When is a win not a win? Yesterday in the Champions League, of course. Bayern Munich might have escaped with a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain, but the Bavarians were nowhere near as precise or clinical as they needed to be to move on in the competition. Here are some quick hitters on the match:
- Bayern Munich’s big first half chances from Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich needed to be buried. Kimmich’s attempt especially...that needed to be a goal.
- Manuel Neuer made two huge saves on Neymar early on that were sensational. That was a huge moment in the match Bayern Munich could not capitalize.
- Throughout the game Neymar was a handful. He can be a clown, but he is damn good. He could have easily had a hat trick in the first half.
- And yes...I was one of those people who felt extremely uneasy every time Neymar or Kylian Mbappe had the ball and started to move forward.
- Bayern Munich struggled again with its precision in the final third. This is no excuse, but I’d say the squad’s heavy legs played a big role in why things have looked so off offensively of late.
- Alphonso Davies was sloppy at times with his defending and was pretty awful on the day unfortunately. That might have been Davies’ worst effort since breaking into the starting lineup. Is he hurt? Is he in poor form? Is this some sort of sophomore slump we often see in other sports during the second year after a player has a breakout season? Whatever the case, I hope he can get himself sorted soon.
- Kimmich’s corners left a lot to be desired again.
- On the day Kimmich and Thomas Müller just were not good enough. You can add Leroy Sane to that list as well. This was a game where you needed players of that ilk to take over and it didn’t happen. Müller didn’t deliver that type of masterful performance that the team needed and Sane had moments, but his end product is lacking to say the least. Kimmich, though, was really struggle and that killed Bayern Munich.
- Perhaps my — and probably many other people’s — expectations were just too high for Kimmich. He is always so good, calm, and efficient that we all expect him to be infallible. He uncharacteristically forced way too passes to the outside instead of patiently waiting for other options. It seems that without Leon Goretzka, Mauricio Pochettino’s game plan to take away Kimmich’s passing lanes worked to perfection.
- It’s hard to question Hansi Flick, I’m not sure David Alaba was the right call in the midfield — and not because of his own performance in the position. Depending on what the real situation is with Davies, an Alaba-Lucas Hernandez pairing might have been more effective — and would have at least put Jamal Musiala on the pitch for some added offense. This is not a knock on Alaba by any means, but I think Musiala probably could have offered something more dangerous from a role in the midfield — especially if there was something wrong with Davies. Alaba actually performed well and was the team’s best midfielder for the game. I guess when you start to breakdown how things might have been better, it wasn’t as much Alaba’s performance (which was fine) as much as it was the fact he could have helped sure up the backline with a similar showing back there.
- Hell, it seemed like Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was cooked about 10 minutes into the second half, I would have liked to see Müller up-top with Musiala behind him. I don’t think Musiala is a cure-all or anything — and he certainly didn’t take over when he was subbed in — but he needed more than 19 minutes for this match.
- The game really showed how valuable Goretzka is to Bayern Munich. He is essentially the rug in Jeff Lebowski’s living room...he just ties it all together.
- Lucas Hernandez probably turned in his best effort in a Bayern Munich uniform. That should give fans some hope for next season. Hernandez has not had an easy ride thus far in his Bayern Munich career, but he was extremely impressive. It was nice to see Hernandez give Neymar trouble on a day where not many could match the crafty Brazilian.
- Manuel Neuer was very good. After how many times he got hung out to dry in this tie, he could probably use a day off.
- In all honesty, Bayern Munich should have never even overly competitive been in the tie or held Paris Saint-Germain as closely as they did over both legs. Bayern fought and they battled, but in the end, were just not good enough on the day to get that second goal. Still, the fact that they played so tough and fought so bravely shows the championship mentality that resides within the roster.
- Unfortunately, Bayern Munich will rue about 90 seconds of the first leg and lament the multitude of chances they had through most of each game. Sometimes the game is just cruel like that.
This is another one of those rumors that does not seem to want to go away. Bayern Munich is allegedly (term loosely used) eyeing Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly:
Turning 30 on June 20, Senegalese international centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Transfermarkt.de, is still a market target for Bayern Munich. While Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti just denied being pursuing Napoli powerhouse, the 1991-born backliner might be still leaving Italian club, on an about 45 million euros transfer fee, with more of his former suitors (including Manchester United, RB Leipzig, and PSG) possibly turning up.
Mario Götze seems ready to move back into one of the Big 5 European leagues after what could be a short stint with PSV Eindhoven:
Mario Götze’s move from BVB to PSV Eindhoven wasn’t too long ago. But according to a media report, the 2014 World Cup hero is aiming for a transfer. Mario Götze only moved from Borussia Dortmund to PSV Eindhoven on a free transfer last October. Now he is apparently already planning the next move.
According to information from Sky, the 28-year-old should aim for the next step in the summer - in a better league than the Eredivisie. A plan that could make perfect sense, given that Götze has taken a giant step in the past few months. The 2014 World Cup hero collected eleven scorer points in 22 competitive games and often flashed his genius from bygone days. His contract with Eindhoven runs until the summer of 2022 - so it should be a very affordable option for many clubs. Sky also reports that Götze has already separated from his consulting agency Lian Sports. Instead, he is said to have joined Marc Kosicke’s management.
Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool are two more teams that are reportedly interested in RB Leipzig star midfielder Marcel Sabitzer:
Possibly leaving RB Leipzig on an about 36 million euros transfer fee, Austrian international attacking midfielder Marcel Sabitzer (27), according to sportnet.at, has been targeted by both Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool. Bundesliga giants captain is also tracked by Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, and AC Milan.
Borussia Dortmund has been rated as the best “Big 5” club in Europe to develop young players, while Bayern Munich ranks 9th in the Bundesliga:
Issue number 3⃣3⃣3⃣ of the @CIES_Football Weekly Post unveils the % of minutes played by U21 footballers for 9⃣9⃣9⃣ teams from 71 top divisions worldwide @BVB ahead of @ogcnice & @AS_Monaco in the big-5 Full data ➡️ https://t.co/Uz9q0Ozt9T pic.twitter.com/ghtiLUUns8— CIES Football Obs (@CIES_Football) April 12, 2021
Click the link in the header to get the Bundesliga-specific breakdown. You can manipulate the lists from there to see how every team is developing its young players.
While the information is based on playing time — and not any type of success or impact metric — it is interesting nonetheless.