Having bossed the lion’s share of possession and finishing with more shots on target throughout the encounter, Bayern Munich may feel a bit disappointed to have drawn RB Leipzig 0-0, but on the overall balance, a draw was a fair result. Both sides had their chances to score. Timo Werner missed a sitter in the second half and Leon Goretzka’s second half effort forced a fine save out of Peter Gulasci.
After the match, Hansi Flick, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and Joshua Kimmich spoke to reporters in the mixed zone, sharing their thoughts on the even spoils with Leipzig (FCBayern.com). They all agreed that there were both positives and negatives to take away from the overall performance while Bayern remains 1st in the Bundesliga table. Flick, in particular, admitted that a draw was the fair result, recognizing his side’s drop off in the second half:
We have to admit the draw was deserved. We were better in the first half, I really liked the first 25 minutes. We weren’t so dominant after that. We made mistakes, invited our opponents and were lucky we didn’t go a goal down. We know we still have 13 matchdays, it’s a long way to go for the championship title. But that’s what everyone wants, an exciting race for the title.
Neuer echoed Flick’s assessment that Bayern played far better in the first half compared to the second half. In the second half, he said, Leipzig did a solid job of playing Bayern in man-to-man coverage defensively:
We’re one point ahead. You can’t assess whether one team is clearly better judging from this one match. We got off to the better start, we were dominant in the first half. Then Leipzig changed their tactics and we had to adapt. They played man-to-man over the entire pitch, we struggled with that. It was down to one-on-ones then.
There’s no disguising the fact that Leipzig are one of the deadliest teams in the league when it comes to counter attacking football. Julian Nagelsmann likes to tactically setup his side to be able to attack teams with pace when Leipzig win possession and break forward quickly. The tactics against Bayern were no different, especially during the second half, when Muller regretted his side not pushing the pace more from the 70th minute onward:
We started well in the 20 minutes but failed to take our chances. The problem was that both teams were okay with a goalless draw. It was annoying that we settled for it, we didn’t up the pace. None of the teams really took risks from the 70th minute onwards. But we’re still one point ahead. We knew turnovers are Leipzig’s strength. We deliberately slowed down the tempo but also deprived ourselves of our strengths.
Kimmich was frustrated at the amount of missed chances Bayern had in the opening stages of the first half. Because of Leipzig’s tactical shape in the second half, he continued, Bayern resorted to having to play long balls, which didn’t really work too well for them and left counter attacks open for Leipzig:
We turned in a good display in the first half, especially in the first 20, 25 minutes. We had a couple of chances but didn’t finish them well. The tide turned in the second half because Leipzig got off to a good start. We made mistakes. We struggled with our build-up play and resorted to high balls because Leipzig pressed early.
BONUS: Muller responds to being asked about Euro 2020:
Muller was also asked about his chances of playing with Germany at this summer’s European Championships. He answered in the most Thomas Muller was possible, which should come as no surprise to anyone. Never change, Thomas. Never change:
Given his recent form, Bayern’s Thomas Müller asked about his chances of returning to play for Germany at the Euros on @SkySportDE.— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) February 9, 2020
His answer: “The Euros doesn’t interest me at all right now. All that interests me: this badge and winning a title, if possible all three.” pic.twitter.com/gwOGV0XKUH