Initial reactions and observations
- Playing without a recognized striker really hurt Bayern up top. The team’s only major scoring chances came from set pieces.
- The game was a slog. Bayern began time wasting by the 60th minute. These are the kinds of performances that win you trophies — but are not fun to watch at 3 am in the morning.
- Corentin Tolisso had a mixed outing in midfield. He had some crucial defensive interventions but failed to make an impact in the buildup.
- The loss of Jerome Boateng and having Joshua Zirkzee on the bench upset Bayern’s team structure. Thomas Muller was ineffective as the lone striker and Joshua Kimmich had to push up very high to make an impact, leaving space behind him that was susceptible to counterattacks.
- Bayern’s set pieces leave a lot to be desired, both direct and indirect.
- Last minute mistakes could’ve cost Bayern dearly in this game. A little bit more calm is needed in those nervy moments.
FT: Bayern win 1-0 and progress to the next round.
89’: A misplaced pass by a Bayern player leas to a Schalke counter that is barely stopped by Pavard. Bayern need to be more careful. 3 minutes of added time announced.
84’: Substitution: Joshua Zirkzee comes on for Corentin Tolisso.
75’: Bayern lead 1-0 with 15 minutes left. Nothing much happening offensively.
45’: Kickoff! Let’s hope the second half is better than the first.
Halftime observations and analysis
- Paying without a recognized striker against Schalke’s 11 man backline is rough. Hansi Flick should’ve started Zirkzee.
- Bayern’s defensive line is worryingly high up the pitch. That has almost led to disaster a few times this game.
- This game is rather dull so far. A few banners might spice things up.
39’: GOAL! Kimmich makes it 1-0!
Kickoff: We are underway!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Zirkzee has been benched? WHY?
Unsere Aufstellung für #S04FCB! #MiaSanMia #packmas @DFB_Pokal pic.twitter.com/NHCFZWZTzg— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) March 3, 2020
Matchday! Bayern Munich travel to Gelsenkirchen to take on FC Schalke 04, with the shadow of ongoing protests by German ultras looming over the game. Schalke have said they will stop playing if any hostile chanting is heard from the stands, which should give Bayern an opening when the Nordkurve starts screeching at Manuel Neuer for the millionth time. 5-0 win incoming.
Joking aside, the actual match should be very interesting. Schalke are on a torrid run of form a of late, but playing at home and the allure of a big cup game could serve as motivation for them to get their act together. Bayern, meanwhile, are without Robert Lewandowski — a huge loss despite Joshua Zirkzee picking up the mantle against Hoffenheim.
In addition, there’s potential complications in defense — Jerome Boateng did not travel with the team due to a stomach infection, and is a doubt for the game, while Lucas Hernandez has been ruled out with a tendon irritation. It’s going to be tough with both of them out, and the onus will be on veteran players like David Alaba and Thomas Muller to step up and deliver.
It’s Bayern time.
Bonus question: Will the game be abandoned due to the antics of the supporters?
This poll is closed
Location: Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Time: 8:45 pm local time, 2:45 pm EST
TV/streaming: Youtube, Fubo.tv, Find Your Country
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