Initial reactions and observations
- What a display of dominance by Bayern Munich! Nagelsmann was expected to struggle against Leverkusen, but he proved that his team is made of much sterner stuff. Onto the Champions League now.
- Some key players got rest — Davies, Goretzka, Lewandowski, and Muller were all subbed early. Good player management by Nagelsmann, but too bad he couldn’t give Kimmich some rest.
- Leroy Sane was great once again, but his finishing could’ve been better. He hit the post once in the first half, and he had a couple of huge chances to make it six in the second.
- Nagelsmann’s striker-less setup in the second half was probably an experiment, but it didn’t pan out. Maybe Choupo-Moting should have come on for Serge Gnabry.
- Lucas Hernandez wasn’t quite his usual solid self. You have to wonder if his impending legal troubles are affecting him.
Full time: Bayer Leverkusen 1-5 Bayern Munich.
86’ — Alario gets it past Neuer, but it’s offside. Another let off by Bayern.
72’ — Subs: Omar Richards on for Sule, Stanisic moves to RB.
63’ — Subs: Musiala and Coman on for Lewandowski and Muller? What?
54’ — Goal. Schick ruins Bayern’s clean sheet.
45’ — The second half is underway! Will the massacre continue?
Halftime observations and analysis
- If this was supposed to be a test for Nagelsmann, he’s passed it with flying colors. Bayern Munich are DOMINATING Leverkusen right now. This is the best performance of the season.
- Good to see Alphonso Davies subbed off early today. There’s no point keeping him on when it’s 5-0 already. Hope it wasn’t an injury though.
- SO MANY GOALS TODAY, and it could’ve been more! Bayern’s pressing, passing, and shooting have all been so good. This is champagne football.
Halftime: Bayern smashing Leverkusen 5-0 right now.
37’ —GOAL! Gnabry again! 5-0!
34’ — GOAL! Gnabry makes it 4-0 now! WOW!
33’ — GOAL! Thomas Muller makes it 3-0!
30’ — GOAL! Lewandowski makes it 2-0 now! Assist from Davies but it was a great team goal.
18’ — Sane hits the post! Bayern are dominant right now.
3’ — GOAL! Robert Lewandowski makes it 1-0 immediately! What a finish!
Kickoff: We’re underway at the BayArena! Can Nagelsmann return Bayern Munich to winning ways?
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! As expected, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry have started ahead of Jamal Musiala, while Alphonso Davies continues to rack up minutes. Nagelsmann is throwing rotation out of the window for this one.
ℹ️ Unsere XI für Leverkusen! #MiaSanMia #packmas #B04FCB pic.twitter.com/VJv7z6EblO— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 17, 2021
MATCHDAY! After an international break that felt less like an eternity than usual, Bayern Munich return to action in an intense topspiel that could determine the look of the table for weeks to come. Bayer Leverkusen have once again started a campaign strong, and this is the part of the season where they tend to dominate.
After that unfortunate loss against Frankfurt on MD7, Julian Nagelsmann needs to get his team back to winning ways. Luckily, he has a mostly fit squad to compete. Benjamin Pavard may be suspended, but both Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman are back in the squad. The big issue will be fatigue — multiple international players like Robert Lewandowski, Alphonso Davies, and pretty much the entire German contingent all notched up several miles during the course of the “break”.
With midweek UCL fixtures coming up, Nagelsmann needs to strike a balance between in-game intensity and preserving the stamina of his starting XI. Luckily, he does have a good squad to call upon, with the likes of Jamal Musiala and Marcel Sabitzer on the bench.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: BayArena, Leverkusen, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country
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