Bayern Munich outlasted a very solid SC Freiburg squad to secure a 2-1 victory. It was a refreshing effort from a team that needed to show some life. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- It seems as if Hansi Flick has a clear preference for his “choice” lineups, and it is interesting that Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez, and Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich’s three biggest signings of the last four years) are all not part of the best XI in the eyes of the manager — at least as of yet.
- Bayern Munich looked like it had far more urgency to go forward early on than they had displayed in the previous two games. That was extremely refreshing to see.
- Thomas Müller’s pass to set up Robert Lewandowski was perfect and the finish from the Polish Hitman was soooo slick.
- The first half saw that aforementioned urgency, more desire to push forward offensively, more organized and harder pressing, and just overall better play than we had seen anytime in the last month.
- I want to preface this by saying that I like Leroy Sane, but when he came on for Serge Gnabry, the organization and dedication to press dropped off. Gnabry pulling up with a muscular injury afforded Sane the chance to make an impression. He started slow, but got much, much better in the second half. That was extremely encouraging. There was at least one “Flick Gone Wild” reaction moment, which the camera caught after a Sane gaffe, but it was still a good day overall and a great step for the former Manchester City man.
- I thought Philipp Lienhart was pretty strong for SC Freiburg.
- It seems as it Flick altered his tactics a bit — not majorly, but just enough to make a difference. The defensive line appeared to be slightly deeper, but the players had more free reign to push forward. The difference appeared to be the recognition from other defenders to rotate back if a fellow defender charged forward. It seems like a simple thing, but that little bit of depth came up huge quite a few times.
- I thought it was a much better effort form Benjamin Pavard. He is a player who needed a strong performance and I thought he provided just that. It was not great, but it was a lot better and a building block for progress.
- Jerome Boateng and David Alaba were really, really good.
- One key aspect of the game was when Manuel Neuer had the ball and Alaba and Boateng were in a wide position, Kimmich and Goretzka took turns checking in deeper — or both checked in deeper in a staggered position — which gave the Bavarians quite a few easy outs. This was an example of how the communication, alignment, and on-field cohesion led to a more free-flowing game. The German duo — when together — offers a significant advantage to Flick.
- Alphonso Davies lost Nils Petersen on SC Freiburg’s goal and that is part of that seasoning that the phenom still needs. The finer points of the young Canadian’s game still need a lot of work (as they should, he’s still just 20). At that juncture of the game, after Bayern Munich had dominated — with the team in the midst of an epic slump — a lost man on a corner can’t happen. Davies has to be better and he will be...but it’s going to take some time.
- Christian Streich is no dummy, once the game was tied he parked a Black Forest-sized bus in Bayern Munich’s offensive end. One-point was all they wanted out of the game for it to be considered successful. Muller, though ended those hopes.
- Muller’s game-winner was incredible and sorely needed. A clutch goal from a clutch player. That’s what a team leader does.
- Overall, a very good game from the Bavarians and a significant sign of progress.
Now...before you get too excited, Tz captured this report from Don Balon. We can dream that the Don has become legitimate and — gasp — reliable, but that will like never happen. Anyway, The Don says that Ivan Perisic could head back to Bayern Munich, but this is one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” rumors:
Do Bayern have to act during the winter break? There would be half a month left to do something. A rumor from the Spanish football newspaper Don Balon, which is not always reputable, comes in handy.
LOL — “not always reputable.”
As a result, Ivan Perisic would be back on the list of the triple winner. The relationship between the Croatian and Hansi Flick is “extraordinary” and the winger is only a substitute at Inter Milan. He is supposed to flirt with a return to the Isar. Whether there is anything to the rumor can be highly doubted. On the outside, Flick has four options with Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, and Douglas Costa — at least three of them are top-class.
In any case, Perisic raves about his time in Munich. “I had an incredible year and won three titles with a great team,” he said on the club’s own broadcaster Inter TV.
I would be all about this move, but I can’t see it happening.
Robert Lewandowski has some pretty high expectations for Joshua Kimmich:
Will Joshua Kimmich one day be the best player in the world? pic.twitter.com/FNaMpsAedx— DW Sports (@dw_sports) January 16, 2021
Mesut Özil to Fenerbahce is a done deal and the paperwork is in the process of being signed: