Initial reactions and observations
- Bayern had a very poor second half. Hansi Flick will be very worried by his team’s performance, they were completely shut down by Mainz.
- Philippe Coutinho looks lost out there. His confidence is shot.
- Alphonso Davies is either gassed or saving energy. This was an insipid performance from him, far from what we’re used to.
- Bayern looked particularly vulnerable on set pieces. Of course, it’s tough without Niklas Sule and Mats Hummels, but it’s not acceptable. The team management will need to look into that.
- Thiago Alcantara and Thomas Muller both have 3 goals in 3 games this year. They’re in incredible form at the moment.
FT: Bayern beat Mainz 3-1. The second half was basically a disaster.
88’: Ivan Perisic goes off for Corentin Tolisso. Final sub of a poor second half.
64’: Coutinho and Gnabry come on for Muller and Goretzka.
45’: The second half is underway!
Halftime observations and analysis
- Thomas Muller’s goalscoring form is back.
- Goretzka needs to do better defending on corners.
- Alphonso Davies seems out of sorts today. He’s not as sharp as previous games.
- Thiago, meanwhile, has been in the zone. He has dominated the midfield and kept Mainz pinned back almost singlehandedly.
- Flick’s tactics continue to get wins. But Bayern are too lax after scoring which causes stupid goals to be conceded. A poor corner by Muller caused the counter which led to Mainz winning and scoring from a corner. That shouldn’t happen.
45’: Goal, Mainz get one back. Poor defending by Goretzka on the corner. This is something he needs to work on, it’s a pattern now.
25’: GOAL! It’s murder. Thiago dribbles past everyone and scores a wonderful goal.
13’: GOAL! It’s a bloodbath. Muller slots home a perfect layoff from Goretzka.
7’: GOAL! Robert Lewandowski scores from an excellent cross by Benjamin Pavard. 1-0 Bayern.
Kickoff: We are underway! Hansi Flick has opted to go all-in on this game, despite the fact that Bayern face Hoffenheim and Leipzig in the coming days. Hopefully, this decision pays off, and the Bavarians secure a comfortable victory and make early subs.
One hour until kickoff: Big surprise — Hansi Flick has opted for zero rotation. Could this be a mistake? We’ll have to see.
Matchday! Bayern Munich return to action in the Bundesliga, and this time it’s the hapless Mainz who are on the chopping block. Hansi Flick has a tough week ahead, with games against both Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig coming up, so he will likely choose to rotate his XI this week. That doesn’t mean Bayern can afford to be complacent, however.
With Leipzig and Gladbach facing each other this matchday, it’s a huge opportunity for the Bavarians to go top of the table. Hansi Flick will be missing the services of the injured Niklas Sule and Javi Martinez, while it’s still to early for Kingsley Coman and Lucas Hernandez to see the pitch. Serge Gnabry, however, should be ready to start — the young German already came on as a substitute and scored against Schalke last week.
As for rotation —Thomas Muller will likely be benched for the sake of giving Philippe Coutinho some minutes. Leon Goretzka may ride the bench in favor of the Thiago-Kimmich pairing in midfield, although there’s a chance that Thiago Alcantara may be the one chosen for rest instead. One player who definitely will play is Alphonso Davies. The Canadian youngster has played against Mainz twice before, and scored both times. Cane he keep the streak going?
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Open Arena, Mainz, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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