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RB Salzburg 2-6 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

Bayern Munich looked vulnerable — and then crushed Salzburg. The 6-2 scoreline is flattering.

RB Salzburg v FC Bayern Muenchen: Group A - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Initial reactions and observations

  • What a game. Salrzburg came to play, and they nearly sucker-punched Bayern Munich on the day. Jesse Marsch is some coach. The scoreline is unfair to them, it was an even contest until the 80th minute.
  • Joshua Kimmich is sublime. He may well be the best midfielder in the world right now. This man can do anything.
  • Thomas Muller was the pick of the attackers, winning a penalty and assisting the own goal. Robert Lewandowski was comparatively quiet, although he does come out of this with a brace.
  • Bayern’s depth shone on the night, with Leroy Sane and Buona Sarr completely changing the game.
  • With Dortmund up next, Hansi Flick needs to solve the team’s defense. If Leon Goretzka doesn’t return by then, we might see a return to the dreaded 4-3-3 for more control.

Final score: Bayern 6, RB Salzburg 2. The referee ends Salzburg’s misery.

90 + 2 — GOAL for Bayern! The beating isn’t over yet: Douglas Costa sends a cross in on the left, but it is blocked back out to Lucas Hernandez. Hernandez squres it up and blasts it into the net. Game over.

90’ — Double substitution for Bayern: Musiala comes on for Müller and Costa for Gnabry. Two minutes of extra time to play.

88’ — GOAL for Bayern! Salzburg has completely fallen apart: Javi Martinez delivers a nicely lobbed pass across RB’s penalty area right to Lewandowski, who heads it in for a brace.

85’ — Yellow card for Mwepu, who accidentally hits Hernandez in the face.

83’ — GOAL for Bayern! And what a goal! Kimmich intercepts a careless ball and drives forward before passing on to Sané ahead of him. Sané drives into the box, does a Cruyff to win space as he cuts left, and then he delivers a shot worth of Arjen Robben curling into the top left corner.

81’ — Bayern comes knocking again. Sané finds Müller in the box, but his shot is too easy for Stankovic to stop.

79’ — GOAL for Bayern! Kimmich delivers a great corner and Boateng connects at the far post, heading the ball perfectly into the top right corner. Up to this point, Boa has been the MotM, if you ask me.

78’ — Kristensen crashes into Thomas Müller outside the penalty area, giving Bayern another dangerous free kick. Lewandowski’s shot is deflected wide for a corner.

76’ — Substitution for Salzburg: Ongéné replaces Berisha.

74’ — Triple substitution for Bayern: Sarr replaces Pavard, Leroy Sané replaces Coman, and Javi Martinez replaces Tolisso.

73’ — Salzburg with yet another opportunity. A through-ball finds Okafor, but he manages only a weak shot past Boateng.

71’ — Bouna Sarr is suited up and preparing to come on — presumably for Pavard.

68’ — Serge Gnabry receives a yellow card — quite rightly — for diving in Salzburg’s penalty area. Come on, Serge. You’re better than that.

66’ — GOAL for Salzburg! Ramalho dispossesses Lewandowski and plays a perfect through-ball to Okugawa, who gets past Boateng and scores to make it 2-2!

65’ — Double substitution for Salzburg: Okafor on for Koita and Okugawa for Junuzovic.

64’ — Coman beats Kristensen and fires a bullet at Stankovic, but the ball glances off the crossbar over his head.

62’ — What a save by Stankovic! Tolisso shows great skill in controlling a pass and driving it forward into a fast 3 vs 1 attack. He passes onside to Gnabry, but Stankovic puts his palm out to deflect the shot out of bounds.

61’ — Kimmich makes a bad back-pass directly to Szobolszai, but Boateng nullifies Salzburg’s brief advantage with a two-footed tackle.

59’ — Lewandowski lays off the ball for Kimmich, who takes a long-range shot just wide of the post. Play then stops as Camara receives treatment. He appears to have injured himself on an attempted tackle on Coman.

57’ — Gnabry launches a rocket at the keeper, drawing a two-fisted parry. What could have been!

55’ — Lewandowski receives the ball on the right wing. He tries to find Gnabry, but instead ends up dribbling the ball forward and across the goal line to his own frustration.

53’ — Lucas Hernandez makes a driving run right up the middle of the pitch and into the box before he is stopped. The ball bounces back to Tolisso, but Camara fouls him just outside the box before he can shoot. Bayern has a free kick right outside the box now — Lewandowski’s shot is blocked by the wall.

49’ — Another misstep by Pavard kills a promising chance after Coman passes to Gnabry to start a break. Pavard can’t get by his man in the box and concedes a goal kick.

46’ — Halftime isn’t a minute old before Salzburg launches an attack. Ulmer finds Mwepu out right and onside and he challenges Neuer in the box from the right. Neuer directs the ball off target and over the goal line with his fingertips.

