Hansi Flick isn’t afraid to admit his mistakes
It became clear that whatever setup that Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick put out today was not working from the get-go. Jerome Boateng’s lack of pace was severely exploited, and the flanks were not helping the attack in any way. Flick wasted no time in making two crucial changes in Leon Goretzka and Niklas Süle, letting Joshua Kimmich slide into right back. The changes paid off as the flanks became infinitely more productive, and the midfield pressure soon returned with Goretzka’s introduction. Süle even scored a goal! Even the later introduction of Jamal Musiala was a success, as he started the buildup for Robert Lewandowski’s second goal.
It takes a lot of courage to admit that you’re wrong and make such drastic changes, right at halftime, no less. Some coaches will just ignore the warning signs and play like everything is alright. Thankfully, Hansi was not one of them.
The first half was absolutely horrendous
I know we won and everything, but my goodness, that first half was one to forget. Bayern had their chances, but fluffed every single one of them, and had it not been for Manuel Neuer in goal, could have been down by more than two. Mainz’s counterattacks were immensely effective, especially when playing against a rather slow Boateng. The attack was stagnant and the defense was porous. Thankfully, as aforementioned, Hansi Flick made the necessary changes and made Bayern play like Bayern again. Let’s hope he’s learned his lesson and we don’t have to sit through more halves like that.
Bayern play for the badge
That said, what really won the game was the spirit that the players showed. I for one thought the game was over when the score read 2-0, I’ll shamelessly admit that. But clearly the players didn’t think so. After going two down, yes, TWO down, the team didn’t give up. They started fighting right from the start of the second half, and were rewarded with two quick goals. Then, once the ball started rolling, it was all Bayern. No excessive celebrations even though they made a dramatic comeback, just pure will and determination on their faces.
Yes, I know it’s only Mainz — second-from-bottom Mainz — but coming back from a two-goal deficit is not easy against any team, especially the way that the teams respectively played in the first half. The will-to-win was still as evident as it was when the boys won the treble, and long may it prosper. That will be the key to any more success going forward.
Bonus: Robert Lewandowski may be the best penalty taker in the world
Did you see the calm, collected way he scored that penalty? Mind games with the keeper, and a precise shot into the opposite corner. The last time Lewy missed a penalty was almost two years ago. The man is good at a lot of things, and taking penalties is one of them.