Initial reactions and observations
- Credit to Bielefeld. Whether they had the lead or were level, Bielefeld played their game. There was hint of time-wasting every so often, but for the most part, Bielefeld did not just park the bus as we see so many visitors do. Until the very end, they went forward with every chance they had and were close to taking all three points home.
- Bayern’s three-goal second half feels wasted because of defensive mistakes. A world-class goal from Lewandowski, a beautiful header from Tolisso, and an absolute rocket from Davies were not quite enough for the three points.
- Defensive errors haunted Bayern again in the second half. When you outscore your opponent 3-1 in a half at home, there is no way that you should not walk away with three points. Bielefeld’s third goal — seconds after Lewandowski’s — was the killer.
- Bayern need to forget about this and get back to the normal grind. With only a five-point lead at the top of the table, Bayern cannot afford to drop too many more points this season. With the Club World Cup in the rear-view and the Pokal off the table, Bayern can focus on the two remaining competitions — the Champions League and the Bundesliga — and get back into a more comfortable rythem.
Final: Bayern Munich 3:3 Arminia Bielefeld
90’— Three minutes stoppage time announced
78’— Yellow Card, Bayern. Tolisso picks up yellow for a bad foul.
72’— Goal. Bielefeld. Flagged for offsides, VAR confirms.
69’ — GOAL!! Bayern! Alphonso Davies with a rocket
58’ — Bayern Substitution: Kimmich in for Sarr
57’ — GOAL! Bayern! Corentin Tolisso with his head. Assited by Sane
49’— Goal. Bielefeld. Christian Gebauer
48’ — GOAL! Lewandowski scores a world-class goal. Assisted by Alaba
46’— We are underway again in Munich.
Halftime observations and analysis
- Both teams are dealing with the same pitch conditions. Although Bayern is probably missing the warm climate they enjoyed last week in Doha, neither team is necessarily used to playing in snow. Bielefeld is making the most of it.
- Bielefeld has nothing to lose. Playing against the world champions in the snow while in a relegation battle. With everything going against them they are firing on all cylinders.
- Bayern’s defense – especially Alphonso Davies – has looked good today, save two big exceptions. Davies’ speed could have been the star of the show so far, but it has been all for not as two costly errors in communication led to the two goals.
- Look for the second half to be completely different. The snow as stopped falling, the underground heating has kicked in, and the grounds crew are clearing the excess snow off the field. Hopefully Flick can light a fire under his team as well.
Halftime — Bayern Munich 0:2 Arminia Bielefeld
37’ — Goal. Bielefeld. Amos Pieper scores with his head on a corner kick
25’ — Stoppage in play to clear snow from the lines. Both teams look to find their footing in the snow
10’ — Goal Bielefeld. Michel Vlap
1’ — The ball is rolling in Munich!
One hour until kickoff: We have lineups! In a big surprise, Hansi has opted to keep Musiala off the lineup.
Just days after winning the Club World Cup, Bayern Munich are set to take the field for the first time this season as the official world champions. However, with Arminia Bielefeld coming into the game fully-fit and with 15 days of rest under their belts, the Bavarians might find the relegation threatened side a tougher nut to crack than usual.
Hansi Flick has to make do with a squad that has been decimated by injuries and illness. Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Serge Gnabry are all out, and that’s just counting the usual starters. With so many absentees and a Champions League clash with RB Leipzig looming over the horizon, Flick has no choice but to send out the emergency depth pieces. This means that we may see guys like Douglas Costa, Buona Sarr, and Jamal Musiala get starts today. Hopefully, the team can still pull off a win, even with so many regulars missing. We’ve seen what’s happening to Liverpool at the moment — these tend to be the hardest parts of the season to navigate.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 3:30 pm local time, 9:30 am EST
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