Halftime observations

  • Salzburg came out of the gate aggressively and was rewarded with an early opening goal, but defensive errors under pressure have cost them.
  • Bayern’s midfield has struggled to move the ball forward. Tolisso has been more involved up front than Kimmich, who has hung back close to the center-backs. Most of the action has come from the wings — Gnabry on the right and Coman on the left.
  • Thomas Müller has been exceptionally annoying to Salzburg: he won a penalty with an effort to escape pressure with a Maradona — only to be fouled as he came out of the twist. And then he forced the own-goal that put Bayern ahead just before halftime.
  • Benjamin Pavard is having a bad day. He saw an early yellow card and has struggled one on one, as well, against Salzburg’s fast attackers.

45 + 2 — Serge Gnabry shoots wide of the far post, and that is the last action of the first half.

44’ — OWN-GOAL for Bayern! Lewandowski releases Müller into the penalty area with a clever flick. Müller drives up to the near post and hits a cross intended for Corentin Tolisso, who has made a run into the center of the goal. He is denied the chance to score, though, because Salzburg’s Kristensen heads it in past his own keeper in an attempt to clear the ball.

40’ — Tolisso fouls Berisha, putting a stop to a fast break.

37’ — Bayern counter as Coman dashes up the left and finds Lewandowski at the penalty arc: his shot goes over the bar, however.

36’ — Koita breaks away from Hernandez up Bayern’s left side. He drives all the way to the touchline, but his cross is cleared out. Corner for RB.

34’ — Double ouch: Lewandowski chests a pass from Gnabry up into the air, then taps it up with his foot, turns and strikes a volley — unfortunately right into the leg of the defender next to him!

28’ — Bayern wins a free kick outside of Salzburg’s penalty area. Kimmich lobs the ball forward to Lewandowski, but a defender heads it away and outside the goal.

25’ — Salzburg makes some noise in the box, as Koita maneuvers into scoring position, but Boateng pokes away the ball before a shot can be taken. Salzburg’s next corner fizzles.

23’ — Yellow card: Benjamin Pavard. Pavard sees yellow after tangling with Szoboszlai. His free kick sails over the goal, but RB gets a corner.

21’ — Penalty for Bayern (for real)! Thomas Müller receives the ball on the left side of the penalty area as he overlaps with Coman. He attempts a Maradona, but is fouled in the process. This time it is an undeniable penalty. Robert Lewandowski effortlessly converts it.

19’ — Ouch! Junuzovic takes a pass from Lewandowski right to the side of his face. He’s rattled and leaves the pitch temporarily.

17’ — Wow: Manuel Neuer makes a lightning fast save to deny Salzburg a goal, as Junuzovic delivers a very strong header off a corner kick.

16’ — Offside! Kimmich picks out Gnabry with a beautiful long pass, but Gnabry was indeed a foot offside when Kimmich played the ball. Back it goes to Salzburg, and Boateng disrupts an attack by Koita, conceding a corner.

14’ — Salzburg immediately go on the attack, leading to an easy save against a shot by Junuzovic.

13’ — VAR! Just before Lewandowski shoots, however, he goes to consult VAR. He returns to the pitch and signals play on! No penalty after all.

12’ — Penalty for Bayern! Szobolszai fouls a charging Lucas Hernandez inside the box. The referee immediately calls for a penalty.

11’ — Close call! Müller wins the ball just outside Salzburg’s penalty area. He finds Gnabry ahead to his left. Gnabry cuts in and shakes his defender, but his shot it saved by Romahlo.

8’ — A long ball finds Robert Lewandowski, who shoots just over the bar. The offside flag comes up late.

7’ — Salzburg wins a free kick outside of the box. Szobolszai blasts it over the goal.

4’ — GOAL for Salzburg! Salzburg’s aggressive play pays off as Berisha retains and brings forward a ball to Koita in Bayern’s penalty area. Koita’s shot is blocked but falls to Berisha’s feet. He fires past Neuer into the net from Bayern’s right flank. 1-0 Salzburg!

3’ — It has been all Salzburg in the opening minutes. The Austrians are pressing aggressively and disrupting Bayern’s play.

Kickoff: We're underway!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! It’s basically as we expected.

As the specter of David Alaba’s contract negotiation looms over Bayern Munich, the team travel to Salzburg for the Champions League. With Niklas Sule out after catching covid, Hansi Flick once again has to opt for a less-than-ideal setup against a tough opponent. Making things worse is the injury to Leon Goretzka, who is set to miss the game due to calf issues. No one ever said managing Bayern is easy.

At the very least, the coach can count on goals from Robert Lewandowski, who will be fresh and raring to go after his rest on Saturday against Koln. The Polish hitman will be supported up-top by a world class attacking complement consisting of Thomas Muller and two of Bayern’s many wingers. With Bayern’s key defender missing, and RB Salzburg known for scoring goals, they will be crucial to outscoring the Austrians and keeping the team’s spot atop Group A intact.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Red Bull Arena, Salzburg, Austria

Time: 9:00 pm local time, 3:00 pm EST

TV/streaming: CBS All Access, Find Your Country

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