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Five observations from Bayern Munich’s 2:1 win against Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga

The Bavarians managed to turn things around in the second half and grab all three points — here are our observations!

FC Bayern München v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images

Nagelsmann’s good pep talk during the halftime break

Bayern Munich was off-track throughout the first half against Mainz. The midfield was nonexistent, and Corentin Tolisso had not managed to leave an impact in the first 45 minutes. xG for Bayern for almost the entire first half was 0.51. After the halftime break, Bayern visibly improved and managed to turn things around. Julian Nagelsmann managed to get a proper reaction from the players in the second half. The squad played better, with more determination, and in the end, deservedly won.

Defensive woes continue

Bayern’s defense is increasingly insecure, but today, the midfield didn’t help too much. The absence of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka was felt today, as Corentin Tolisso didn’t quite manage to do the best job at keeping Mainz’s attacks at bay. Also, Bayern defense continues to panic when it is put under pressure — they often tend to make rash decisions. Although individually, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, and Dayot Upamecano had a good match.

Julian Nagelsmann has to change something

I get that Bayern is missing Kimmich and Goretzka, but Bayern has been struggling the past 2-3 weeks. Nagelsmann’s strategy was good while at RB Leipzig, but I’m not sure whether it’s going to work for Bayern in the long run. With a back-three, Bayern doesn’t look balanced when the other team has a counter. When Bayern is attacking, Lewandowski is mostly blocked out of the attacks — he has to fight to get the ball. That style of play is good when you have for example Yussuf Poulsen as your target man, but when you have Lewy, it is a waste of his talents. He needs a bit more space. When you have Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, Alphonso Davies, Kingsley Coman, and Jamal Musiala in the box, then Robert drops back, and it mostly turns to a mess that ends up with a corner kick. We need our best finisher in the box, and Julian has to slightly adjust his strategy.

Bayern fell apart too easily

After Bayern conceded the goal in the first half, they just fell apart and couldn’t get back into the game. It was tough to watch them play, and probably everyone waited for the halftime whistle. Although Bayern managed to turn it around against Borussia Dortmund last weekend, I don’t know why they fell apart today. Hopefully, the coaching staff will figure something out.

Mainz played well, but Bayern’s winning mentality saves the day

To be fair, Mainz was good today. Everyone knew it was a tough match for the Bavarians. Mainz has one of the best defensive records this season. After a forgetful first half, Bayern managed to turn it around in the second half. Today’s match is perfect evidence of why Bayern is still ahead of the rest of the league. Bayern grinds their way to three points and gives their all. But for example, BvB dropped points again today and helped Bayern get a six-point lead on the table.