After storming out to a 2-0 lead, Bayern Munich completely collapsed and fell victim — once again — to some absolutely dreadful play from its back-line. This blame, however, could be spread out as Bayern Munich’s offense did little to consistently threaten Borussia Mönchengladbach’s defenders as well. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Manuel Neuer is obviously a confident guy, but this is as confident as he has ever looked. How he plays goalkeeper now is almost brash. His anticipation against Borussia Mönchengladbach was off-the-charts, but he was the victim of some awful play from the back-line on all three goals for the Foals. It is a shame, because Neuer made some very brave plays in the game, especially early on.
- Florian Neuhaus’ unfortunate handball gave Bayern Munich a 1-0 as Robert Lewandowski drilled another “no doubt about it” penalty kick. Neuhaus, though, would get his revenge later.
- Leon Goretzka’s goal was nothing short of phenomenal. After intercepting a chipped pass in the center of the pitch, he dished the ball off quickly to Leroy Sane, who sent it back. Goretzka then drilled a shot from outside-the-box that Yann Sommer has no chance to stop.
- After scoring early, Bayern Munich got caught with their feet quicksand once again as Jonas Hofmann’s perfectly-timed run resulted in the first goal for Die Fohlen. Niklas Süle cannot get caught flat-footed like that, but it was also a perfectly-weighted pass from Lars Stindl, who is one of the Bundesliga’s most steady and underrated players. It would not be the last time Stindl weighted a pass that caught Süle sleeping.
- A questionable chipped pass attempt from Benjamin Pavard to Leroy Sane (aka more maligned to just maligned) started the play that led to Hofmann’s goal. The young Frenchman is clearly second-guessing himself on everything at this point.
- The Stindl-to-Hofmann connection was not done there, though as they victimized Süle once again right before halftime to knot the game at 2-2. It feels like you can just spin the “Wheel of Bad Defending” to see which Bayern Munich defender is going to up-the-ante for poor play.
- Douglas Costa...brings nothing to the table. Bring back Ivan Perišić.
- I don’t want to take anything away from Neuhaus’ fantastic goal, but David Alaba was yet another Bayern Munich defender caught watching instead of reacting. It was a tremendous shot by Neuhaus nonetheless.
- Matthias Ginter stopped two fantastic chances from Bayern Munich. First, he put his own well-being at risk by trying to head away a blast from Sane. That effort left Ginter dazed and confused. Later, Sule headed an attempt toward the goal that was surely on its way past the goal-line if not for Ginter’s foot. Those were obviously two enormous plays and Ginter is, no doubt, a warrior — but for even someone as “old school” as me with some of the beliefs I have about how games should be played, I was cringing when he stayed in after the headshot.
- David Alaba was not good. In fact, let’s just say it, the entire back-line was pretty awful — even Alphonso Davies.
- Let’s play a little “tweet bag”...like a mailbag, only from Twitter:
Talking Point: Why tf is Hernandez not starting next to Süle? Second, is Süle a problem?— Hans Winn (@HansWinn2) January 8, 2021
Over the course of his career, Alaba has been outstanding. This season, though, he has not been good. Against Die Fohlen, he was below average — at best — but Süle, however, was somehow worse. Oddly, though, I don’t believe either player is nearly as bad they looked yesterday. I do think Alaba’s uncertain future is weighing on him and I think both Alaba and Süle were just tired. It has been easy for me to forget that Süle is in that precarious first year after an ACL injury. Playing him against Borussia Mönchengladbach was likely a mistake. And if Alaba needs a rest he should be given it as well. Something about Lucas Hernandez not being used is not sitting right with me. It feels like he is more banged up than Bayern Munich has let on. I can’t think of another reason that Hansi Flick would not have brought him on when both Alaba and Süle were poor.
- In the end, Borussia Mönchengladbach was just better — and tougher on the day. The good thing for Bayern Munich, though, is that there are many more days left in this season.
Per Sport Bild chief Christian Falk, Arsenal would not mind have Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler or Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt. It does appear, however, that the Gunners would prefer Brandt:
One difference between the Julians, however, is that Draxler will be a free agent in June, while Brandt could carry a price tag somewhere between €20 million-€30 million.
Sport Bild also reported that Dortmund is willing to send Brandt away this winter, though, so there could be some movement if Arsenal don’t want to wait.
Per Eurosport, the suitors are lining up for Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga:
If — admittedly a big if — this happens, Marc Roca should check the details of his lease.
One of the transfers within the Bundesliga that just never worked out was Nico Schulz to Borussia Dortmund. Buried in Lucien Favre’s doghouse, Schulz never really got on track with BVB. With Favre out, Schulz might be getting a fresh start of his own:
Borussia Dortmund would sell Nico Schulz this month if a suitable offer comes in, according to Bild. #BVB— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) January 7, 2021
At 27-years-old, Schulz seemingly has a lot left in the gas tank. Hopefully a move will rejuvenate his career.