Die Folgen: Bayern’s 1-1 draw with Union Berlin (Bavarian Football Works)
Bayern Munich scuffled to a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin in what was a very entertaining match-up between two of the Bundesliga offensive squads. A second consecutive draw in the Bundesliga is surely not what Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick ordered, but it is way too early to panic. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- So...when is Joshua Kimmich coming back? It is becoming more evident that the Bavarians need Kimmich back in the lineup. The 25-year-old star brings an adroit balance of defensive presence, ball distribution, and knowing when to jump into the attack. That multi-faceted weapon is absolutely missing. Leon Goretzka has been good in dealing without his normal double-pivot partner, but with Javi Martinez out, Corentin Tolisso injured (and frankly not completely in form), and Marc Roca unable to convince Flick he deserves more playing time, the starting XI is often unbalanced and too forward thinking. Which leads me to...
- Jamal Musiala. The youngster continues to impress with his smooth play. Musiala’s exquisite first-touch and silky turns are beyond his years. He’s playing out of position and still turning in solid performances. It’s becoming more and more clear that Bayern Munich has a gem in the (current) English international. While Musiala did nothing to warrant criticism in the match, his offensively-charged style does help create a bit too much of gap defensively in the midfield. The good thing is that Musiala has plenty of time to expand his horizons to include getting more experience playing as an “8” as opposed to a “10” or on the wing.
- Union Berlin was there to play and did not appear to be intimidated at all. I didn’t feel like they overtly parked the bus. Eisern Union challenged Bayern Munich, and never stopped trying to attack.
- If Union Berlin could have finished better, they might have had five or six goals to be honest. Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer went a long way in preventing that from happening and was really, really good in the contest. Neuer could not have done anything against the goal that was scored, but his anticipation and vision cut short a few more potential opportunities. Neuer also had another behind-the-back pass that was oh so sweet.
- Bayern Munich was poor in the final-third once more. There were some good looks and creativity but execution was extremely poor. Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry each coughed good opportunities with poor touches in the first half. Gnabry inconsistent play is starting to get a bit worrisome.
- Kingsley Coman’s relentless effort and deft pass perfectly set up Lewandowski’s goal. Coman continues to shine and push aside some of the criticism that many had regarding his game over the past few years. I’m not sure there is a better wing in the Bundesliga right now.
- Unfortunately, it was another disorganized and somewhat sloppy game on the back-line. Alphonso Davies probably wasn’t ready for another start just yet and showed some rustiness in his game. There also still appeared to be positioning and communication issues among Davies, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, and Benjamin Pavard. In my opinion, Pavard was the best of a bad bunch on this day.
- When he was subbed off, Bayern Munich was clueless without Goretzka on the pitch. Tolisso looked out of sorts and it made for an ill-fitting lineup that has trouble finding a way to get forward consistently.
- The last 15 minutes of the game were largely uninspired for Bayern Munich, until...
- The 90th minute save by Andreas Luthe. Luthe batted away a header from Leroy Sane and it was a game-saver for Eisern Union. Sane was otherwise, not all that impactful despite bringing some energy to the pitch when he subbed on.
- It was an eerily silent game from Thomas Müller. Whatever Union Berlin did to effectively take Müller out of the match work.
- Gnabry also seems to be one in of his funks as well. Hopefully Sane or Gnabry can round into form quickly to accompany that wide-spot in the lineup opposite of Coman.
- Should Bayer Leverkusen defeat Hoffenheim today, Die Werkself will be in sole possession of first place in the Bundesliga.
If you missed our Match Awards, Observations, or Postgame Podcast, give them a look or a listen:
Alaba-to-Madrid gaining steam (Transfer Market Web)
David Alaba is apparently “coming to terms” with Real Madrid. This is sooooo Schmankerly:
According to latest news coming from Spanish media, Real Madrid are coming to terms with Austrian international left-back David Alaba (28) on a winter move of his, from Bayern Munich. CL defending champions young veteran is meanwhile still tracked by Juventus, Chelsea, and PSG.
Eriksen linked to Bayern once more (Football Italia)
And you thought you were done with Inter Milan’s would-be castoff, Christian Eriksen?
Football Italia captured another report linking an Eriksen-for-Corentin Tolisso swap, but there is also apparently a cash option to purchase Eriksen straight.
Christian Eriksen will leave Inter in January, and the options for a potential exchange are reportedly with PSG, Bayern Munich or Arsenal. According to Tuttosport newspaper, there is absolutely no chance the Dane will stay at Inter beyond January.
There are several options, from a sale for at least €30m to a loan deal or even an enticing exchange with another club. The alternatives listed by the newspaper would see PSG potentially use Leandro Paredes for a swap, while Bayern Munich look to trade Eriksen with Corentin Tolisso. A return to London could even be on the cards for former Tottenham midfielder Eriksen, who is linked with an exchange for Granit Xhaka.
Again, I can’t see Eriksen suiting up at the Allianz Arena wearing Bayern Munich red anytime soon (probably ever), but this has become one of the longest-running and consistent transfer rumors regarding a player that we’ve seen.
So, let’s just bask in its absurdity!
Bayern scoping Kamara? (Sport Witness)
Olympique Marseille defensive-midfielder Boubacar Kamara is reportedly on the radar of Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and FC Barcelona:
Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara has ended up in the sights of Manchester City, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, according to Mundo Deportivo. This report has been covered by journalist Miguel Rico and he states the La Liga side’s new board will find the 21-year-old’s name ‘underlined’ in the club’s priority target list. According to Mundo, the player’s valuation is set between €25m and €30m, and they further add ‘there could be an auction’ to secure his services.
At just 21-years-old, Kamara has the capability to play center-back as well, but would seem to be redundant to Marc Roca and/or Tanguy Nianzou in Bayern Munich’s midfield group. Roca, of course, was just brought in for a bargain-basement fee, while Nianzou is also a young player who can float between the defensive-midfield and center-back positions — when healthy.
Zlatan saying more Zlatan things (@ESPNFC)
Many people do not like AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimović, but I think he’s a gem just because of things like this:
Zlatan isn't planning on retiring anytime soon pic.twitter.com/5WKeD8hr0y— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 12, 2020