Initial reactions and observations
- Lewandowski. That’s it. That’s the reaction.
- Bayern were creative but often lacking in their lethality in the final third
- Al Ahly were able to exploit David Alaba and the Bayern defense through quick counter attacks
- Kimmich and Boateng were absolutely superb this evening. Boateng, especially, was crucial in assisting in maintaining the scoreline
- After a quick 20 minutes, Bayern died out. Could be related to exhaustion from their airplane fiasco.
- The referee was entirely content with keeping the cards in their pocket, albeit questionably.
- Al Ahly’s backline deserves full credit for how they handled Bayern’s elite offensive options tonight.
FT - Bayern 2 - 0 Al Ahly. Bayern move on the face Tibgres UNAL in the Club World Cup final.
86’ - GOAL! Leroy Sané’s beautiful onside play gift’s Robert Lewandowski his second goal of the night. FC Bayern 2-0 Al Ahly.
81’ - Sané gets fouled, earns Bayern a freekick. Al Ahly has a player down and is being treated, as well.
77’ - Jamala Musiala and Niklas Süle on, Kinglsey Coman and Jérôme Boateng off.
74’ - Bayern earn a free kick on the edge of the box. If Kimmich was fouled one foot closer that would’ve been a penalty.
69’ - Corentin Tolisso on for Marc Roca
62’ - Leroy Sané on for Serge Gnabry and Eric Choupo-Moting on for Thomas Müller,
56’ - Bayern continue to push for a second goal, but keep falling short.
50’ - Al Ahly push Bayern back to their own net with some creative build up play, But Bayern manage to weather the outburst.
45’ - Kickoff! Second half begins.
Halftime observations and analysis
- Bayern are dominating position, but are often sloppy in their final passing.
- Jérôme Boateng, Have. A. Game. He’s made numerous incredible tackles and his 1v1 defending has been supurb.
- All this possession is allowing Kimmich and Davies opportunities to push forward and even though they haven’t scored, they’ve been central in the build up play thus far.
- Al Ahly have been close on a few counter-attacks, doing well to exploited Bayern’s high line and dominant possession. Expect Hansi Flick to make adjustments for that.
HT - Bayern 1-0 Al Ahly.
40’ - Phonzie almost makes it 2-0 with a shot that dribbled just left of the post. Bayern appear to be camping in Al Ahly’s half.
37’ - CLOSE! Kimmich and Lewandowski link up with beautiful build up play, but Lewandowski skies the attempt in the 11 yard box.
29’ - Gnabry will a long range rocket saved by Al Ahly. Bayern continue to push.
27’ - Substitution for Al Ahly: Yaaser Ibrahim on for Ali Maâloud.
24’ - CLOSE! Marc Roca’s shot inside the 6-yard box sails just feet wide of making it 2-0. Bayern smell blood in the water.
21’ - Al Ahly get their first shot on goal but is saved rather comfortably by Manuel Neuer.
17’ - GOAL Bayern! Robert Lewandowski wide open in the 11 yard box punishes Al Ahly’s poor defending. Bayern 1 - 0 Al Ahly
16’ - Close but no Cigar. Thomas Müller’s wide open header inside the 11 yard box is saved by Al Ahly’s goalkeeper.
13’ - Kimmich’s in-swinging free kick is missed by the Al Ahly goalkeeper, but no one is able to put their head on it and Bayern wins a corner.
10’ - Bayern dominate possession of the first 10’ of match play but only have one shot, a header by Gnabry, to show for it.
7’ - The first 7’ of the game has seen Bayern camp in Al Ahly’s defensive zone, but have yet to square up an actual shot on goal.
Kickoff! - FC Bayern & Al Ahly have kicked off at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium!
One and a half hours before kickoff: We have lineups early. The big surprise is that Marc Roca starts!
It’s been a really long time, but Bayern Munich are back in the FIFA Club World Cup. This time round, we face Egyptian giants Al Ahly, who represent Africa on the world stage. The best teams from two continents are set to do battle for a place in the final — what could be better?
Well, the travel, for one. The scheduling too. Playing this many games in February in an already packed schedule isn’t going to do Bayern any favors. People forget that, before Real Madrid won back-to-back Champions League titles a few years back, the CWC was seen as a curse that kept teams from winning the UCL next year. Now, Bayern have the challenge of winning it all in the most hectic season ever.
In injury news, Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez were left behind in Munich due to positive coronavirus tests, putting Flick in quite a pickle re:the midfield. Maybe he’ll do what he did against Hertha, and field a 4-1-4-1 with five attackers up top. Or maybe he’ll try to be a little bit sane for a change. Whatever happens, we’re all looking forward to watching the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, and co. on a truly international stage.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Al Rayyan Stadium, Ar-Rayyan, Qatar
Time: 9:00 pm local time, 1:30 pm EST
TV/streaming: FS2, Find Your Country
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