Have Jerome Boateng and Niklas Süle met each other before?
RB Leipzig exploited the lack of comfortableness that Jerome Boateng and Niklas Süle have when playing together. The two big centerbacks just don’t seem to gel well at the back together, and a lot of that comes down to their lack of communication.
That was never more evident than in Leipzig’s second and third goals when both players were caught looking at the other wondering what happened while Justin Kluivert and Emil Forsberg found the back of the net.
Despite what some fans saw as disappointing play from David Alaba to start the season, you can see how his speed (along with his ability to organize the defense) was missing today as he was out at left back with Alphonso Davies and Lucas Hernandez missing due to injuries.
RB Leipzig are a very good team, but if Bayern are hoping to repeat as Champions League winners this year, it won’t be with a Boateng and Süle centerback pairing.
Jamal Musiala continues to look like a future big time player.
Unfortunately, Jamal Musiala had to come on after only 25 minutes when Javi Martinez picked up an injury. The natural attacking midfielder was stuffed into a central midfield position after his good performance midweek against Atletico Madrid in the same spot. Thankfully, Musiala quickly reminded everyone why there’s currently a tug-of-war between England and Germany for his services at the international level.
With one touch at the top of the box to open a little bit of space, Musiala ripped a shot that tucked just inside the far post beyond the outstretched hands of Peter Gulacsi. It was the 17 year old’s third goal of the season, which would make him the leader scorer at Schalke 04.
Flick’s reliance at Musiala as a super-sub has paid dividends for the club and for the young player’s development this season. It would not shock me to see Musiala as a regular starter for Bayern within the next couple of seasons.
What’s going on with Leroy Sane? Kingsley Coman and Thomas Müller were superb today.
There was discussion during today’s game about Leroy Sane’s “disappearing act” and “drifting too much centrally”; however, stepping back and looking at Bayern’s performance as a whole reveals a lot about what Sane was and was not doing out there.
Bayern spent the match the majority of the match building along the left side of the field through David Alaba and Kingsley Coman. With Thomas Müller drifting further left to link-up with Coman, Sane was forced to drift centrally to get involved in the game at all; however, with Coman and and Müller playing so well on the day, they weren’t looking for Sane to get involved. If Sane wants to find himself involved in the attack more often, he’ll need to figure things out when the ball is spending the majority on the opposite side of the field.
As for Coman and Müller, holy moly what a day. The King of France finished with 3 assists, while the Raumdeuter bagged two goals. Coman now has 5 assists in the league, and Müller has pulled into second place behind Robert Lewandowski with 6 goals. The two are currently integral to Bayern’s play, and that certainly doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.
Bayern Munich just didn’t match RB Leipzig’s physicality today.
While there were a lot of claims from supporters that the referee was letting too much go today, there are times where the team just has to adjust the conditions on the field. In the match against Leipzig, referee Daniel Siebert kept his whistle out of his mouth and let the match get very physical at times, and it was obvious to everyone watching the match that it was Leipzig, not Bayern, who adjusted quicker to the calls.
This isn’t a brand new problem for Bayern. We’ve seen over the last few years, that when a referee isn’t quick to call fouls, it can take the Bavarians a while to get into their heads that it’s okay to be rough. And, without Joshua Kimmich in their bossing the midfield, Bayern lose one of their most physical players on the field.
Me, COVID-19, and FC Bayern.
If my absence was noticed over the last three weeks or so, it was for good reason. At the beginning of the last international break, I tested positive for COVID-19 (and bronchitis. and pneumonia.), and while I’m mostly back to normal now, it was a rough couple of weeks in my house. However, during that time of being sprawled out on the couch due to exhaustion, I watched three Bayern games: Werder Bremen and Stuttgart in the Bundesliga and Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.
Unfortunately, most of my memories of the games have blurred together (like several of those days have blurred together), but I have the the strongest memories from the Salzburg match. What stood out for me on that day? The pride I felt watching Chris Richards get the start at left back after following him with FCB II over the last two seasons. Seeing that kind of development happening again with the Bayern Campus is heartwarming. The other was Leroy Sane coming on and securing the bag for Bayern just two minutes after Marc Roca’s red card put the result in doubt. The dude stepped on the field and put the game out of reach two minutes later. You love to see that.
I’ve been following this team near-religiously for a while now, and I love that they were able to bring a smile to my face when I needed it.
As I said, I’m doing much better now that I kicked the exhaustion completely over the last week, and you can expect to see me around far more often once again.