Despite losing the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals 3-2 to Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich showed great fight and created plenty of chances under the lights at a snowy Alliaz Arena. They did so without talisman Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry, who tested positive for the coronavirus just one day before the match. Bayern now face a difficult test in Paris, having conceded three away goals, and they’ll also likely have to do so without Niklas Sule and Leon Goretzka, who both sustained injuries during the loss.
Speaking after the match on Sky Germany (via Tz), Lothar Matthäus took a deep look at Bayern’s overall squad and questioned some of the personnel decisions that Hasan Salihamidzic had made during the summer transfer window. Transfer decisions and policies has always been a bit of a hot button between Brazzo and Hansi Flick, but at FC Bayern, the executive board, supervisory board, and sporting director tend to have most of the overriding authority when it comes to those decisions. When looking at the squad, Matthäus questioned some of the players that were brought in over the summer by Brazzo.
“These are the transfers that were made last autumn, the transfer composition that we have been criticizing for a long time. There are four players on the last day: [Doulas] Costa, [Bouna] Sarr, [Marc] Roca — they are not Bayern Munich players. You get a player from the second Spanish league, Roca, from Espanyol Barcelona. And a Perisic and a Thiago go at the same time. Bavaria no longer has the quality,” Matthäus ranted.
For the match against PSG, Bayern only listed six of an available nine substitutes on the bench, Sarr among those six. Of course, Costa and Roca are out with injury problems at the moment. Still, though, Matthäus’s rant hold lots of weight because Bayern really lacked depth on the bench, especially being forced to bring on both Alphonso Davies and Jerome Boateng in the first half due to the injuries to Goretzka and Sule. This was different last season when Flick had plenty of options to choose from in the Champions League run in Portugal.
Matthäus compared Bayern’s squad situation with Chelsea’s who won their first leg agasint FC Porto 2-0. “Chelsea has five grenades on the bench for the storm, if I look at it: Pulisic, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Zyiech and Abraham. And Bavaria? If Bayern have a bit of injury problems, the quality is missing. Except for Jamal Musiala, the 18-year-old, nobody is on the bench for the offensive,” he said.