USMNT fans, this was a huge step for Sargent against world class competition and the youngster thrived. Sargent displayed great timing on his runs, fantastic vision, and a real aggression to go toward goal. It was just an overall tremendous effort by the 20-year-old. With a little better placement on his chances, he could have walked away with a brace.
- Former Bayern Munich prospect Marco Friedl was really, really good as well in helpong solidify Die Werderaner’s defense.
- For the first time this season, Jamal Musiala looked like a 17-year-old. It was not that he was awful by any means, but he showed why his game still has ample room for growth. Before anyone thinks I’m burying the kid...he’s a phenomenal talent. This game showed that he is not accustomed to playing against a compact, physical, and aggressive defense. With a few bad touches and couple of bad decisions in trying to turn when there was no space, we got to see where Musiala can improve. This was a learning moment for the youngster and he will assuredly grow and get better from it.
- It was not just Musiala, though. A change in formation and the integration of Douglas Costa into the line-up left Bayern Munich looking out of sync. The entire squad had trouble in dealing with Florian Kohfeldt’s game plan early in the contest. Costa still has fantastic skill and individual talent, but is delayed with his decisions and sometimes plays with blinders on. Those types of things are the reason he is the fourth winger in Bavaria instead of starting elsewhere. His spinning, dipping shot, though, could come in useful at some point this season.
- Speaking of Kohfeldt...what a brilliant game plan and coaching job. I know 2019/2020 was not kind to him or Werder Bremen in general, but he is a bright, young coach and some could argue that he out-Flicked the master yesterday.
- Lucas Hernandez leaving the game early was yet another injury for the Bavarians. We’ll see what the prognosis is once Bayern Munich provides a release.
- Manuel Neuer’s two saves in succession early in the game were enormous. The first stop on Sargent was fantastic. That easily could’ve been a goal. Neuer also made a huge stop on Sargent late in the game. It was truly a game-saving effort for Neuer against Die Werderaner.
- Let’s be honest...both Germany and Bayern Munich left the world’s best goalkeeper hung out to dry more this week than ever before...and Neuer (largely) was up to the task in preventing both games from being even worse.
- Kingsley Coman’s header finish was fantastic but it was also a phenomenal feed from Leon Goretzka, who continues to be under appreciated outside of Bayern Munich fans.
- Goretzka was great defensively throughout his appearance, but was not on the ball anywhere near as much as he should have been as the game went on. Was that by design or was he fatigued from having to be so focused on limiting Sargent and Rashica breaking through? He was excellent in pretty much every facet, but he was so good while he was on the ball (assist, 94% pass accuracy rate, key pass), I wanted to see more of him commanding play from midfield. Regardless, he was arguably Bayern Munich’s best field player on the day.
- Despite not scoring, Robert Lewandowski was great and Thomas Muller was constantly looking to create offense. That duo, though, had little support.
- Flick’s trio of subs came at a perfect time, but ultimately failed to produce to anything. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting went full “Choup-OH!” in missing that would be game-winning sitter.
- Overall for Bayern Munich, there was just a lack of cohesion. Whether that was because of a formation chance, the influx of injuries, a lengthy international break, or all of the above, the Bavarians just never looked completely in sync. One player to keep an eye on is Leroy Sane. He has been fantastic in individual moments, but has not been great when the team is constant cycling and trying to work through a compact defense. Is he still trying to get on the same page as his teammates? Is his style ill-fitting at this point with Bayern Munich’s other stars? It’s too early to panic, but it is certainly something to watch moving forward.
- If you missed our Match Awards or Observations, give them a look:
So what exactly were Joshua Kimmich and Niklas Süle doing during the game yesterday?
Well, BFW was able to dig deep into our sources and we managed to get a quick screen grab of Süle’s phone:
Swap deals for Inter Milan’s Christian Eriksen are ALL THE RAGE. Let’s walk through the possibilities we’ve seen so far:
- Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng (before Bayern Munich decided to let him walk after this season or are they?)
- Paris Saint-Germain’s Leandro Paredes
- Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka
- Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso...at least per reports out of Italy:
Inter are looking to exchange Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen with a strong defensive midfielder, according to a report from today’s paper edition of the Turin based newspaper Tuttosport. The report details how coach Antonio Conte has already highlighted how the team have a gap in the defensive midfielder role, with only Italian Roberto Gagliardini filling the role. Considering the 28-year-old Danish midfielder’s failure to impress since his arrival in January from Tottenham, as well as his incredibly high wages, the Nerazzurri are prepared to send him away in the upcoming January transfer window, looking for a defensive midfielder in return.
Intermediaries are currently at work to find a solution, with many options being proposed. The options now are Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka, Paris Saint-Germain’s Leandro Paredes and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso. The Nerazzurri are not looking to send Eriksen away on loan and instead want a permanent solution, ready to give up on the former Spurs man.
I wouldn’t say Tolisso is a defensive midfielder (maybe he could transition more to that type of role) as we’ve seen him mostly play as a box-to-box type of player, so Conte might not get what he wants with this particular swap deal.
For the record, the bigger travesty was Alphonso Davies not finishing in second place. I think Haaland is a generational talent and deserved the award, but I’m just some dope.
If this game was being commentated on by Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, they would have inevitably said, “Lukáš Hrádecký would love to have that one back.”
One of the worst own goals you'll ever see pic.twitter.com/fJN3HOQgOs— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 21, 2020
Can we also talk about Joelle Wedemeyer's stunning goal for Wolfsburg earlier tonight which gave them the lead against Eintracht Frankfurt?— Jasmina Schweimler (@JasSchweimler) November 20, 2020
In an endorsement more akin to how my in-laws probably feel, club presidential candidate Victor Font thinks FC Barcelona should have never signed Antoine Griezmann:
Interviewed by Cadena COPE, Barcelona FC presidential candidate Victor Font unveiled his club-government plans: “I think Xavi is the proper person for us to start anew. I want Messi to listen to us, and grasp our plans for good. We want him to stay with us, and Xavi is the right man to persuade him to. Leo is someone who can’t be replaced. Griezmann? He’s an outstanding player, but we shouldn’t have signed him, since he covers Messi’s exact spot, making the same movements.”
Hertha Berlin...no weed is acceptable in your stands (unless of course you were in the 700 level of The Vet or Wrigley Field’s bleachers...then you probably were exposed to a lot of weed):