Considering the starting eleven that Hansi Flick fielded at the Wanda Metropolitano to face Atletico Madrid, a 1-1 draw was a positive result that saw Bayern Munich’s unbeaten streak in the Champions League continue.
Players like Alexander Nübel, Jamal Musiala, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bouna Sarr, and Bright Arrey-Mbi were given the rare opportunity to start against the La Liga giants, thanks largely in part to the fact that Bayern has already clinched the top spot in Group A. Not to mention, there is a huge Bundesliga clash against RB Leipzig this weekend for the Bavarians.
Speaking after the match (FCBayern.com), Flick, Choupo-Moting, and Nübel reflected on what was a hard-earned point for Bayern with a heavily rotated squad against a difficult opponent. Despite going down inside the first half hour thanks to a sublime effort from Joao Felix, Bayern held their own and did create chances. The second half was bolstered by the introduction of Serge Gnabry and Thomas Muller, which ultimately helped Bayern find the equalizer.
“I’m very satisfied with the result. In the second half we tried to turn the game around. With the substitutions of Thomas Müller and Serge Gnabry onto the field we gained even more momentum. For the young players, I am delighted that they have played their first game in a stadium like this. They did their job well. It was a successful evening with many points for us to take,” Flick said of his side’s overall performance.
Prior to the draw against Atletico, Choupo-Moting had only made a total of six appearances for Bayern so far this season, one of which included a 2-goal and assist performance in the DFB-Pokal against FC Düren.
Realizing he was in a makeshift squad; the striker was pleased with the way Bayern continued to fight for the full 90 minutes.
“Atlético needed three points. We made a lot of changes to the team and we embraced the fight,” said Choupo-Moting. “We gave everything, worked hard and deserved the draw because it’s not a given that everything runs smoothly after we’ve made so many changes. We can be satisfied. Atlético are a compact team that are very disciplined. You know that from recent history, especially when they take the lead. So, it feels all the better that we got the equalizer and always believed that we were in it. We were in control right up until the end.”
Ever since joining from Schalke, Nübel has not had many chances with Bayern’s first team, serving as Manuel Neuer’s backup. The Atletico match was only the second start and appearance he’s made, but he shone well for himself in arguably one of the most difficult tests he’s experienced in quite a while. The 24-year-old was jubilated to get a start in the Champions League, but felt that there were areas they could definitely improve upon, even with a heavily rotated team.
“When you get to play in the Champions League, it’s always a good feeling,” Nübel said. “I was really happy and I had a lot of fun. In future, we could drop a little deeper in our five-man midfield press. That way you save yardage and still stay compact. We tried that today and there’s room for improvement. But it’s definitely an option that’s important to have when we have a lot of games.”