Finally, a solid defensive showing
Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick was forced to start Lucas Hernandez and Jerome Boateng at CB, with David Alaba out with a minor injury problem and Niklas Süle given some rest, and boy, did they not disappoint.
The defensive pairing was super solid, and while Boateng was allowed to venture forward to whip in some gorgeous long balls, Lucas put in a superb shift, snuffing out every counter and chipping in with numerous tackles and interceptions. It does feel like ages since Bayern didn’t concede in the first half, and the defense didn’t give a lot to complain. Wait, what is that you say? The defense wasn’t great towards the end? Well yes...
Clean sheets? We don’t do that here
Just when most Bayern fans would’ve sat back in their couches thinking of Bayern’s ruthless attacks, the clean sheet and all that’s good in the world, Bouna Sarr made his entrance felt in style and crashed the party instantly, playing the entire Bremen attack onside, and Werder Bremen went ‘thank you’ and scored a goal that could’ve been avoided, courtesy of Niklas Füllkrug. With this game, Bayern haven’t kept a clean sheet in 20 out of 25 Bundesliga games so far this season. Not a good record.
No Müller, no party
The Raumdeuter was at his best yet again, putting in a brilliant performance. He was all over the opposing half, feeding his teammates, chipping in with crosses, playing one-twos and shouting out commands to get the attack in order. His two assists today take him to a whopping 13 assists this season in the Bundesliga, aside from the 10 goals he’s scored, making him the most productive attacking midfielder in Germany. He is in sensational form, and Bayern always plays better when Thomas Müller is on the pitch.
Hard work and determination eventually pays off
Robert Lewandowski is the epitome of work ethic and determination. He exemplifies the Bayern mentality and embodies everything Bayern. Once again, he was his usual self this game, and even though he was marked by 2-3 defenders at all times, he dropped into the midfield to feed his teammates, drifted to the wings to chip in with some wonderful crosses and should’ve had at least 3 assists with some better finishing from his teammates.
Lewandowski had a game high 9 shots, and was denied a goal on 6 occasions, 2 because of some brilliant goalkeeping, and 4 (!!!) courtesy of the post. He would eventually get his goal though, taking his incredible tally to 32 goals in just 24 Bundesliga appearances. He is just 8 goals away from the all time Bundesliga single-season record, and he has 9 games to do it. Only a fool would bet against him hitting that mark, if not breaking right past it.
The curious case of the cruel crossbar
The Bremen crossbar certainly seemed to have some sort of magic enabling it to keep the ball from hitting the back of the net. Bayern were denied a goal on 4 different occasions due to the woodwork, and Lewandowski would be beating himself right now for not having a 5-goal haul to his name.
Let us hope that Bayern has more luck with goals going forward. Perhaps an Allianz Arena goalpost makeover would bring Bayern players under the good graces of the Bundesliga goalpost association.