FC Bayern Munich started their first friendly fixture of the new season with a defeat against FC Köln. While the game was nearly an even affair, Köln deservedly came out as the winner. With the usual Bayern stalwarts on holiday after the Euro campaign, it was the youth from the academy, some fresh faces and an old warhorse in Sven Ulreich who led the charge against the Billy Goats. Without further ado, here are the match awards:
Jersey swap: Mark Uth
The wily 29-year-old found the back of the Bayern net twice. The first was an incredible acrobatic finish while the second was a superbly placed header. His presence in the box often disrupted Bayern’s nascent backline. Uth took full advantage of the young inexperienced defenders and gave Köln the edge in what was otherwise a fairly even game.
Der Kaiser: Dayot Upamecano
The Frenchman had a quiet but productive day at the office. His cool and assuredness on the ball was on display as he calmly recovered ball after ball from Köln before sending them on their way for a fresh attack. While the rest of the backline were having a decent game, Upa held the show together by covering up for their slip-ups and making early interceptions. The defense being a fresh setup, lacked chemistry and that was evident in the manner in which the goals were given away. All in all, nothing spectacular but certainly a very good start for the 22-year-old defender.
Fußballgott: Michaël Cuisance
Cuisance coming on, instantly added some much need maturity in the Bayern midfield as both Rhein and Scott were caught out often despite making some great passes to set up attacks. Cuisance showed some of his tricks on and off the ball to slow down or increase the tempo of the game. He used his signature pivoting skills to get out of tight spaces and make some good through balls. Having said that, Bayern were missing a man in the box after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s substitution and had Cuisance made deeper runs, he could have had a couple of more shots at goal.
Der Bomber: Armindo Sieb
The German teen was on fire especially in the first half of the game. His dribbling ability and pace, coupled with his drive to attack were great to watch. Once again, the severe lack in chemistry between the players meant that the flicks, the runs and the short one-two passes didn’t have the cohesiveness required to stitch them together into attacks repeatedly. Having said that, Sieb was constantly pushing forward and made efforts to connect with the rest of the attack, getting it right a few times. This was a promising show from the 18-year-old.
Meister of the Match: The FC Bayern youth academy and Julian Nagelsmann
The Bayern youth academy — aka the FCB campus — deserves a lot of credit for the sheer amount of quality on the pitch today. It is madness to imagine everyone but a handful in the matchday squad have had spells with the campus and played a fairly even game against a Bundesliga side.
A lot of credit also goes to the new coach Nagelsmann for boldly setting up such a young group of players against Köln. And it was indeed “positive” football like Nags had promised earlier. Nowhere during the game did any player from the Bayern side looked to make regressive plays. The whole team always looked to attack at every chance they got while maintaining defensive structure.
There were spells where it looked like the game was going nowhere due to neither team holding on to the ball for a significant amount of time. Having said that, it was a very bold and positive performance from the Bayern boys to kickstart their pre-season.