Bayern Munich quickly shook off the rust from the midweek DFB-Pokal loss to Borussia Monchengladbach with their 5-2 win at Union Berlin. They conceded five against Monchengladbach midweek and flipped that around scoring five of their own through a brace from Robert Lewandowski and goals from Leroy Sane, Kingsley Coman and Thomas Muller. Goals in either half from Berlin’s Niko Gießelmann and Julian Ryerson did make life increasingly uncomfortable for Bayern, but they ultimately stood firm and had too much firepower for Urs Fischer’s side.
Dino Toppmöller took the helm once again in Nagelsmann’s absence and speaking after the match, said he was quite pleased with the reaction Bayern showed to shake off getting knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in such horrid fashion. “We are totally happy that we could show the desired reaction. We knew that the opponent is very strong at home, that it will not be easy for us with the audience. The first 30 minutes we had the game under control, then we invite the opponent to score the final goal. I think overall we can be satisfied with the performance,” he said (Tz).
Nagelsmann has admitted in video press conferences that it’s been difficult for him adjusting to not being on the touchlines during the matches, though he has still been able to keep in constant contact with Toppmöller and his coaching staff during matches. Toppmöller is able to deliver Nagelsmann’s tactical messages to the players, and while he might not be as animated of a character as Nagelsmann, he still has an important presence. He feels that he’s represented Nagelsmann well during his absence. “I don’t take myself too seriously at all. I think that all of us in the coaching team have represented Julian properly. We are happy that we showed a reaction and were able to satisfy Julian” he explained.
Dayot Upamecano arguably had one of weakest performances in a Bayern shirt thus far in the 5-0 loss to Gladbach and started from the bench against Union Berlin as Nagelsmann and Toppmöller went with the center back pairing of Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez. Upamecano came on for Hernandez in the 69th minute for what appeared to be an apparent injury concern for Hernandez. Upamecano shone quite well for himself in his 20-ish minute cameo and even provided the assist for Muller’s goal.
Nagelsmann’s assistant was full of plenty of praise for the Frenchmen’s cameo. “It was very important for Upa to win the first duels directly. He did that well. He prepared the goal like a ten-man, he did a great job. We didn’t break the baton on him on Wednesday and we won’t praise him to the skies now after the submission,” he said.