After the full time whistle in Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over SC Freiburg, Christian Streich was visibly irritated during replays that had shown him having a bit of a verbal fit after shaking hands with Hasan Salihamidzic near Freiburg’s bench. His side put up a terrific fight against Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern and really made the home side dig deep for three points at the Allianz Arena, but he really felt that his side could’ve taken more from the encounter and was frustrated. Freiburg have been the surprise package this season, having not lost a match in the Bundesliga prior to the Bayern defeat and Streich has his side playing impressively well.
Still, despite Streich’s frustration, there is nothing but respect between he and Nagelsmann. Streich is nearly 20 years older than his counterpart, but knows just how much of a managerial talent he is. “Julian is a natural talent, an exceptional coach. That doesn’t happen often, especially not at that age. He will help determine the coaching position for many years,” he had said prior to the match (kicker).
Of course, Nagelsmann and Streich have had plenty of Bundesliga encounters before with the former’s tenures at both TSG Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig, but this most recent encounter bore a lot of weight in terms of implications at the top end of the Bundesliga table. Going into the match, Freiburg was undefeated and only three points behind Bayern in third place. It was perhaps the most significant duel between the two managers and the proceedings lived up to the billing as far as a first versus third Bundesliga clash. “During the game we prefer to yell at the other people on the other bench, because we want to keep our good relationship,” Nagelsmann jokingly said after the match in a show of reciprocation of the respect Streich has for him.
Neither team wanted to go into the international break on the heels of a defeat, which is the fate that had fallen on Bayern in the buildup to the previous international break, having suffered the 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt just before it. That factor perhaps added to Streich’s frustration after the match, but Nagelsmann was well aware of how hard his side had to work to take full points at home. “It was imperative that we avoid losing again against a direct competitor, as we did against Frankfurt before the last break. We actually did well in the first few minutes, then we struggled a bit because Freiburg pressed well. But we broke through ten or twelve times on the left in the first half, I think, and got into the sixteen extremely often. In the end, the two goals were enough, thank God,” he said.