Julian Nagelsmann’s impressive start to life as Bayern Munich manager was going to have to come to an end eventually, but it perhaps was not expected to come at the hands of a struggling Eintracht Frankfurt side at the Allianz Arena. Before their 2-1 win over Bayern, Oliver Glasner’s side had failed to win a Bundesliga match from their previous 6 matches and had been floating dangerously close to the relegation zone. On paper, all the writing was on the wall for another routing from Bayern, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.
Nagelsmann decided not to make any changes from the midweek lineup that dominated Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League, where they looked solid in every department. Frankfurt proved to be a much different beast, and for, arguably, the first time this season, Bayern’s defense really looked to be on the fritz. Dayot Upamecano was the subject of criticism following the full time whistle, as it certainly was far from his best outing since joining from RB Leipzig, though he definitely wasn’t the only Bayern player not to perform well defensively.
“The whole back line has done a lot of steps forward in the recent weeks. They have done it better before though. They were all not so clear with their actions. That’s why the opponent had that many counter attacks. [Filip] Kostic has done it very hard for us (Sunday) and has scored the goal in that duel. Upa has played a lot of good games since he is here and (Sunday) a weaker one. That can happen,” Nagelsmann said of his defensive unit and center back (beINSport).
Of course, at the other end of the pitch, Bayern had more than enough chances to score more than once, but Kevin Trapp was in scintillating form in Frankfurt’s goal. Had it not been for a bevy of heroic saves from the German international, Bayern could’ve easily walked away with the three points heading into the international break. The more he kept his side in the match, the more it caused Bayern to force the issues from an attacking sense, which always leaves wholes open at the back when they commit more numbers forward.
This, in season’s past, had been a blueprint for teams to try and hurt Bayern: maintain deep, disciplined defensive blocks, frustrate Bayern, cause them to commit more numbers forward, and then pounce on the counter-attacking opportunities. Glasner’s side was well disciplined and Kostic was at the heart of most of their furies forward on the left flank.