Bayern Munich hosted Mainz 05 with the title on the line and failed to reach the peak this week in a disastrous loss. Here are the observations.
Fast paced Mainz
Less than five minutes into the game, Manuel Neuer was absolutely dumbfounded on a knuckleball from Jonathan Burkhardt. Neuer was moving to his left, only to have the ball pull right and glance off his fist. Mainz never slowed down the entire game, playing with clear urgency and a terrific press that mystified Bayern. Credit due where credit deserved, Mainz came out firing like a cannon and picked up a well deserved win.
Bayern’s horrific half
With the exception of the aforementioned goal, Neuer was an absolute rock behind this utterly lost Bayern side. He made two world class saves within the first sixteen minutes. The rest of the Bayern side? Completely lost. Mainz’s press thoroughly dominated Bayern. The midfield pivot of Goretzka and Kimmich were overwhelmed. Sané and Coman were the definition of error prone outlets. Lewandowski missed a prime sitter (which i’m willing to write off as rust). But this defense? Oh man. Alaba and Boateng put in a lesson of how to be incompetent in defense. If it wasn't for Neuer (and the woodwork), Mainz would have been up 3-0 in the first fifteen minutes. The first half was arguably the worst single half of Bayern play this season.
Sané, Coman off. Defensive due of Boateng and Alaba in shambles
As was pointed out above, arguably the worst half in Bayern’s season was played in this game. Chief architects were Leroy Sané, Leon Goretzka, and Kingsley Coman up top. Sloppy passing, inefficient first touch, and confusion in their play marked the day. Add in the pairing of Boateng and Alaba looking worse than your Sunday league defending, and it was a challenging day for Bayern. On a side note, after watching David Alaba this season, i’m understanding of Bayern not wanting to pay Alaba a reported €11 million per season that Real Madrid are going to be. He’s been a liability in defense far too often this season.
Return from injury
Goretzka, Lewandowski & Gnabry all returned to action in this game; however, it made no difference in what will surely be dubbed as Bayern’s worst performance of the season. It’s good to see them get minutes, but for Lewandowski and Goretzka, the rust was evident. Both struggled this game and failed to impose their will as has regularly occurred this year. However, with the last kick of the game Lewandowski got his goal, making it 36 on the season. For those of you goal watching, this is what he needs to break Gerd Müller’s record. This is Lewandowski’s world and we just live in it.
Just five more goals to go for Lewandowski. Three games left...— Ronan Murphy (@swearimnotpaul) April 24, 2021