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VfB Stuttgart 0-5 Bayern Munich: Initial reactions and observations

The back four is BACK and Nagelsmann won with style. More games like that pls.

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

Initial reactions and observations

  • Bayern Munich finally, unequivocally, went back to the back-four. Hopefully Nagelsmann has seen the light and keeps this setup going forward. The defense wasn’t even good (tons of lucky moments) but the team controlled the game and the shape was much better.
  • Serge Gnabry had one of THOSE performances. 3 goals and 2 assists, incredible by him. Hopefully he finds a measure of consistency this season.
  • Marc Roca ... hard to say how good he was in midfield. He was struggling to get involved, but the mid itself looked better with him in it. Weird, huh? More data’s needed.
  • Niklas Sule dictated the tempo of the game from the back. He seems to be true successor of Alaba/Boateng. Now let’s hang onto him please, don’t let him go to the EPL.
  • Lewandowski’s back on the scoring charts! He could’ve had a hat trick if not for the post. Good for him to get these goals, he’s been looking frustrated lately.

Full time: Bayern beat Stuttgart 5-0.

73’ — GOAL! Gnabry gets a hat trick!

72’ — GOAL! Lewandowski gets another.

68’ — GOAL! Lewandowski chips it over Muller (not that one). Great goal.

53’ — GOAL! Gnabry makes it 2-0! Great counterattack.

45’ — Second half kicks off!

Halftime observations and analysis

  • Bayern Munich have taken it easy today, far fewer risks than usual. This has resulted in a more controlled game, but loose passing has almost cost the team on a number of situations.
  • Alphonso Davies has done a good job containing Koulibaly so far. Their battle has been critical to the course of the game.
  • Bayern take fewer shots from the center these days. Robert Lewandowski has been out of the game yet again.
  • Stuttgatt should be sanctioned for having a pitch this bad. It’s absolutely horrible, basically their 12th man today.
  • #10 assisted #7, good to see.

Halftime: Bayern Munich lead 1-0.

40’ — GOAL! Serge Gnabry curls it past Florian Muller, great finish. Assist by Sane.

26’ — Sub: Kingsley Coman seems to have hurt himself from that battle with Mavropanos, he’s had to come off. Sane is on. So much for rest.

Kickoff: We are underway in Stuttgart!

One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! Lots of rotation from Nagelsmann today. Leroy Sane and Dayot Upamecano finally get some rest, while Marc Roca gets his first Bundesliga start in some time for Bayern Munich. Jamal Musiala is going to play with a broken hand.

It’s the penultimate game of the Hinrunde, and Bayern Munich lead the Bundesliga by six points. With Borussia Dortmund very unlikely to drop points against Greuther Furth, Julian Nagelsmann will want a win against Stuttgart to preserve his lead heading into the winter break. But he has one big problem — Bayern have no midfielders.

Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso are both injured. Marcel Sabitzer just got back from a long calf injury and is doubtful for the game. Jamal Musiala broke a metatarsal bone (in the hand) and might not be able to play. Finally, Joshua Kimmich is also out recovering from his Covid-19 infection.

So where does that leave Nagelsmann? Well, he’ll have to conjure something out of a hat at this point. Marc Roca may be an option for the midfield, or one of the doubtful players could pull through and start. Still, it’ll be far from optimal, so the coach will be relying on his stars at other positions — guys like Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and Leroy Sane — to get the job done.

It’s Bayern time.

While you’re waiting for the game, why not check out our preview podcast? This week, we combined it with our Champions League draw reaction. Check it out below or at this link.

Match Info

Location: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany

Time: 6:30 pm local time, 12:30 pm EST

TV/streaming: ESPN+, Find Your Country

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