Was it the coach or the players?
After paying a world record fee to secure the services of Julian Nagelsmann, the Bayern Munich bosses probably didn’t enjoy watching his RB Leipzig side get beaten so thoroughly by Borussia Dortmund. While Edin Terzic’s men had some shaky moments, especially in the second half, the attacking trio of Erling Haaland, Marco Reus, and Jadon Sancho proved too much for the Leipzig defense.
The sheer domination shown by the scoreline is the worrying part — Leipzig truly struggled to get shots at goal. This wasn’t for a lack of trying, because they attacked plenty. However, their finishing was simply appalling on the night and allowed Roman Burki to rest easy even when he made the occasional error.
To be fair to Nagelsmann, he can’t help the fact that his attackers couldn’t hit the target, or that Leipzig are playing without a recognized striker. If Robert Lewandowski or even Choupo-Moting were on the pitch, the result could’ve been much more equal. However, is squad quality the only thing that held Nagelsmann back in the final? This isn’t the first time he’s struggled against good opposition — see Leipzig’s limp performance in their defeat to Liverpool this season.
Let’s hope that this was just a blip on the radar for the young coach. Otherwise, someone will need to keep Jupp Heynckes on speed dial.
Is Dayot Upamecano always this shaky?
Let’s be fair — even the best defenders struggle to deal with Erling Haaland when he’s in this kind of form. The Norwegian can bully anyone on his day. However, for a 40 million euro defender, Upamecano did nothing to silence his doubters as he allowed himself to get get dominated for the entire first half (and most of the second). While it isn’t unexpected, it is rather disappointing.
This is only one in a long string of poor performances at the highest level for the Frenchman. He will certainly get better as he grows with age — remember that Upamecano is still only 22 — but for next season, he probably isn’t the stabilizer that Bayern are looking for in the back line.
Is this Dortmund team ready for greater highs?
Having finally sacked Favre, it looks like Borussia Dortmund are at the level their squad should be at. This was their first piece of silverware since 2016, and they seem to have a nice young squad with a small core of veterans as leaders. While maybe lacking in some areas, this BVB team looks quite formidable, and could be poised to catch Bayern in the middle of another coaching transition.
If Nagelsmann isn’t careful, he could find his debut season at Bayern end rather ignominiously. As long as BVB can make the Champions League and hold onto Haaland this summer, they should be able to make a serious run for the title next year.