Initial Observations and Reactions
- As I said at halftime, “Still, there’s no need to really panic. It’s only two goals, and we’ve seen Bayern make this kind of comeback before. Always remember that this game is about 50% luck.” A few bounces didn’t go Mainz’s way with the ball bouncing off the crossbar, and Bayern finally turned their first half dominance into a second half blow out. Bravo.
- I really like Jerome Boateng. I think he is, obviously, one of the greatest Bayern players of the last decade and never truly got the appreciation that he deserves. He reached the heights of being the world’s best centerback at one point. But, I think it’s clear and obvious to everyone that he can’t consistently do it at this level any longer. I am 100% okay with Boateng finding himself as a second half substitute for Bayern moving forward and/or spot starter; however, I think it’s best for everyone involved if he moves into that role now.
- Bayern should’ve paid for Sergino Dest this summer. It’s a pretty simple thing. Ajax and Dest weren’t asking for that much more than Bayern were offering, and the Bavarians could’ve secured his services a few weeks before Barcelona even got involved. Just a terrible board decision.
- While the engine needs a little fine-tuning, the Bayern Munich bus is prepared to run over the competition as we move into the second half of the season.
Fulltime: Bayern Munich 5-2 Mainz
88’- Flick brings on Costa and Choupo-Moting for Muller and Tolisso.
83’- GOAL FC BAYERN! Lewandowski converts a cross from Muller to make it 5-2. Goodness.
78’- Musiala replaces an injured Gnabry. Davies rips a shot from distance forcing Dahmen into a big save.
76’- GOAL FC BAYERN! Lewandowski converts the spot kick to give Bayern the 4-2 lead.
73’- PENALTY TO BAYERN. Gnabry is fouled in the penalty area and draws a penalty for Bayern. Gnabry has to be helped off the field.
70’- GOAL FC BAYERN! Niklas Sule finally puts Bayern up 3-2. Despite Mainz’s 2-0 lead at halftime, this game has been absolutely dominated by Bayern. Deserved lead.
65’- GOAL FC BAYERN! NO! Called back for offside in the build up. Sad.
55’- GOAL FC BAYERN! Leroy Sane gets on the scoresheet with an Arjen Robben-esque “dribble across the top of the box from the right side and score inside the far post” to equalize.
50’- GOAL FC BAYERN! Kimmich dribbles into the box before sending a cross just a little bit to far to Gnabry. The winger brings the ball down and lofts it in to Lewandowski who deflects his header to the far post where Kimmich heads it into the back of the net to pull Bayern back into it.
47’- Some halftime changes for Bayern. Pavard and Boateng are off. Kimmich moves to right back. Goretzka is on and moves to midfield. Sule is in at center back.
46’- The second half is underway.
Halftime Observations and Reactions
- The high line gives and the high lines takes away. The reason that Bayern play such a high line is that it allows them to deliver unfathomable amounts of pressure against a team in their own half. However, as everyone knows, if a team can break that pressure, you’re susceptible to long balls over the top, and that’s exactly what happened here.
- Muller, if you’re assigned a man on a corner kick, you’ve got to stay with him. If you lose your man, there’s a chance he’s going to score, and that’s exactly what happened here.
- Still, there’s no need to really panic. It’s only two goals, and we’ve seen Bayern make this kind of comeback before. Always remember that this game is about 50% luck. If Dahmen doesn’t get up in time to stop Sane’s shot on the goal line... If the referee calls the foul by Burkhardt on Boateng at midfield... Luck makes all the difference in the world.
Halftime: Bayern Munich 2-0 Mainz
45’- GOAL MAINZ. Hack scores a big header to put Mainz up 2-0 just before halftime.
40’- Quaisan nearly makes it 2-0 for Mainz, but Neuer makes the save to keep the Bavarians down only 1.
36’- Lewandowski forces Dahmen into a great save with an excellent effort. Still 1-0 to Mainz.
32’- Goal Mainz! Burkhardt nudges Boateng at midfield and breaks free. He scores on Neuer to put Bayern behind the 8-ball for the 8th straight Bundesliga game.
29’- Sane’s shot is blocked out for a corner, but it’s cleared out.
27’- Some work outside between Gnabry and Davies leads to a Tolisso chance, but Dahmen easily gathers.
21’- Mainz get a free kick just outside the Bayern penalty area, but the ball deflects off the wall and out for a corner kick. Nothing comes of it.
8’- Sane close! The winger’s shot is blocked by a Mainz defender, and it nearly trickles over the goal line! Unfortunately for Bayern, Dahmen dives and secures the ball before it crosses for the goal.
5’- Phew. Burkhardt gets a shot off against Neuer from close range, but the big goalkeeper makes a nice leg save to keep the ball out of the back of the net. Almost disaster for Bayern there.
Kickoff: We’re underway in Munich!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Hansi Flick hasn’t gone for a full fat lineup, instead opting for Tolisso and Pavard. Davies starts against his fav opponents.
Matchday! Right after New Year’s too, this schedule isn’t messing around. 2020 was actually a pretty good year for Bayern Munich, unlike 99.9% of the world. With five trophies won and a single defeat on record, it goes down as one of the best years in the club’s history. So 2021 has a lot to live up to. Hopefully, the team can get the ball rolling with the opener versus Mainz.
Kingsley Coman is the only starter injured at the moment, but youngsters like Zirkzee, Arrey-Mbi, and Roca are also set to miss the game with injury. Tanguy Nianzou also stands sideline for at least another month, which is a shame because this is the kind of team he could’ve expected to start against. As it stands, Hansi Flick will probably go all out to start the new year on a positive note, which means putting Thomas Muller, Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, and all the rest of Bayern’s stars on the pitch together. The boys were looking pretty gassed near the end of 2020, so let’s see if the two-week break did them any good.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 6:00 pm local time, 12:00 pm EST
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