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Union Berlin 1-1 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

The second time Bayern face Union in 2020 and it’s in front of an empty stadium. What a shame.

VfB Stuttgart v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Initial Reactions and Observations

  • Boy, those are some tired legs out there. This Bayern Munich squad will be thrilled next weekend when the referee blows the whistle at the end of the match against Bayer Leverkusen. For the entirety of the 2020/21 season to date, Bayern have been playing two games a week, every week. Getting to the winter break has never been more important.
  • With that said, there’s absolutely nothing to take away from Union Berlin in this one. You could even make the argument that with better finishing, they win this one easily. They’re continuing to prove every week why their toward the top of the table and should solidly be in contention for a European place when the season comes to an end.
  • I would never claim to be a perfect judge of exactly what’s happening on the field in any given match, but boy did Bayern miss Thomas Muller in this one or what? Wait. He was on the field? For 90 minutes? Like... THE Thomas Muller? This is the kind of game where you expect Muller to pop up and poke home some terrible pass, but he was nowhere close in this one. He joined a long list of Bayern players who were poor in this one..
  • All you can now is “on to the next one”. Bayern remain in first place on the day; however, they could slip into second if Bayer Leverkusen beat Hoffenheim tomorrow. There are two matches remaining before the break, against Wolfsburg and Leverkusen. They won’t be easy. Let’s get to it.

Fulltime: Bayern Munich and Union Berlin will split the points after a 1-1 draw.

90’- Sane is INCHES from the winner. His header forced Luthe into an absolutely unbelievable save! So close!

88’- Choupo-Moting comes on for Gnabry.

87’- Nothing really going for either team right now. Tired legs. A bunch of long balls.

80’- Bayern are pushing for a winner with 10 minutes left in this one.

76’- Corentin Tolisso comes on for Leon Goretzka.

72’- Union made two more subs bringing on Keita Endo and Julian Ryerson for Marius Bulter and Sebastian Griesbeck.

67’- TOR ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI! Coman breaks free in the box and finds Lewandowski who pokes it home to get Bayern right back in the game!

63’- Flick makes his first change bringing on Sane for Musiala.

55’- Union almost get their second, but nobody get on the end of the cross.

52’- Bayern have been controlling this half to start, but play has paused after a big clash of heads between Lewandowski and Friedrich. Hope both are okay.

46’- The second half has kicked off.

Halftime observations and analysis

  • The hot start from Union completely caught Bayern off guard. The fact that the Bavarians only went down 1-0 is down to a lot of luck. Defensively, the high line is still causing Bayern to get caught out too often, and right now, tired legs aren’t helping them catch up.
  • Offensively, it’s quite simple: The connections aren’t there in the attacking half right now. Despite the fact that the midfield is missing it’s General (get well soon, Joshua), the attacking front four must do better than what they did in that first half.
  • Did you know that Thomas Muller played in that first half?
  • Look, coming into these final three games, we knew they were going to be tough for Bayern. Union Berlin, Wolfsburg, and Leverkusen are playing very well this season, and they weren’t going to shy away from a tired Bayern team.

Halftime: Union lead Bayern 1-0 at the break.

45+1’- Lewandowski’s free kick hits the wall, and Boateng’s follow-up shot is blocked.

45’- Musiala is fouled on top of the box...

43’- A SHOT ON TARGET! Bayern register their first shot on target in the 43rd minute thanks to Gnabry.

36’- Cedric Teuchert replaces Marcus Ingvartsen due to injury for Union.

33’- Alaba gets his left foot behind a shot after some Bayern possession, but it goes wide of the target.

28’- Lewandowski finds an inch of space at the top of the box, and his shot is deflected out for a corner. It comes to nothing.

24’- Lewandowski goes down in the box after a push in the back, but the referee deems it not enough for a penalty.

22’- Awoniyi completely misses the net on another great chance. Terrible miss.

20’- The Bavarians have ratcheted up the pressure over the last ten minutes and haven’t really allowed Union much of anything. Still, Bayern have yet to really generate any quality chances. Not good enough right now.

10’- The announcers just pointed out that Alphonso Davies has just broken the Bundesliga speed record that was set last week by Kingsley Coman lol.

8’- Gah! A perfect pass from Lewandowski put Gnabry one-on-one against the goalkeeper, but Gnabry’s second touch is TERRIBLE and he knocked the ball out of bounds for a goal kick.

4’- Tor! Union jump out to the early 1-0 lead against Bayern when Promel heads in a corner kick. Disastrous start for the Bavarians in Berlin.

3’- Double yikes. Another attack from Union, but the cross goes right past two attackers.

1’- YIKES! Manuel Neuer is called into action early on to make a big one-on-one save against Awoniyi! Get it together, boys.

Kickoff: We’re underway!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Hansi is holding nothing back, we have Phonzie and Musiala starting!

It’s MATCHDAY! Bayern Munich travel to the capital to face 1. FC Union Berlin, who are making waves in the Bundesliga for the second season in a row following their promotion. The Berliners play hard and fast, and they’ve already beaten some good clubs on their way to 6th spot in the league — just 3 points behind Borussia Dortmund. Don’t let their plucky underdog status fool you, these guys are tough to beat.

So it makes sense that Hansi Flick will come into this game with everything he’s got. Robert Lewandowski, Kingsley Coman, and David Alaba were all rested against Lokomotiv Moscow in midweek, and Thomas Muller was subbed off early to preserve his legs for today’s game. Alphonso Davies is finally fit and ready to play, and so is Lucas Hernandez, leaving the coach with a conundrum as to who will play at left-back. While Joshua Kimmich is still yet to return from injury, Marc Roca has been stepping up brilliantly and may be ready for his first Bundesliga start. The question will be whether Bayern’s leaky defense can keep the free-scoring Berliners at bay.

It’s Bayern time.

Match Info

Location: Stadion An der Alten Försterei, Berlin, Germany

Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST

TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country

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